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two buddha machines are better than one

Aural bliss in a see-thru box! The all-new, third-gen Buddha Machine from Beijing duo Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian. Pure, crystal-clear melody. Four extended-play loops. Advanced 12K audio quality and "deja-vu" translucent styling make Chan Fang the freshest Buddha ever! Chan Fang, which translates as "Zen Room," sees the duo swap drones and tones from their first two Buddha releases for unadulterated classical loops.


All tracks were composed and performed on the Qin, a seven-string zither revered as the grand-daddy of Chinese instruments. Deep sonorous tuning and complex harmonic overtones give the Qin a contemplative and soothing voice. Turn on Chan Fang and soundtrack your life. Tweak the pitch to match your mood. Pair it with another Buddha Machine for a pocket orchestra to enlighten your morning commute, long bath, thinking, reading, relaxing, romancing…Chan Fang comes in five plastic-fantastic colours to match even the most fashion-forward lifestyle - retro Red, Blue, Black, Clear and Forest Green. Christiaan and Zhang were pioneers of electronic music in China even before releasing their first-generation Buddha Machine in 2004. Fueled by praise in media as diverse as tech blog BoingBoing, the New York Times and the avant-rock Arthur Magazine, the Buddha Machine series has become one of the most-talked-about ambient music releases of all time.Pronouncation and Meaning:禅 Chan is the Chinese word for Zen Buddhism. 房 Fang(rhymes with song) means house or room.琴 Qin (chin) 7-string table-top fretless zither. Credits: Music and Design - Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian Qin - Wu Na Art - J. Leijonhufvud, Longmo Realisation - Lao Chen, Xiao Su.


禅房四季—— 中文推介













Traditional Chinese chant box

the splendid buddha machine is 14 times cheaper than the Gmini402 and Brian Eno bought 8. we want to hold a concert with as many as possible at Pre-Op, especially as the loops generally go out of phase between different machines when left alone. either that or you can rock the flickswitch frenetically and get some interesting "Maurizio Bianchi plays A Clockwork Orange" needledrop-type effects. sometimes minimising the element of choice is a nice counterbalance to the sprawling morass of sound on the Archos. having said that, Erkki Kurenniemi's savage analogue electronic experiments are being played disproportionately more than anything else at the moment. naturally, i only listen to the radio on my Nokia...

She didn't know what to make of the rising and falling volume... sometimes the little box would go almost completely silent.

Several people have asked lately, "what apps do you use." The answer is: not many. I limit my apps to whatever will fit on two screens, and whenever i add an app, i delete one to keep within those constraints.


The above diagram shows the apps I currently have installed, with Apple's default applications grayed out.


a partial listing of previous apps i've tried includes:1Password

AssassinsCreed 1.1.1

Borange 1.0.1

Citysense 1.01

Daily Mug 1.0.1

EYE vs. EYE 1.0.2

Ego 1.3.3

Enigmo 2.0.1

Evernote 1.3.0

FileMagnet 1.1

Koi Pond 2.3

OmniFocus 4

Radar 1.0

Tumblrette 1.2



A Buddha Machine contains a few samples of music and a speaker. This edition was released in honor of Philip Glass's 80th birthday and contains seven samples made/conducted by him.

It's a neat idea and a nice headspace reset button when one cannot decide what to listen to.

I don't know what I would do without the internet at times like this. It's just me & the cats & I can't do much as I have to rest my knee. But I've been having a happy day knitting tentacles for Angmoo's project and setting up a photo & video of things that are making me happy right now.


This morning I got a parcel in the post from my stepsister in law with the gorgeous warm & soft yak-wool shawl you see here. That and my determination to play with my Buddha Machines led to all of this in a round about sort of way! The amber necklace is something I rescued from my flat, it used to belong to my great grandmother, Amber. The Frieda Kahlo necklace arrived while I was away, in the same shipment as the china cats. It was so irresistable I just had to buy it & I can't wait to wear it. I brought the Bendicks bittermints and the rose sweeties from the UK. And in the corner you can see a few knit tentacles, waiting to be assembled into something fun :-) It's at times like this, when I'm in pain, on my own & housebound that collaborative internet projects (and the internet in general) are so wonderful. Taking part means I can interact with the world while still looking after myself and resting up.

you wear it around your neck. it plays two songs.

My new toy that turned up today, from an ambient noise duo called FM3 - Rather than release an album they made this (I especially love the packaging)..... "The Buddha Machine is a hardware loop player, built kind of like a little AM radio, playing 9 different built-in loops on an endless cycle, with one simple button allowing you to fade between them - something that creates an oddly compulsive effect on the senses."

original shanyuan buddha machine and fm3's version

i was updating my blog and i wanted to post the link to boomkat's interview with the buddha machine makers, and then i realised that they've put my own buddha photo (it was only on flickr). they've added the link to all the photos with "buddha machine" tag, but they've named that link "budda machine group at flicker".

there was no attribution + they're using it not exactly for commercial, but as a promotional tool. (they're a mailorder webstore).

so..i do like boomkat, their newsletter, and i wanted to promote their editorial, but how come they don't care about creative commons?

Here's a partial shot of my home office (photos in this set were taken for my Declutter The Mess Under Your Desk! blog post).


The desk is a Palermo office desk purchased from Cost Plus World Market (I believe they're no longer sold). The Logitech V200 cordless mouse and M$ Natural Ergonomic Keyboard are tucked away on a sliding keyboard shelf - a feature I love about this Palermo desk. BTW, the mouse was purchased for $10 after rebate from and the keyboard was purchased for less than $20 new off of eBay.


All cables and power bricks have been hidden behind and underneath the desk as shown in this photo and this photo.


The monitor is a Samsung 173P mounted on an Ergotron Neo-Flex LCD arm which I purchased on eBay for $20 refurbished.


The shelf is from IKEA, but I can't for the life of me remember the model - I would personally recommend the BILLY shelf system if you're looking. The storage box on top of the shelf is the IKEA KASSETT, and on top of that rests the FM3 Buddha Machine.


BTW, this is the way my office looks on a regular basis - I've tried my best to minimize any clutter and the only thing that is visible is my MacBook Pro (not shown) which connects to the Samsung monitor via DVI.


This is the other IKEA bookshelf in my home office whose model number I can't recall. (you can find more details about my office setup HERE).


The middle shelf houses most of my DVDs. A KASSETT box for paper holds a majority of the office supplies I use on a regular basis. On top of the KASSETT rests an FM3 Buddha Machine which comes in handy whenever I need some background music.


This bookshelf and my EXPEDIT bookshelf made it possible to completely clear off my office desk as seen HERE.

Here's another shot of my red Buddha Machine, this time sitting on top of a red IKEA KASSETT paper storage box. I used an expodisc to account for the 13 Watt CFL that was used for lighting, and this photo is straight from the camera with no post-processing.

Moog Little Phatty Analog Synthesizer and a pair of FM3's Buddha Machines

jammin to his buddha machine

setup for sunmask ambient recording session.

With a big assist from Jim, we got Lava Cable cut and ready to go. So this is the "final" configuration for my pedalboard. Final, at least, until I get something else to put on here. The Buddha Machine in the top right is velcro'ed on for easy access and isn't part of the signal chain (yet, anyway).


Order of operations:

1. Boss SD-1 Super OverDrive

2. Wampler Cranked AC

3. Banzai New Rising Sun

4. Electro-Harmonix Stereo Pulsar

5. Malekko ECHO 600 Dark

6. HardWire DL-8

7. Ernie Ball VP (which, depending on the setting, goes to the amp or to the Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner)


(A Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus sits below the riser to power the whole thing.)

Blurring the line between music box and musical instrument, the Buddha Machine II is an interactive album that lets users customise the listening experience. Drop the pitch and the music ebbs in a low ambient drone. Boost the speed and suddenly its alive with melody. Add a few more machines, set them at different speeds and you have an evolving audio perfume. Plug it into a mixer, add some beats or vocals or guitar... FM3 won't mind. In fact, they encourage people to use the Buddha Machine as inspiration.


Founded in 1999 by Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian, FM3 are considered pioneers of electronic music in China. Inspired by Buddhist prayer boxes found at temples around Asia, the duo released the original Buddha Machine in April 2005, winning acclaim in publications including, the New York Times and avant-rock Arthur Magazine.



Moog Little Phatty and a pair of FM3's Buddha Machines

Badged red edition


GRISTLEISM is part industrial sound machine, part noise instrument.

Featuring a mix of signature Throbbing Gristle experimental noise, industrial drone, and classic melodies and rhythms.

I took this shot while experimenting with my camera and some common household lighting since I have yet to buy a flash.


I used a 22" x 28" poster-sized sheet of white paper for the background and two regular 13 Watt CFL lights for lighting. This photo is straight from the camera with no post-processing; I used a 77mm Expodisc to create a custom white balance before taking the shot.

Gezangendoosje uit China, een hulpmiddel gebruikt in boeddhistische tempels om het gebed te begeleiden.


Loop playback device from China. The chant box is used in Buddhist temples to chant or play prayers.

On the way home from the Buddha Machine Gathering.

This is the video I made today with my Buddha Machines and a selection of my favourite things!

is full of good things at this moment:


- buddah machine

- junko mizuno's dokurosan doll

- fafi promotional flyers for semi-permanent

- necklace from little salon in fitzroy (melbourne)

- black and white maneneko from jess

- ipod love

- crocheted octopus from meredyth

- paper umbrella from thai restaurant from cam's birthday (stuck in octopus' head)

- really yummy australian bush botanics lotion

- not a big enough glass of wine

Bob chills out with two Buddha Machines, one of which is on my iPhone

input 1: auduino, digitech grunge, Moogerfooger ring modulator, Boss volume pedal (not shown), Screaming Demon wah pedal (not shown)


input 2: Drone Lab, Boss Metal Zone


input 3: FM3 Buddha Machine (Chan Fang)


effects loop: E-H Deluxe Memory Man w/ Hazarai, E-H Holy Grail Plus


The Boss tuner is powering the two distortion pedals.


Mono output to amp.

The underside of the Buddha Machine box. Not knowing Chinese, I have no idea as to what it says. Any help?

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