The Living Thing / Notebooks :

Music gear

Digital amps and mics for the prissy yet broke

Usefulness: 🔧
Novelty: 💡
Uncertainty: 🤪 🤪 🤪
Incompleteness: 🚧 🚧 🚧

With special attention paid to building sound systems for small mountain villages in Daerah Sunda.

See also raspberry pi and friends, audio software, sample libraries, mutant sound design.


You know, for playing audio loudly? I would like ready access to a selection of portable sound systems for musical mayhem.

Audio interfaces

Cheap and cheerful


Sound Devices MixPre series are mixers/recorders/class compliant sound cards. Minimalist, apparently nice sounding. Expensive. A cheaper, maximalist alternative is eg a Zoom recording mixer, such as the Zoom Livetrack.

Cheap microphone hacks



FACT profiles LOM field-recording microphony.

Cheap earphones

IEEE has a review of various options including cheap Chinese imports such as DQSM D2 (USD168), the Tennmak Crazy Cello (USD50), and the LKER i8 (USD37),

All provide good, if not perfect, sound at low cost.

Cheap snakes/multicores

Copper is expensive. And multicore mixing snakes Can I turn a CAT5 cable into a multicore? CAT5 is freely available second hand and easily replaceable. Real multicore is expensive, hard to fix and hard to find in, e.g. Indonesia where I have been asked about this a lot.


Cheap DIs that are not terrible

sucks air through teeth

Cheap retail hacks