Raspberry Pi in a PlayStation Case

So this is a little toy that I have made, it’s a Raspberry Pi in a Playstation One box, the video explains it all. This project was inspired by Johnathon Denmarks project over at Petrock. If you want to do this yourself and have PS controllers you will also need to get the game_con_gpio working for Retro Pi. It was fun, and it also gave me an excuse to finally buy a new Dremal tool…. Enjoy the video…

K4r Firmware Update

So I own a Kawai K4r. I bought it off a guy on the internet from the US back in the early 90’s, this was way before anything like ebay or Gumtree existed and the transaction relied on me having complete faith in the seller and sending him a money order and hoping that he fulfilled his end of the deal and actually sent the thing to me! Well luckily he did and I now have a great synth. But, there has always been problems with it, mainly when using the filter in fast sweeps the sound would get choppy and clicky, I had read that this is due to a software problem but had been unable to find the necessary firmware to do the upgrade. So after some desperation I emailed Kawai in the US;

I am after a firmware upgrade for my Kawai k4 serial number 297547.
I would like OS version 1.4, P207C.  I can do the upgrade myself. Can
you supply the ROM file or advise where I can download it from ?

… and low-and-behold I got a reply. Juan Escobar from Kawai sent me the firmware directly, you legend!  So without further delay I programmed it up.


I already own a decent eprom program so it was just a matter of finding which eproms to use, and since I didn’t really want to mess with classic eproms because they are painfully slow I went on the hunt for a pin compatible replacement for the 27c256 that is used in the K4r. I found that the 27SF512 is a perfect EEPROM replacement, I also changed the battery while had it opened. The rom upgrade has brought this thing to life! it’s like I have a new synth, now I can filter sweep as much as I like and there are no noises! If you need to ROM image just send me a message….

EDIT: I’ve had so many requests for the firwmare that I will now put a link right here:  P207C_K4r  If anyone has any problems with me distributing this LET ME KNOW IMMEDIATELY!!

Rode Videomic Pro

So I’ve splashed out and bought myself a Rode Videomic Pro. In what has turned out to be a vain attempt to fix the audio quality of recording made with my SLR. Don’t get me wrong, using this mic is better than using the built in mic, but generally speaking ‘top’ mics on cameras are never very good. I recently used it in a video production more-or-less as a guide recording, the sound that I ended up using came from my Zoom which was one hundered times better! But it was handy to have the sound from the top mic to help sync everything up. But what was real niffty and helped integrate things was installing Magic Lantern onto mt 550D, this gives a recording level meter tool to show the record level, most excellent and a much needed improvement for the camera.

video mic pro

Lots of new toys!

Where to start! There is heaps of stuff happening in the studio at the moment; installation of UAD Pre-amp, upgrade to a UAD Quad, designing and building a new patch bay, getting some gear repaired, fixing and upgrading some gear myself, oh and a new DJ mixer…. Too much to write up in this one post but I will try write up detailed stories as each thing happens. The first major thing that should happen is the removal of the Yamaha 03d and the installation of a new patch bay which will be connected to my new UAD 4-710d, I’ve decided that having a mixer in the studio these days is almost pointless as everything is connected to the computer and is either mixed in the box or I simply use plugins. This will be an interesting exercise since I have always had a mixer in the studio and never really had the need for a patch bay since everything has been directly connected. Hopefully this configuration will give me much more flexibility and a heap more space on the bench!

Studio Update

The first stage of the studio revamp has begun. I rang my favourite music store today to find out about the UAD 7-10d deal that they mention on their site. The deal is that if you buy a UAD 7-10d pre-amp you get a FREE UAD Quad, yes FREE!!! The Pre-amp alone is worth about $3000 rrp, but Turramurra Music was doing the entire package with the UAD Quad for $2399, I only rang to ‘ask’ about it but of-course how could I resist! I already own a UAD Solo and I have been very happy with it, so my plan was to get this package then sell my old card with the plugins included. There are a few plugins that I bought that I have not really used so I am happy to sell them all off, the plan is then to re-buy the plugins I want from the UAD Store since they are all on sale during December. So at the moment the pre-amp and the UAD Quad are not setup, but I did get myself an Akai MPK49, which is very nice, drool!  I will write up a mini review shortly but for now here is a nice pic of my studio for you to ogle at!

It’s a firesale!

So I’ve listed a bunch of stuff on ebay. The haul includes a Yamaha RY-30, a Roland TR505 and a Roland TR707. I’ve also included a bunch of other small bits and pieces that I have had laying around un-used for many a year. This is all part of a greater plan that I have conceived to refresh some of the gear in my studio. I do this every few years, sell some old stuff, buy some new stuff. The plan even includes selling off of my old Yamaha 03d mixer and replacing all that messy cabling with a UAD 7-10d preamp and a patch bay, which I have already bought… hehehe…. Work still continues and my studio is a mess but I’m sure it will all be worth it once things are finished!


Technics SA-300-XAL

I had been asked by a family member to get them a ‘new’ amp. What’s this amp for I asked ? ‘Well I need it for the pool shed out the back’…. Turns out that the amp they had been using out there had broken down, I was not surprised as it was a cheap, small and plastic Karaoke amp that was probably made for about $2.50 by slave labour and sold at JB-HiFi for some ridiculous mark up. This family member said he went to the shops to look at replacing it and was told it would be $400!! An you know how I feel about shops… So I suggested that he get a vintage amp to replace it, made sense to me as the simplicity and reliability of older hardware can’t be beat, and for this job and older amplifier was perfect. So I went on the ebay hunt and turned up a beauty, it’s a Technics SA-300-XAL, a beautiful analogue vintage amplifier from the early to mid 80’s which includes an AM/FM radio. It has one AUX input which will allow a CD player to connect and if they need to connect an iPOD that can be done using one of the 2 tape playback connections. For a vintage amp this unit has some great features, like two tape inputs, 2.5A speaker protection fuses, snap lock speaker wire holders and one of them weighted radio tuner knobs, which is fun to spin back and forward. All up very happy and I’m sure they will be as well when I go over for Christmas and install it.


Technics SA-300-XAL

Technics SA-300-XAL


So I’ve bought into the juggernaut that is Native Instruments Komplete, but I didn’t go the normal way about it. These days I’m all about doing things cheaply and relatively efficiently, so I bought an older version of Komplete,  Komplete 5. I’d had a search going on ebay for almost 12 months and nothing had really come up, then finally about a week ago I got a hit on a version of Komplete 5 going for $199 so I snapped it up. My plan is to upgrade this at a later date to the most recent Komplete 8, I can do that for about $200, which all up is cheaper than diving straight into Komplete 8 at about $550. The fun part of all this is the installation, it took 12 hours! There are 12 DVD’s in this thing and umpteen number of updates to download. Combine that with the fact that I also got a copy of Komplete Elements and I downloaded and install all the Komplete 8 players at the same time it turned out to be about 100gb of installed stuff! Yeah, it’s amonster, I can now see why Komplete 8 Ultimate comes with it’s own harddrive !