Thursday, 4 April 2013

afx dsp box commission - 2002

my experimental dsp box from 2002 and backup eprom's for richard's box - 2008 - photo dave burraston

i have been asked many times over the years for pix of the special grey dsp box i built for richard james / aphex twin back in 2002. the internal details are top secret / classified, but a few little notes can be disclosed about its inception along with a few pix of it being built.

it all started when we were on the rephlex tour of turkey / israel / egypt in 2000, me & damo were doing video projections/vj. that was a time! rephlex co-founder grant was asked by Spannered "What are the 3 most cherished memories you hold from 20 years of Rephlex?" one of which was :

— a super fat Turbosound system with a few thousand ravers and 16 of my posse on the edge of the Dead Sea in Israel.

In other words, being in a band of travelling minstrels, taking serious tunes for nice people all over the world, trying to do our bit for science with music.


at some point i was telling richard about an experimental hardware dsp box i had made for my studio sometime around 1995. this box did real time processing of audio to make a weird old school computerised speech version of the original signal - any signal not just vocals. pretty nutty stuff, so i was immediately commissioned to build one.

we discussed it more after the tour and towards the end of 2002 i started putting a box together for him, just before zipping to australia to do my phd. many other people have asked me to build these but i had to have my arm twisted to make richard's. i generally dont make my little top secret boxes for outside of noyzelab activities, otherwise they wouldn't be secret. but once in a blue moon... 

there's quite a few experimental recordings in my archives, and you can hear it processing female vocals on the track on computable numbers, with an application to the electric landlady problem by dave noyze :

there's probably a lot more i could write, but that will have to wait for declassification (highly unlikely!). for those wondering, the total number of boxes in existence = 2 (his one and my one:)

my friend simon is a fellow hardcore techno boffin so he insisted on taking a few general release approved digital pix, well done & these are all that were ever taken.

building richard's dsp box, yoghurt munch soldering action - 2002 - photo simon steward

well chuffed about finally getting that bbc quicksilva box scanned - 2002 - photo simon steward

 coding in my bedroom at simon's farm - 2002 - photo simon steward

listening for bugs - 2002 - photo simon steward

almost finished brick of a top secret dsp box for richard on top of my mc4 at noyzelab - 2002