Over its first five issues, Make Magazine has established itself as a must-read resource for DIYers and digital homebrewers; aside from regularly writing for the thing, its back issues have a special place on my shelf. Now, Make is hosting a kind of cross between Burning Man and a digital State Fair, the Maker Faire. (Not sure why they opted for Olde English spelling, but okay.) Music and live visuals figure very prominently, with high-tech performances, workshops, and hands-on booths you can visit. If you’re anywhere near San Mateo, CA next weekend (April 22-23), you simply have to go. And fortunately, if you’re not, a couple of CDMers have promised to file a full report (a good thing, too, because I’ll be busy performing in Boston!). Check the music category, but here are a few of my top picks:
Instrument building show and tell: Circuit-bender and hardware DIYer Chachi Jones writes to say he’ll be leading a very cool session for maker/musicians: Making Instruments, Making Music, with show-and-tell, Q&A, and jamming.
“Super Happy Fun Blinky Workbench?” Kit maker Lady Ada, aka Limor Fried, will have a play-day with her inexpensive circuit-building kits. Limor is known for her excellent kit clone of the Roland TB-303 synth, but she also has some impulse-buy $20 kits like her MiniPOV lighting kit, which I’m building now. I hope she’ll also have her new sensor-to-MIDI interface there, the MIDISense. Regardless, this is a don’t-miss stop on your tour. Also, unlike me, Limor has lots of fanboys. (Well, I don’t know, maybe I have fanboys or fangirls somewhere.)
Musical Instruments for the Motorcycle Enthusiast: The title alone pretty much says it. An upright bass built out of a motorcycle (pictured hered) and other creations: it’s like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Synthesis. More weird custom interfaces on their site.
Wireless Networked Toys: I’m sure there are plenty of musical applications lurking in the tech here.
There’s also a circuit bending workshop, a reappearance by the Improbable Orchestra installation as seen at Burning Man (and covered here on CDM), live looping with found and invented instruments, and lots more. Watch for our full report!