Audio Island

Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Category archives for Audio Island

Bill Bruford The Autobiography

What do you expect when you pick up an autobiography of a rock musician? Sex? Drugs? Rock-n-roll exploits with a chainsaw and a gallon of baby oil at the Ramada? Scandalous stories of band-mates and sundry hangers-on? You get virtually none of that in Bill Bruford The Autobiography. It’s much better. Insightful, entertaining, and well-written,…

Happy Birthday Bill Bruford

Master of the drum kit and poly-rhythmist Bill Bruford celebrates 60 years today. Well known among all manner of percussionists and drummers, Bruford’s work spans 40 years from his early days with Yes, his tenure with several incarnations of King Crimson, and his own band, Earthworks, along with work in bands such as National Health,…

Louie Bellson, RIP

Sad news for the drummers and jazz lovers on SciBlogs. Jazz drumming legend Louie Bellson passed away unexpectedly on Valentine’s Day. Some details here. Update: Here’s a short bio video with some nice bits of Louie playing and some rather unique kit layouts.

How Well Can You Count?

And now for something almost completely different on The Refuge: How well can you count? No, not like in grade school. I wrote and recorded a tune the other day. It’s called Timmy Umbwebwe Lights A Candle (yes, I have a thing for odd titles). The initial beat was composed on the drum kit. Not…

Well, at least Stevie Van Zandt and Britain’s Youth Music seem to think so. A recent article in The Times refers to research by Youth Music indicating that the games have prompted upwards of 2.5 million children to take up musical instruments. I’m skeptical. No doubt the games are a lot of fun for people…

Fun Is Where You Find It: The Tune

Much has been written on the Refuge regarding what might be termed fine motor co-ordination experiments. That, and something to do with playing the drums in a manner that most drummers don’t, you know, like backwards. Some might ask “What is the point of practicing a double paradiddle on a bunch of left-side mounted toms…

FAQ: Class D Audio Amplifiers

New from Audio Designline is this three page FAQ on class D audio amplifiers. Not extremely technical, but it answers many questions for the technically minded. I remember studying class D amplifiers many years ago in college. In those days the quality was decidedly not hi-fi and the reliability was somewhere in the vicinity of…

Olympic Broadcast Acoustics

There had been reports of the usual last-minute rush to complete facility construction at the Beijing Olympics. Now I wonder if they completed the main broadcast center. While watching the coverage yesterday, at one point NBC went to Bob Costas at the center and I noticed something strange. It was apparent that Mr. Costas was…

Rock Drummers = Top Athletes?

So says the BBC. Researchers tested oxygen uptake and heart rate for rock drummers, including Blondie’s Clem Burke. They concluded: “It is clear that their fitness levels need to be outstanding – through monitoring Clem’s performance in controlled conditions, we have been able to map the extraordinary stamina required by professional drummers.” and further, “It…

Fun with Resistive Position Sensors

As part of my continuing adventures in drumming symmetry, I have been working on a dual electronic hi-hat pedal. The idea is to have a single hi-hat pad respond equally well to either a left or a right foot pedal. It is similar to having both left and right kick drum pedals. For the hi-hat,…