Every time I'm telling secrets
I remember how it used to be
And I realized how much I miss you
And I realize how it feels to be free
Now I see I'm up to no good (no, no, no)
And I wanna start again
Can't remember when I felt good (baby)
No, I can't remember when
No, only in my dreams
As real as it may seem
It was only in my dreams
Debbie Gibson — Only In My Dreams (1987)
So...I turned 50 earlier this month. My knees ache, and my hair has decided to strike, protesting their working conditions. Other than these few issues, I don't feel a month over 63. In the original Lethal Weapon, Richard Murtaugh told the world that he was getting too old for this s#*t, ready to retire in just a month, had just turned 50. In real life, actor Danny Glover had just turned 42 but had the grizzled look of a man much older.
I get you, Danny...I'm too old for this s#*t too.
What really makes me feel old is that the day I turned 50, I started to receive AARP advertisements. One in particular: Debbie Gibson, no relation to Danny’s on-screen partner Mel Gibson. She with her bubblegum pop from the '80s. I actually met her once...I probably said something offensive inadvertently, as I generally do. I didn't care for her music at the time, and I considered myself a much more serious artist. That is before I decided I didn't have time for this s#*t and chose to work with people that could afford to pay for my hobby of being an educator -- hey! It is an expensive hobby and far less respected than my other hobby of putting together Legos! At least Florida isn't trying to put me in jail for telling kids, "NO, THE TWO BY SIX GOES UNDER THE SLOPEY BITS." Nope, you can brainwash kids all you want with pieces of manufactured plastic. But don't tell them that there are multiple ways to accomplish a math problem.
Back to the point, DEBBIE F'N GIBSON...SLANGIN' FOR OLD PEOPLE...What the WTF!!! Way to make me feel better about my age.
If you are "lucky," you can watch her virtually in concert, and I say, "BREAK A HIP, MRS. GIBSON!"
As you may have noticed, the updates have been even fewer and further between. Personally, I have been waiting three months for my replacement M1Pro Macbook to appear from Apple. Because of customization, I was prepared to wait a month for the product…and then it was delayed until May third…and today…maybe I’ll see it by July. Unfortunately, with travel and otherwise, a phone is not something that can edit a newsletter. Or do statistical analysis. Or much of anything else…
I’m not alone in this, the war in Ukraine has made tube amps a rare commodity.
One of the global suppliers of vacuum tubes is Electro-Harmonix, and looking at the fine print in the photo above; you can see that every single tube is Made-In-Russia.
“The EHX family of tube brands includes: Tung-Sol, Electro-Harmonix, EH Gold, Genalex Gold Lion, Mullard, Svetlana & Sovtek.”
And with this, we’ve seen dwindling supplies as the war has gone on, with manufacturers pulling out of Russia and trade restrictions with the country enforced within the west. While Electro-Harmonix continues to source these tubes from Russia (or old US Military stock) others are starting to bring the manufacturing back to the western world. Western Electric, a hi-fi company in the US, is looking to build new stock in Georgia.
More on that from Guitar Player Magazine.
We see chip shortages in the consumer and hobbyist communities in other areas. Cars are being sent out with infotainment units, backup sensors, and heated seats, often being told that MAYBE in a few months, dealerships can upgrade the car to the specifications they had initially told the buyer they would have. In the hobbyist world, parts suppliers like Adafruit are having trouble finding certain products:
Given that we are musicians, the next several months will be chaotic for both high-tech devices and those using 1960s technologies. Winter NAMM 2022 was canceled and merged into the summer convention…will this even take place if there is nothing to exhibit that can be purchased in the next several months?
Roli’s Seaboard Rise 2 is ready for preorder
As late as last year, Roli had gone through the equivalency of bankruptcy and restructuring; however, they seem to have come out of this with a new product — the updated Seaboard Rise. Forty-nine squishy keys, USB-C, MIDI, and tactile frets make this an upgrade worth having. Not as big as the Roli Grand, but twice as big as the Seaboard One. Shipping in October.
Kurzweil: K2700 Shipping + PC4 Soundtower Update
Notes across the US are that the new K2700 is FINALLY getting into the hands of musicians after many delays!
This image was blatantly stolen from a friend of Sonik’s, Frank Lucas, with whom I had the pleasure of having sushi delivered by robots earlier this month. We may have an interview with Frank and his recently signed Cyberiam in the near future as soon as he digs into this keyboard.
And as noted, betas of the Soundtower editor have gone out — with a specific note that the 2700 may be included with the Forte release.
C.K. Builds an Educational VCO kit from Erica Synths
I have been waiting for C.K. to get to this product. I built this VCO last month, and while the SAW wave sounds incredible, the Pulse and FM do not seem to do much of anything. As a beginner in soldering and the Eurorack world, I am still learning! And thanks to C.K. for continuing with these instructional videos!
EDU DIY VCO — € 60.00
Cre8audio Eurorack NiftyCase - $199.99 (Amazon)
Cre8audio Eurorack NiftyKeys - $599.99 (Sweetwater)
The Wayback Machine
Odds and Ends
Sonikmatter: Mind + Music + Technology
An occasional newsletter. Barely fact-checked and often wrong.
We have a lot more to post. However, this letter has gone on long enough, and please check the website for other news throughout the month.
Send us a message if you’d like your music or project to be featured. Or call (415) 683-1381 and sing, rawk, or tell me what Spice Girl you want to impregnate! We will post it!!!