Short links for December 22nd, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Make: Online : Open source hardware 2009

Make’s definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2009.

Make:Online open source hardware 2009

Welcome to definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2009. First up – What is open source hardware? These are projects in which the creators have decided to completely publish all the source, schematics, firmware, software, bill of materials, parts list, drawings and "board" files to recreate the hardware – they also allow any use, including commercial. Similar to open source software like Linux, but this hardware centric.

Each year we do a guide to all open source hardware and this year there are over 125 unique projects/kits in 19 categories, up from about 60 in 2008, more than doubling the projects out there! – it’s incredible! Many are familiar with Arduino (shipping over 100,000 units, estimated) but there are many other projects just as exciting and filled with amazing communities – we think we’ve captured nearly all of them in this list. Some of these projects and kits are available from MAKE others from the makers themselves or other hardware manufacturers – but since it’s open source hardware you can make any of these yourself, start a business, everything is available, that’s the point.

# fridgebuzzz electronics MK1 MIDI controller

fridgebuzzz MK1

The MK1 prototype is a user programmable midi controller featuring 32 LED pushbutton switches and 6 touch sensitive copper plate switches.

# satrap activ portable analog synthesizer (YouTube)

Flo Kaufmann shows his “satrap activ” portable analog synthesizer made out of a vacuum cleaner.

It contains 2 cmos based VCO’s , a Moog ladder filter, a 555 based ADSR, a cmos based 8 step sequencer, a PIC based vc to midi interface and a PIC based auto trigger unit. There are 4 tunable knobs on top, mostly to play base lines, and 2 conductable wires, which act as voltage dividers to generate variable tones. the wires do not vibrate. so it is not a cord instrument. satrap activ can also control other synthesizers either by midi or cv/gate interface.

Mark Mosher's Audio Cubes

# Percussa Audio Cubes: Lights & Tangible Interface with Ableton Live and Alchemy

Mark Mosher writes about his Audio Cubes:

I recently added Percussa AudioCubes to my studio and performance rig.

While I’m planning a longer post offering an overview of how AudioCubes work, this is a quick post to mention two applications of AudioCube technology I’ve been experimenting with.

# Larry Cotton’s MIDI Marimba

Larry Cotton’s 3-octave “player marimba” was featured in MAKE, Volume 4. Larry added two MD24 MIDI Decoders and the marimba can now be controlled by any MIDI sequencer or keyboard.

L2Ork (image by CDM)

# An Orchestra of Linux Laptops, and How to Make Your Own Laptop Instrument

Peter Kirn @ Create Digital Music:

For a generation of musicians of nearly every genre, the laptop has become an instrument. It’s easy to take for granted, but the rise of the computer for music has been remarkable. Less than twenty years ago, real-time digital synthesis and audio processing was the domain of expensive, specialized workstations. Now, $700 per seat can buy you a full-blown musical rig, with the computer hardware, gestural input courtesy the Nintendo Wii controller, and even a DIY speaker made from IKEA salad bowls. The next challenge is to make this setup as flexible and reliable as possible. Enter Linux.


# Marblephone

g000ze @ Let's Make Robots writes:

Inspired by Animusic's bodacious films, I was wondering whether a music robot in a much more simple way would be possible to make. Here is what my little boys and I created.

Still unfinished, but already working. Thank you Animusic for activating my imagination building the music machine that I am calling Marblephone.

# Line 6 JM4 Looper Review (with Video)

Joe Glider of Home Studio Corner has a reivew of the Line 6 JM4 Looper pedal:

I’ve always been absolutely fascinated with looper pedals. Any time an artist uses one in a performance, I’m spellbound. As soon as you introduce a looper pedal into your setup, suddenly all the rules change. You’re no longer a solo performer, you’re an entire ensemble. It’s like you brought a recording studio right on stage with you, and now you’re doing an overdub session for all of us to see. Fascinating.

Needless to say, I’ve wanted a looper pedal for years. Thanks to the good folks at Line 6, now I have one!* What I love about the JM4 is that it’s not JUST a looper. It’s an entire guitar workstation. It has both amp modeling and three different selectable effects.

PongThatBeat! (Vimeo)

PingPong sequencer made with max/msp and processing.

# Langjokull, Snaefellsjokull, Solheimajokull – Three glacier ice records, played until they melt.

Rob Papen eXplorer III Bundle

Recommended sounds