A bit of what you should know about event power and electrical safety

Ted Pallas contacted us and wanted to create a short primer on power, in response to the terrible fire at Ghost Ship in Oakland, CA. Any fire anywhere is a reminder that knowledge of electricity, how it works and how it impacts safety, is essential to any of us organizing or playing electronic music live. This won’t provide everything you need to know, by a longshot, but it’s a good step toward knowing a bit more, and I hope we continue taking those steps together in future. The rub of electronic music and visual media is that both performance and …


Angry Birds in Christmas Lights, and a Green Message for Lighting

There is a time of year when the short days, hours of travel (this time over some 8000 km in the air), and holiday season make me want to post silly, insubstantial things. This is one of those posts. But, let me make some attempt at profundity: 1. Microcontrollers have put interactive lighting in the hands of even the festive home decorator. It’s true. (the rig here is “two computers and 10 Light-o-rama 16 channel controllers”) 2. Consider, ye who make mobile designs, the profound cultural impact these things have. Once reserved for blockbuster movies, and before that the spoken …


Electronic Music, Unplugged: Battery-Powered Jams and the Decade of Power

Photo (CC-BY) Anton Fomkin. No endorsement intended. (I like Energizer, too.) If the last decades in technology were about speed, this decade promises to be about power. I don’t mean horsepower: I mean power as in electricity. From concerns environmental to practical, power is now a real variable. After years of misreading Moore’s Law to mean that all technology would forever double in speed (that would be absurd, and wasn’t what he meant), even those lusting after gadgets have begun to think about power consumption, too. People want longer battery life and leaner energy bills – and psychologically, there is …