Closed.

                       
                                                                 ~ Closed ~
 In January of 2011 I took on the task of proving to myself that I have the tenacity to run my own netlabel. Releasing my music and ideas through this medium was a great experiment of digital communications. Using it more or less as therapy, I learned a lot about myself. During this time in my life, I had the luxury of time - Time to create, to think, and to write my ideas. Entering into a different phase in my life, I no longer have this luxury of time on my hands. As more and more events in my personal life require the fullest of my attention, I've decided to let go of Ionosonde Recordings.  I've done all that I ever thought I could do in my little experiment.

 It is with sad heart that I close the doors on this chapter in my life. I will keep all material that I've created up and running as it is, for as long as I possibly can.

  Thank you all for looking, listening and writing.

                                                     Solitudes from Detroit.

                                                     Richard Sudney
                                              (propitiator of Ionosonde Recordings)
                                                   
                                                     

Over The Time Cliff 2016



Words, photo, and sounds by: Telegraphy

 Well here I am once again sitting in my favorite lounge chair sipping on an adult beverage while writing this blog post just minutes away from 12 midnight. This time I'm in a different location then years past - at my brothers house. For the past few months I've sacrificed leisure time for hi-fidelity audio. Building my own hifi is a challenging venture. Ever since I got hit with the "audio bug" it was hard to shake it off. Spending considerable time away from basic responsibilities like house cleaning and maintenance, hi-fidelity audio really takes a hold of your daily life. Like a hard drug you become addicted to it's sounds. I feel like a junky out in the cold streets rummaging through dumpsters to find my next high - only this is desperately looking for the perfect sound. Ah, yes like all parents of those adolescents teens who got involved in the wrong crowd, "It's just a phase their going through. It shall pass!" I'm not so sure about this. "The audio sound oh so good", I say.

  Watching the 33 rpm record spin on the transcription turntable, I gaze into it's hypnotical record label as it turns and morphs into oscillating colors and shapes. This album is from the golden era of 60's psych rock. So it would do that, right ?  Listening to swirling bass rhythms that imamates through my vintage EV twelve inch woofers, staring at their home built transmission line cabinets, with low frequencies that I can feel in my chest. (It's one thing to here sounds but feeling them is different) As the bass kick, I move my attention to it's smaller brother the Stromberg Carlson midrange speakers ensconced in my hand made cabinet creation. It's highs shrill forward towards me  with confident reproductions of soft singing voices. Going higher and higher when it's effects peak out on a symphonic gala of ultra high frequencies that only a tweaked out tweeter whose mutinous resistance of about 8 ohms can handle the altered effects of hi-fidelity audio........Or maybe it's the absinthe I'm drinking tonight.

 Anyway with all that said I digress. It got me thinking about 2016 and all that I can say is, "mehh" Not a bad year, not a good year ether. Just, "mehh", and I think that is the general consensus of us Detroiters. Everybody else, elsewhere seems to believe 2016 was the most horrendous year ever. Filled with political upsets, mass celebrity die-offs and a lack of pop culture latest crazes - this year was by far a year to sweep under the living room rug. So how come 2016 in Detroit was a non-eventful city ?  I mean surly a major city bankruptcy was far entertaining enough. City's like New York, Boston and Chicago tisk - tisking their sophisticated fingers at us, as they brazenly say under their own breath, "Told you so."  So why were we absent of news making activity. Is it because we took a restroom brake from the oh so important staff meeting or maybe we ran out of ideas for culturally shifting humanity  through music phenomena's like techno and Motown? Maybe not ? Detroit has always contributed to the human race with new music and being the poster child of how not to run a city. Yes we had our share of city bankruptcies and money grabbing mayors but I think the city is taking a seat this year and just observing the changing landscape that has unfolded before us. Free entertainment I think is the proper term.

 Growing mature in life, wise and more cautious is what I think the city is going through. Detroit started off the twenty-teens with rotten mayors, the decline of techno and of course the city bankruptcy. During this period we were like a twenty-something finally out in the real world - arrogant, stupid and spending money on things that only creates problems. The city survived drama and financial loss. Now that we are past that phase in life, we are now into our thirty-something's.  A little bit more reserved spending money, wiser and less likely to move back in with the parents. Taking a stand back to take inventory of the situation all of us are in - in 2016 is hard to do when you've gone so deep into debt and ruin. There's still positive feeling all around the city from people that want change for the better.  Safer neighborhoods, more reliable mass transportation, better financed public school systems and better maintenance of the city's infrastructure (water system, bridges, and roads) A big anticipation from the people is rising throughout of a better city. We know it's coming - we can feel it! Has Detroit finally leaped across the great abyss toward a magnificent metropolis once again? Coming full circle ? Only time will tell.

   Speaking of full circles, my record and drink are about done. And as the time ticks down to midnight, as another (mehh!) year comes to a close,  I leave you with an image of one of Detroit's most mysterious character (taken at a undisclosed hifi listening room ) . Burying the past in ankle deep snow and presenting the new year with a gift in his hands, Eggie Kishnoshky is just another figment of our imagination that slips through time in a city that's decaying back into sand. Or is it?

 

Secret hifi listening room



   
download "Detroit New Years Eve 2016" here<

                                           Solitudes from Detroit
                                                              Telegraphy

OH, Quit Your Digital Harping !

 

words and photo by: Telegraphy



  Digital audio is dead!! Or at least here at Ionosonde Recordings. Lately we've been bitten by the high fidelity bug, to the extent of throwing out our warn out solid-state stereo amplifiers and replacing them with old "hollow-state" technology. Yes, records do sound better with tube amps and once you've listened to a certain 80's pop record through a pair of vacuum tubes - You will never go back! Not only "Sting" sounds better but some of the greatest  recording ever made sounds like your in the opera house. Believe it or not my fine fidelity friends, some of the best technically engineered tracks are those from orchestral music recordings.

  Well OK you've heard about all the buzz surrounding "Class A" audio systems and super high fidelity but how do you get started? By that I mean how do you get started without having a $200,000 a year job and have money to throw away? As you all know boutique amplifier's are expensive. Turn table's (I mean good ones) are expensive. Speakers......you know what I mean (good ones) are expensive.  Yes the luxury of fine audio is hard to obtain. Or is it?

                                         **First Steps For True Audio Is Long and Hard**

 My journey for fine fidelity began with an old guitar tube amplifier from the 1940's that I picked up on the internet from a local individual who works for a vintage audio equipment company. This guitar amp was in bad shape. Rust spots on the chassis, paint baked-on and discolored from years of extensive use. It didn't even have tubes in it. WAIT STOP !!!!  Now let me go off on a rant here. Most of you know I  had worked with a lot of vintage tube gear in the past (mostly radios). It is very rare that I purchase an old tube radio without tubes. But when it comes to audio gear, I've seen time and time again a seller who eagerly rips out all of the tubes and sells them separately. Now why is that? It's like selling an I-phone without the headphone jack.........Oh, yeah they did do that didn't they? 

Masco amp from hell and back.
Anyways back to the guitar amp. This amp was a mess. Besides being non-operational due to old components, I had to find myself new tubes for it. Not to brag, but I have boxes full of old tubes. After spending hours sifting through box after box looking for 6L6's 6SL7's 7C7's tubes, I finally pieced together a full set of tubes for this vintage guitar amp from the Roosevelt administration. I slapped it on the repair bench and commenced to rip out a few old capacitors and replacing them with modern ones. After replacing suspicious components, I next prepared it for the first power-up. Nervously plugging in all of the tubes into their sockets with hands shaking from thoughts of blown components, power transformers and tubes , I vigorously  felt around for the power cord only to dumbfounded...."That guy cut out the A.C. line cord to"........."What an A$$hole !" I screamed out loud. Installing a new line cord, I got the fantastic idea they had never thought of back then. "How about not only installing an A.C. line cord but put'en in a fuse holder as well?" You see, the only reason why I thought about a fuse is the A$$HOLE RIPPED THAT OUT AS WELL! *Gees*

                                                 **Give This Amp A Day Of Beauty**

 
At first glance, the black paint faded from years of heat those 6L6's generated, was baked on the top cover. Wait a minute!? Black paint doesn't fade - Does it? After researching online, I've concluded that the Masco MA-17 only came in one color and that was a bright light grey. "Could of fooled me".  Ah, if only this harp amp could speak of the musicians and gigs it's been with. It most likely would reminisce by stating, " Aaahhh! Turn it down, it hurts! Chough, chough, cough, Please put that out! ". Poking my head under the top cover revealed a heavy stench of cigarettes. Years of tobacco smoke which caked this amp with a defining color of "mung yellow", if that is a color. So, like all 7 year olds entering their homes after a long football game on a hot summers day - To the bath you go!

 Yes, as weird as that sounds in your logical thinking noggin, you can give a electronic device a bath. Now I'm not talking about full on submersion in water. No, no, my pertinacious prudent partner, just a light wash with a lather of good soap and let dry is all you need. I've found, through the years of working on old radio's, that Fels Naptha laundry soap works the best to brake up any smoke tar and crud. 

 LeeAnn. What's wrong dear, you look down?

Oh, oh Martha I have guest coming over tonight and all of my vintage tube amps and cabs look dreadful. They all have smoke scum and beer stains all over them  from last nights jam session my husband had with his friends. I wish there was a way to make them look  as sparkly and bright as yours. What should I ever do?

 There, there dear. Maybe you should try what I use. It cleans up all of those nasty beer stains and dirt marks. Plus, it completely brakes up all kinds of dirt in those hard to reach areas where germs live. And you know what the best part is, it washes away smoke scum for good. No soaking overnight or harsh chemicals. You'll never guess what it is?

 Well don't put me on hold Martha! Tell me!

 It's
Fels Naptha laundry soap; Silly!    

 Fels Naptha? Why that's the soap mother used to use.

Strange, isn't it that a bar of soap your mothers used can now clean electronics. So ladies, the next time your husband comes home from tour with dirty triode amplifier vacuum tubes, reach for 
Fels Naptha. laundry soap. Ask your grocer today! 



After removing all of the accessory items, control knob plates, manufacture tag and decorative insignia, it was time to wash-up. A good thorough cleaning later, the real clean-up begins. The decision was made to repaint the whole amp after discovering the original paint was to far damaged to be saved. Now I could of used the same color as it's original paint but I wanted this amp to have a bit of a modern flair. Taking advantage of eye catching "art deco" control knob back plates, I really wanted the small details to pop out at the user. So I chose black to be painted on. A wrinkle paint to keep up with the vintage feel.

  Repainting any vintage tube equipment requires a lot of preparation. Not only do you have to mask off any areas you don't want painted but in most cases you have to remove all sockets and plugs. Basically anything attached to the main chassis such as: transformers, switches, control pots etc... This is by far the most time consuming and frustrating work to be done. Other parts such as terminal strips and manufacture tag were riveted on, so removing them is a task in itself. The popped rivet variety are relativity easy to brake lose, just a matter of punching the broken stub though and then squeezing the smaller end usually frees it. But these are brass standard rivets. I could drill them out or use a chisel to get under the flattened end and then cut it off with a pair of heavy duty wire cutters. Saving ware and tear on drill bits, I chose the latter. Now everything is removed and masked for painting. Have an adult beverage. You deserve it !

  Some specialty paint stores carry spray cans of wrinkle paint. You can't just go to your local Home Depot and expect them to have this stuff folks, that's doing it the easy way (wink, wink). Before you pop that spray can cover off and press down on the nozzle pointing back at you (come on, how many time have you actually done that? He, he.) Make sure the surface is clean and dust free. I found that compressed air makes this job quick and simple. Now a word of warning: This paint is highly attracted to casual clothes, white dress shirts and spit polished church shoes. It also has an irreversible side effect of upsetting your mom or wife ( the poor people that have to wash your clothes). So ware something that you'll won't mind getting wrinkle paint on.  To apply this paint, it requires several coats. Spray the first layer in horizontal sweeps, let dry for five minutes. The second coat is sprayed in vertical sweeps and let dry for five minutes. The third, diagonally....etc. I did five coats. Let dry at room temperature for 24 hrs.  This stuff dries slower then you average spray paint. "I don't see wrinkles. All I see is flat dripping paint. Is this normal?" Whoa, relax and have another adult beverage. This is normal. Wrinkles won't start forming until after about a few hours.




                                                          **Let's Accessorize** 

    Ahh, wrinkles. Nothing says "vintage" more then a non-fading, non-staining wrinkles on someone's forehead but then again it would look better having it on a freshly painted tube amplifier. Back on the work bench, two hours were spent popping in new rivets, this was a choir in-deed. Yes, just like going to the hair parlor, a woman needs new ear rings to complete her look. This harp amp's day of beauty received a shinning pair of brass rivets.  Installing these rivets via the preferred method wasn't going to be easy, as of the confined spaces and without an appropriate die for setting a rolled over end. So my next option was to force it in with a clamp. Having a welders clamp on hand made riveting in these confined spaces better then the hammer and die method. (Easier said then done) But it worked!

 



Welders clamp.
With every accessory in place with a rivet or two, it was time to think about tubes. Remember that I said the guy I bought this off of didn't leave any tubes. Yeah, what a pompous putridity person he was (OK so guess I was to harsh using words like A$$. So I'll use Tube Tooting Traitor). Anyways,  plugging all tubes into their respective sockets, I powered this harp amp up to do the inaugural "smoke test". For those of you who aren't familiar with the term "smoke test", it's basically the first time you power on a repaired device. If you don't see any whiffs of white smoke emanating from it; you've done a good repair job.........And it passed! I didn't see smoke.
Pressing rivet.

 Now it's time to use this harp amp, but not in the traditional way. I'm not a musician. So playing the harmonica and get'en blues with my brother was out of the question.  There had to be another way of using this amp. Enter transcription disc player.......


"Easier said then done"
  Yes, getting into class A audio as cheaply as possible requires thinking outside of the box. What better turntable then with broadcast quality equipment. Radio stations had to have the best gear to put out great audio. That won't happen using a RadioShack record player from the 80's.  No, audio from big corporate giants of the airwaves throwing out big signals and 30 second big money slinging promotions had to have great quality sound to get your attention. That's why I chose broadcast level equipment. When everybody out on the market is spending money on Thorns turntables, I on the other hand sneak under the radar grabbing those reliable players, such as transcription disk players.



 The Rek-O-Kut transcription disk turntable was used by many stations during the 50's and 60's. I found this beauty on Craigslist for a fraction of what it would cost if I got it from Fea-bay *shish* Plus it was located near by, so shipping this mammoth was all on my driving skills of an old beat up VW van. Nice!

Transcription player from WJLB
 For those of you who don't know what a transcription disk player is. Basically it's an over grown industrial strength turntable that plays a slightly larger disk. 16 inch's to be exact. Why so big? (said no girl ever) To fit a whole half hour radio program on one side of a disk without interruption required a large disk. You see, all those old time radio programs were sent out to the radio stations via transcription disks. This was before the internet and ISDN phone lines mind you! The Rek-O-Kut LP-743 turntable is a straight forward design, implementing solid heavy cast iron platter with a ball bearing shaft. The motor drive is the simplest mechanized pinched wheel design in the industry during that time period. It features three different play speeds (33 1/3, 45, and 78 rpm) all controlled by a swivel connecting motor arm. All of this, mounted in a beautifully finish wood cabinet that sits on top of a metal stand. The tone arm is a GE 16" transcription arm with a GE variable reluctance mono cartridge.

      Plug that harp amp in and powered up the turntable. Slapped on a 45............Yeah,  sounds like nothing else. As the adage goes - "they don't make them like they used to" or maybe it should read like - "they don't sound like they used to".






Iono-21 Greening Of Man




iono-21
Greening Of Man






track listing:

01: Saturday Outing In Spring......................................6:19 min

02: Birch Tap................................................................8:38 min

03: Discussing Life With Green Man..........................7:40 min

04: Detroit Terminal.....................................................6:35 min


 Through out time man has created and distorted himself and his surroundings. Just like the changing of the seasons with it's inherent death and rebirth cycles, we are only to connected to this through observation and practice. Like a story being played out in front of us, we face it's harsh realities all the time. The one who is at the center of this epic story is the one we call "The Green Man". The king of rebirth and death is symbolized by a leafy skinned man. Having cast away into a deep slumber in autumn - only to rise again in spring. Green Man is waking up his kingdom with dubly sounds.

  Telegraphy shares with us his deep connection with the natural world with awakening beats and atmospheric vibes. Just in time for spring.

download album


Marche Du Nain Rouge 2016


 


words, photo and sounds by:Telegraphy

  The crocuses start to rear their wonderful heads up from the ground, the robins coming back from a long winter hiatus, all of which signals the start of spring. These suttle hints of the changing weather is in no comparison to the events that occur on the third Sunday of March. A march as you will in the month of March. Coincidence? Hum....maybe, but in this case the Marche Du Nain Rouge is Detroit's way of signaling the start of the warmer weather seasons by vanquishing all bad things the devil as kept during the cold winter months. Marching down the Cass Corridor, Detroit's citizens chase the devil and all of his negative thought's out of the city by dressing up in strange and confusing costumes.

 The many years I have attended this charade of confused costumed colleagues bent on only doing good for a city buried in negative stereo-types, I have never seen so many people dressed to impress. What I'm saying is, Detroit put it's freak on when it came to outer wear. Not only were the costumes out there but the people as well. I heard of cabin fever, but I never knew it effected Detroiters on this level. The freaks were definitely out on this day.


  Blessed with glorious spring sunshine, this Sunday in Spring was a repeat of last years weather conditions. Nice and warm in the sunshine but cold and formidable in the shade, like it was reminding use that on a moments notice the Michigan climate could change for the worst during this time of year. But this wouldn't happen here on this parade, not when the weirdo's are strutted their stuff. I arrived in the Cass Corridor, Detroit's premier college community of hipsters turned punk. The DIY movement was quite apparent in the part of town. Off the bat, while walking down the main drag I came across an old run down Victorian house with a curious looking small vehicle that looked like a toy sized "Mystery Machine" with equally sized trailer fitted with industrial grade propane tanks mounted on. The show it put on for a passing photographer was the reason why it had built in tanks. 50 foot high flames blow out of a tall pipe protruding from this flambeaus micro bus
.

 Strolling down the street making my way to the crowd, I past numerous twenty-somethings dressed up in alternating red and black costumes. A cross between steam-punk and just play'en punk, most of which are hand made apparel that shouted "I am here to party and to through out the Nain Rouge from Detroit".  But every once in a while you come across someone that make such a statement outside the boundaries of accepted interpretations, that you can't help but only take photo's of, knowing full well that you many never see a sight like this for the rest of your life
.



 Dancing on the edge of the sidewalk where it meets the street was a gentlemen dresses as a angel. White gown, halo, wings and all.  Dancing to the sounds of modern funk blasting from a radio stuffed inside a tipped over trash can with garbage pouring out all
over the ground, this heavenly soul made a show for passer-byers. Slowly swinging his arms from side to side, all the while not having care in the world about making such a scene with parade goers. Not to mention the trash he was trampling over while wearing a spotless pure white gown
.

 Finally making it to the crowd, I pulled my trusty Canon 35 mm SLR out from the depths of my wool over coat. Hastily loading a fresh roll of black and white film into my camera, hoping not to miss a great photo op (kind of difficult to do around here) I begin noticing the variety of characters flaunting their colors of red and black in one's own individualistic way. From old Victorian "Steam-punk" to post modern fairy tail cartoon, it was all here. The customs sent the innocent by-standard on a visual acid trip. Was it the mild sunny day in spring that triggered this hypnotic reality? Or was it the alternating colors of red and black that confused the mind? In any case, I was mesmerized by the shear complexity of humanity out on display


.

 Walking through the crowd, grabbing numerous photo's of strange and weird people. "Yes, I do believe the abbreviated theme of this years marche is - weird", I thought to myself as I was looking through the viewfinder at a clown juggling bowling pins. Weird might not be a tenacious enough statement. Maybe elderly man turned yellow "Sunflower king"  weird might be more appropriate. But then again the people around here love the basking attention they receive from their handcrafted outer ware.



 The D.I.Y. concept is one of the staples of this marche. Homemade four wheeled bikes, flame throwing mini cars, and horror/syfy film insect vehicle. You won't find any prefabricated cookie cutter parade floats here. Only handcrafted in some ones basement or garage. Have a steel drum band - no problem, just build a trailer to fit - ten of them. Two person tandem bike to crowded for four of your friends - add two more wheels for a foot power car
.
   
download "Marche Du Nain Rouge 2016" here



 So what can I say! This years Marche Du Nain Rouge was a trip

.


                               
           

A Guide to Piezo Pick-ups (What you don't want to know)



words and photos by: Telegraphy


  One of the greatest inventions in modern times for the sound experimenter is the advent of the Piezoelectric Sensor or Piezo pick-up for short. These little disks of sonic discovery opened up a door to a whole new potential of recording sounds from solid and liquid objects. In the old'en days, if grandpa audio engineer wanted to record with in a violin or under and ocean, he was limited in the placement of and the types of microphones to be used. Non of them really came close to capturing the brilliance in sound as an internally instrument mounted microphone. Having a microphone directly placed on a sound surface  will produce a more brighter sound, Piezo pick-ups are perfect for the job.

 So what are these mysterious microphones and how do they work? In 1880 Pierre and Jacques Curie discovered that by applying mechanical stress on such materials as tourmaline, quartz, topaz, cane sugar and Rochelle salt, they were able to measure a surface charge or voltage on these elements. This is what has become known as the "Piezo Effect". Any crystalline element will in some magnitude, give off an electric charge when stressed. Weather it be physically stressing it, thermally (changing it's temperature) or electrically.

 A Piece of quartz (through scientific experimentation) was found to have the most surface charge then any other element. It's sensitivity to mechanical, thermal and electric stresses made it an excellent candidate for electronically detecting pressure changes in the environment.

 The first real scientific application of the  Piezo Effect was made during world war I, when in 1917  P. Langevin and French co-workers devised an ultra-sonic under water submarine detector. A mosaic of thin quartz crystals was sandwiched between two metal plates. The worlds first "Pick-up" as it can be regarded, had a resonant frequency of 50Kc (that's 50 kHz for all of you kids out there).

                                                                The basic's

 Enough of my history lesson. As someone important so gracefully said, "The only thing we've learned from history is that we never learn from history". Lets investigate closer of how a Piezo Pick-up works. Your typical Piezo element uses a thin wafer of barium titanate and lead zirconate . Now, I'm not a chemist but when it comes to big long names like this,  I go for the short and sweet definition - Piezoceramic. Ahh, that's better. A piezoceramic wafer is sandwiched between a brass base plate and a silver top electrode. The base plate is the mating surface in which the sound energy is passed from the source to the piezoceramic material. The top electrode's job is to electrically connect the piezoceramic to the + hook-up wire. The other - wire is connected to the brass base plate.  Sound pressure hits and vibrates the brass base plate. This sound vibration is transferred to the piezoceramic wafer, where it mechanically stresses it and produces a surface charge proportional to the amplitude of sound pressure. Simply said, sound enters through the brass base plate as a mechanical force and ultimately exits out the silver electrode as electrical energy.

 Now lets get physical! Investigating deeper into the mechanics of these playful Piezo Pick-ups, we find out that the sound energy impresses a longitudinal force upon the piezoceramic wafer. This means the whole disk bends laterally with the sound energy, squeezing and expanding the disk long it's axis. It's better understood view then described in words.

from Wikipedia
 A positive mechanical force will induce a positive electrical charge only on one side of the piezoceramic wafer, as too a negative mechanical force will induce a negative electrical charge only on the other side. This is why Piezo Pick-ups have specific polarities. The alignment of the crystalline atoms all have "Electric Dipole Movements" facing in one direction(much like the poles on a magnet). This direction is based on what material the piezoceramic wafer is made out of.

                                                          Mine's bigger!
             
 Size matters guys! Yes the size of your package makes a difference in performance. Because when it COMES to satisfying your --------EARS? Well what did you think I was talking about? Hee hee. Yes the size of the Piezo Pick-up has a lot to do of how well it responds to different frequencies. The Pick-up's basic constructed is similar to a capacitor. You have two metallic plates sandwiching a ceramic insulator, just like in a capacitor. If you took a capacitor and measured it's "resonate frequency" you will find out that they respond quite well to high frequencies.  This is why most smaller Piezo Pick-up's sound tiny. Not because there cheap or manufacture poorly. They are just responding well to high frequencies. The stiffness of your package (Oh, here I go again). also determines it's natural frequency. As sound pressure pushes against the ceramic wafer, an opposing electrical and mechanical force from within counter acts the lower frequencies but higher ones resonate it with ease. The more the area, the greater the mechanical elasticity, the better it responds to low frequencies. This is a general rule of thumb to abide by when designing your own pick-up system. So to find a nice sounding Pick-up, try using the biggest one as possible. See, size does matter.
                                                     Resistance is futile

 So, now that brings us to the last lesson of the inner workings of these perplexing Piezo Pick-ups. One of the most asked questions of the human race, besides what is the meaning of life, what are the impedance of these devices ? Eeehhhaaaa.......the truth is going to hurt most folks. The nominal impedance of a Piezo Pick-up is high......very high. We are talk'en up to one million Ohms of resistance. Impedance is the measurement of the electrical opposition to audio frequencies. The more opposition - The more impedance. So it is crucial for the output of a pick-up to be properly matched with a different impedance on the input of an amplifier. You want the electrical energy from the Piezo pick-up to flow evenly to the amplifier. The most common and easiest method to match the high impedance of the pick-up to a low impedance input of a amplifier, is to employ a "low pass filter" circuit in between the pick-up and the amplifier. Failure to match properly will result in poor sound quality that will sound tiny. This is one good reason to use a tube amplifier, not just because it sounds better but because of their characteristic high input impedance is perfect for amplifying Piezo pick-ups.

                                                       and now........A cheap pick-up line. 
  In my opinion, you should always use balanced cable to hook up Piezo pick-ups to any other piece of gear. Why? Balanced cable characteristically has lower capacitance per foot then unbalanced shielded coax. Piezo pick-ups are essentially a capacitor with a high resonant frequency. Adding coax with a high characteristic capacitance per foot will only increase our Piezo Pick-up's capacitance and therefor rise the resonant frequency (what we don't want to happen). Plus you gain the benefit of having a balanced system that isn't susceptible to ground loops, radio and electrical interference.

                                                          .....and finally

  So what do you do with a pick-up ? Here are some suggestions of various uses for these profiting Piezo pick-up's:

 1. As a guitar microphone. Experiment positioning them on the body of your acoustic. Closer to the bridge gets you more volume. Away from the bridge achieves a softer warmer sound.

2. The ultimate spy microphone. Jealous of your neighbors? Tape them on the window to hear their complaining about your dog or cat..........or child.

3: Cool body sounds are always a treat for an experimental sound. Stick one in your mouth and sing or burp but don't swallow. After a meal, tape it to your stomach to hear low frequency gulps and rumblings.

4: Can't go without whale sounds from the ocean for your ambient sound track? Well, if your like me and only have a small lake filled with carp, catfish and clams. Through one in with a small sinker attach to it. The water shouldn't harm it - that is if you are recording in the salt water of a ocean. Then I suggest getting some kind of a water proof container, attach the pick-up to the inside wall......the "inside wall" folks, not the outside. Gee's.

5: Attach them to a steal girder of a busy highway overpass and listen to creeks and bumps made by the bridge.

6: A steal radio tower will make whooshing noises on windy days.

7: Record your phone calls pleading to the IRS. Attach them to the receiving end of your phone. Yeah, it's the end closest to your ear.

8:Oh yeah. Use them for your next plate reverb project. http://ionosonderec.blogspot.com/2013/04/diy-plate-reverb.html           

Over The Time Cliff 2015




Eggie teaches us a thing or two.



words and photo by: Telegraphy

  It's back to school with you! As I was driving from work the other day, I stumbled across an abandoned building in Detroit. OH MY. AN ABANDONED BUILDING YOU SAY! IN DETROIT!!! Yes, of course there are a lot of derelict buildings in Detroit. What made this building stick out from the rest was that it was part of the growing phenomena of abandon schools. So I figured what a good place to hopefully catch  a glimpse of Detroit's most mysterious character - Eggie Kishnoshky . Wondering around these empty halls which previously echoed the voices of children on their way to class, I was drawn to one classroom on the third floor. Empty with a few school amenities still left alone from vandals. I set up my camera, awaiting his arrival. After spending more then a few nervous minutes staring at the blackboard, thinking about being robbed at gun point or worst, I took a snap shot of the scene, packed up and left in a hurry. Disappointed about the no-show of Mr. Kishnoshky, I went searching for another place to hopefully catch him.

 Driving around the outskirts of downtown Detroit through old manufacturing communities with their rotting factory's and crumbling bridges and roads, only to be sharply contrasted with newly developed condominiums and lofts sitting beside reclaimed walkways and alleys. So, this got me thinking about the state of Detroit and how it's changing landscape has influenced Ionosonde Recordings.

 In the past two or three years, yours truly have noticed a change in the landscape. Old burnt drug houses have finally made way to the wrecking ball. Vandalized businesses that were left to decay, have now been plowed under. New businesses on the other hand, are setting up shop in places that wore over looked for many years. Yep, things are changing. Just recently, travel publications have took notice and reestablished Detroit as a vacation spot worth visiting. REALLY?

  Getting back to our enigmatic figure. My search for him gained more determination as I wondered into factories and warehouses which were being renovated and transformed into stylish lofts and business space for a new generation of young productive adults. One of these warehouses is situated up above of what was once an old railway. Dug below the ground, this "cut" as it is affectionately called, runs under a hand full of major road-ways. This Dequindre Cut was featured in Ionosonde Recordings popular video Somewhere In Detroit. Sampling imagery of this old railway before, one can see the dramatic change in scenery.
The Dequindre Cut as seen in
"Somewhere In Detroit"

 So the question that arises; "Is Detroit rebounding?" I think the answer to that is written on the chalk board. Our mystifying man of Motown can only give the world subtle hints to what is beyond the horizon for Detroit. But from what I can gather, the younger generation is taking notice of the blank canvas of opportunity which is Detroit. Hum? Starting over, that may be the direction Ionosonde Recordings should be going in. Discovering new sounds - going in a different direction - starting fresh. "Out with the old, in with the new" I think it say's on the chalk board? Ether that or "Eastman was here" I think my vision is going.

 Change is good for both of us and Detroit. After developing the film I used, I was surprised to see Eggie Kishnoshky in front of the blackboard - teaching as you will. Teaching what? Change? Letting go? What ever subject this course is about; we're all paying close attention to our professor because the future depends upon us.

 Writing this last blog entry minutes from twelve midnight, when the calendar year ends and the grandiose machine gun fire starts here in Detroit. I rise my glass of cheap, spiked eggnog with whiskey to a new beginning. Not just for Ionosonde Recordings, but for Detroit and you and as always, I leave you with an image of one of Detroit's most mysterious characters (taken at a warehouse being renovated) . Burying the past in ankle deep snow and presenting the new year with a gift in his hands, Eggie Kishnoshky is just another figment of our imagination that slips through time in a city that's decaying back into sand. Or is it?

   
download "Detroit New Years Eve 2015" here
                    


                                                Solitudes from Detroit
                            
                                                     Telegraphy

Dedicated to the loving memory of my aunt Virginia who passed away Dec 31, 2015 at 3:05 pm
                         (a graceful snow shower
outside my back door signaled her departure)