I recently bought a toy piano for my daughter, but wasn’t quite happy with the sound of it and was wondering if there was a way to adjust the tuning. I came across this video on YouTube which explains how the tuning of each note can be lowered by adding some metal to it – Toy Piano Man suggests using solder instead of winding wire around the rods, so I decided to give that a try.

I’d never tried opening one up before but it’s fairly simple to remove the lid, take out the metal tone rod assembly, and add some solder to the tips of the rods. I also experimented a little with placing some foam across the rods to damp them slightly. The toy piano spectrum has a lot of inharmonic frequencies present in it, but adjusting the tuning definitely has a helpful effect on the overall sound.

Hainbach’s video on his collection of toy pianos is also worth checking out.

I recently ‘inherited’ some books from Vagn Steen’s library and have been enjoying the typography and clean design of this little ‘augenblick’ series going back some sixty years.

In the latest episode of On Margins Craig Mod and Lisa Brennan-Jobs discuss the importance of paper quality and texture in relation to the use of whitespace in design.

I’ve been taking a look at some granular synths lately and have been enjoying the well thought out (non-keyboard) performance oriented UI of SpaceCraft. The latest update enables MIDI CC control of all parameters and this greatly expands the possibilites of the app, for example being able to scan through longer samples without being restricted to the range of the inbuilt LFO.

A few M4L MIDI LFOs in Ableton Live running via a network connection works well, but with something like AUM as a host, Bram Bros’s Rozeta MIDI plugin suite for iOS turns out to be a wonderful companion.

A list of the MIDI CC control numbers can be found on the Delta-V Audio website.

Modular Diary

A background project that I’ve been busy with during the course of the last few months has been making recordings of the demo patches that I’d put together for my series of Audulus Hordijk Modules. After adding those to the respective posts on my site it occurred to me that it might be fun to record the texts and combine them with the examples, creating audio versions of the posts that could then be made available via a podcast feed.

As is often the case, it took a little longer than anticipated to get everything in place, but it’s finally done – hopefully useful as a little review of the project.

Here’s the link should you be interested in listening to them in a podcast player:, or check it out on HuffDuffer where there are also links to open the feed directly in various podcast apps (should you be on a mobile device of some kind):

It’s also possible to follow through all the entries on my site, which also includes the individual audio examples, starting here:

Over the past year I’ve been working on a sound-theatre/podcast piece based on a text by Lene Henningsen with Oskar Kokoschka and Alma Mahler as the leading characters. After having made a studio recording of all of the dialogue, we realised how much of an impact having the actors standing stationary and confined to a small space had on the character of the dialogue. (There are some similar observations in this Aeon article on Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds.) The next step was to re-record some of the scenes out in the world, and the wonderful Hirschsprung Collection kindly allowed us to use some of their spaces.

Jens Essendrop was also along to take some photographs: Here are Mette Frank Sørensen and Ulver Skuli Abildgaard, with myself recording and Lene Henningsen looking on.

There’s an extensive exhibition of one of my favourite painters, Pierre Bonnard, on at Glyptoteket – with some intriguing sound vignettes by @lydrummet and @sunheeengelstoft to accompany some of them.

A little difficult to hear with the so many summer visitors, but beautiful nonetheless, and opening up details of the paintings in unexpected ways. They got me thinking back to a lecture that David Toop gave in Copenhagen a number of years ago on the topic of sound in paintings.