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Lazarus Corporation Text Mixing Desk

Text Mixing Desk v3.0

Outboard FX

Cut-up Generator
6 words
Echo Chamber
3 words

Some notes about the Text Mixing Desk

The Text Mixing Desk is, and always will be, free-to-use. I am just a Poor Starving Artist™, but I do have an online shop you could browse through, and perhaps treat yourself to something?

I wrote the original Lazarus Corporation Text Mixing Desk back in 2004 - a first attempt to see what I could do with text manipulation in PHP. It wasn’t very good code, but it worked (sort of) and a lot of people liked it.

Ten years later I finally got round to recoding it. It was still not brilliant code, but it was a little better, a bit more secure, and easier for me to maintain. And somehow university course websites across the world seem to link to it as part of their Cut-up/William Burroughs module. Thank you, I’m humbled!

As I write this it’s now 2023 and close to another decade later this is version 3.0. I really do seem to have a 10-yearly release cycle! In this version I’ve moved all the mixing desk functionality from PHP to JavaScript, but it all works the same.

The main visual difference is that your mixed text is presented on the same page (on the second “Output Signal” screen) rather than loading a new page - which also means it’s easier and quicker to change something in your input and mix it again.

And as always, let me reassure potential users that we don’t store any of your input or output text. As soon as you leave the page it’s gone forever (unless you’ve copied and pasted it elsewhere).

The Technical Stuff

Version 3.0 of the Text Mixing Desk is powered by JavaScript (as opposed to PHP for the previous two versions).

If you’re using the Cut-up Generator module then your input is sent to a function which splits it into an array, with each element of the array consisting of the number of words you have picked, then it uses an implementation of the Durstenfeld shuffle to shuffle all the elements in the array around.

The shuffled array elements are then recombined into a string, sanitised (sorry, no HTML, etc.), and displayed in the Output screen.

If you’re using the Echo Chamber module then a function uses a regular expression to repeat the last N number of words preceding any full stop (a period, for those in the US), question mark, or exclamation mark and repeats them after that punctuation mark. The results string is then sanitised and displayed in the Output screen.

If you’re using both modules simultaneously please note that the Cut-up Generator module always runs before the Echo Chamber module.

If you’re a JavaScript engineer (I am most certainly not) then you can wince at my script in un-minified form here. If you can correct it, streamline it, and otherwise improve it, then please do (if you send me the improved version and it works then I'll use it and credit your contribution and link to your website/github/bandcamp page from here).