Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pre-order (and preview) The Cure for Chaos Theory

We’ve got some exciting news to announce today, and it’s been a long time coming.

The Cure for Chaos Theory Album CoverStarting today, right now, you can pre-order The Cure for Chaos Theory from our music shop! You can pre-order the digital album, a signed copy of the physical CD, a limited edition t-shirt, a limited edition poster, or a combination pack of all of the above. The proceeds of all pre-orders will go toward the final production costs of the album, including final mixing, mastering, and disc printing. By buying now ahead of time, you can really help us out in getting things finished.

But that’s not all! Even though the final release of the album has been pushed back a bit into 2014, you can stream the rough mixes of all the finished tracks right from our music site. Note that these aren’t the final mixes, and they’re still unmastered. This means that the tracks won’t sound as clear or as strong as the final mixes, and that the music will overall be a little quiet. But the content of the songs is all there, and I’d rather you get to hear what’s coming now than have to wait until it’s finalized.

And as an added bonus, all pre-orders come with an immediate download of the rough-mix tracks! That’s right, to say thanks for pre-ordering the album, you get a copy of the music in this rare rough-mix form. When the album is finally released, these rough mix tracks will disappear from the interwebs completely, and you alone will be holding a rare digital artifact.

So go on, listen to the new tracks and pre-order the final album today!

Fire Sale! Get “halt” on CD while you still can

Edit: And they’re gone! Just one copy left in the warehouse. Good luck to whoever wants to grab it!

halt3I just got a notice from CD Baby, who handles most of the CD distribution for Psycliq, and they’ve apparently got too much stock of the album halt on hand. The thing is, CD Baby has the last stack of physical copies of this album.

At this point, there are about two months before before they will automatically dispose of any overstocked copies. What this means is that if you want a copy of halt, now is the time to get one because you might not ever get a chance.

To help out, I’ve dropped the price to $5, and you can pick it up at CD Baby right now.

Tell your friends!

Chaos Theory: Album Progress

I’m glad to report that The Cure For Chaos Theory is progressing well, even though such progress never as quickly or as smoothly as I’d like it to. Personal life and other projects always seem to conspire to take me out of the studio. Even so, as of tonight there are eleven songs that are complete (apart from the final mixing and mastering), with another nine in various states of progress from early scratch track to full demo recording.

There’s still a long way to go, I admit, but we’re still hoping to have things out by the end of 2013, so don’t cross Psycliq off of your Christmas list quite yet. And in the mean time, there are some other cool things happening that you’ll like. Probably. Keep listening.

Another New MicroMoorg

Apparently, we’re inspiring people to saw their own keyboards in half. There’s a new MicroMoorg in town, inspired by our own folding microKorg modification, which was of course inspired by Khoral’s original upright panel mod. Well done, Juan Manuel Gómez, it looks great!

Light The Tree Is Back

Update: Back in the vault for another year. See you next Christmas!

It’s that time of year again, and Light The Tree For Some Holiday Cheer has been dragged out of the vault for your listening and free downloading pleasure. I’m sad to say that there won’t be a new Christmas track added this year, since the rest of life seems to have gotten in the way. But you can at least enjoy some offbeat Christmas music during the holiday season.

As always, it will stay up through the Christmas season, and then it’s back into the vaults again until next year. Listen and download today, free!

The Mathemagician’s Remix

Five years ago, I released the very first Psycliq album on an unsuspecting public: The Mathemagician’s Riddle. While I had put together a few songs in the past, this five-song EP was the first time I had seriously sat down with a multi-track recording setup and tried to put together a collection. Even today, I can hear the learning experience I went through in these songs. But now, five years after its first release, I want you to chop it to pieces.

Some time ago, I went through the effort of bouncing out individual tracks for all songs that had been previously recorded. This was a tricky endeavor, especially for the tracks from Mathemagician, since a lot of the software that I had used to create the album no longer worked quite right. I had upgraded my computer, reinstalled my OS, upgraded software versions, and all manner of things that fought against the stasis these plugins so deeply desired. But with enough fiddling, I managed to get everything into a state where I could bounce out the audio to each track and call it a day. Needless to say, I do this immediately with any newly-recorded material now.

Therefore, I’ve decided to make the remix stems for all five songs on the Mathemagician EP available for free download to anyone who wants to use them. These stems are licensed under Creative Commons CC-BY, so go to town. I have only one condition: I want to hear your remixes! I want to know what the internet can do with a set of silly little songs that I wrote so long ago.

You can download them from Dropbox at the following links:

Happy remixing!

The MicroMoorg is Complete

After months of work in my off hours and spare time, and learning a pile of new skills I never had before, I am very happy to say that the MicroMoorg project is finally done! The results are right here, and I’m very happy with how it came out. Check it out!

The new casing is made completely of red oak, a nice dense hardwood, with a thin but sturdy piano hinge to hold the pieces together. It folds through three positions from a very MS20ish almost-straight up and down, a more Moogy reclined angle, and all the way back to the original flat MicroKorg shape. This last bit was very important to me since I wanted to make sure I could still carry it around in the same gig bag that I had for years.

Thanks to this project, I know more about woodworking an soldering than I ever have before. Take if you will all that wood along the outside edges of the top and bottom pieces– it isn’t just decoration, it’s structural. Once you cut the little Korg in half, you end up without much in the middle that you can attach something like a hinge to.  I had the epiphany one day of building these rectangular U-shaped pieces and attaching them to the sides of the old plastic housing. This would give me a nice solid structure that I could run a full-size piano hinge along, but it came with its own complications. For instance, how are you supposed to even build something like that?

According to the Internet, real woodworking types use finger joints to make corners for thin pieces of wood like this. Having absolutely no idea how to do this, I watched a few videos on YouTube and went on my way. After a couple false starts, I eventually picked up the right set of woodworking tools (some new bits for the router and some bigger clamps, for instance) and finally made it work right. Once I had these pieces finished up, I was a lot more confident that I might be able to pull off the rest of the project after all. You’ll note that the side pieces are cut at a gently sloping angle, to match the MicroKorg’s original shape when flat. While this did make things a bit trickier to measure, cut, and fit, the aesthetic results were well worth it.

But another issue with the new design was the wiring. Back when I’d first decided to take this project on, I was planning to simply have an open space between the two halves for the wires to go through. With a big hunk of wood in the way on each side, this was obviously not going to work anymore. But since I was working in hardwood, I was able to drill some slots in each side without compromising the structure. But then with all this extra wood in the way and the wires now having to snake around a bit, I would need to extend all of the signal and ground wires. I toyed with the idea of trying to find new, matching wires, or putting longer wires into the existing headers, but eventually settled on cutting each of the signal wires in half and soldering in about five extra inches of 26 guage wire on each one. This would give me more than enough space to make it through the full rotation. In fact, I measured the extensions such that the soldered joints would always remain safely inside of the housing on either side, no matter what position it’s in. Finally, I wrapped each piece and all of the openings in a thin coating of teflon to make sure everything would slide along nicely without wearing through the wires or getting anything bunched up.

Finally, I had to figure out the base and kickstand. The base is a solid hunk of red oak, and it accounts for a large portion of the weight. As a matter of fact, the whole thing weighs 9.9 pounds now, roughly twice what the starting weight of the MicroKorg alone was. I did build the whole thing in such a way that I can completely detach and replace the base at a future date, should I be feeling frisky enough to make a new, lighter, better one. The side rails on the base are simply nailed on in place, too. I could’ve done the same finger joints that I’d used to make the upper hinged casings, but those are hard to do, and I didn’t have to here.

The kickstand was tricky. I wanted something that would let me pick from a couple discrete positions, but it still needed to fold completely flat. First I tried to find pictures of how Moog does it, but nobody wants to take a picture of their MiniMoog from the back while it’s open. I drafted out a couple ideas, but in the end went with a very simple single-hinged kickstand with a grooved slot in the bottom. The top bit of the hinge is reinforced by an unseen piece of oak on the other side of the plastic, which also helps stiffen the back panel a bit, since it’s only screwed in on one side now. I will eventually put in a bit more reinforcement to this piece, but for now this works, and works quite well. You may notice a bit of extra space in the back of the well that holds the kickstand when the whole thing is closed up. This little extra gap is very important, as physics cruelly dictates that a rectangle’s diagonal is longer than its sides. So, when it’s opening up, that space gives the little foot someplace to go before it comes back to normal.

A hand-rubbed finish went on all of it, with some cursing at the dusty surfaces in my shed. I added a bit of trim to set off the rough edges of cut plastic, some simple rubber feet for tabletop use, and there you have it: The MicroMoorg. Apart from one of the arpeggiator buttons being a touch wonky (but still functional), everything works great. All the controls, all the keys, the wheels and knobs, everything. I even managed to get all of the screws back in without any leftovers! I just set it up into its old home above my Korg x50 (I really am a Korg fanboy, that’s a nanoKontrol2 in the background and I have an old X3 out of the shot here), and this two tiered setup is fantastic to play. I set out on this whole project figuring I’d like it, but I am in love. Having the edit matrix and the real-time knobs right in front of you is wonderful. And, if you ask me, it just looks amazing up there!

Now that I have this project finally wrapped up, I should probably get back to making music, shouldn’t I? As happy as I am with how this project came out, I’m not sure you could pay me to do it again. Well, maybe if you payed me a lot. And you were really nice about asking. But really, back to new music: If you sign up for the newsletter, I’ve got some interesting things to tell you on that front in the near future, too.