There’s something about that feeling of snapping a LEGO brick in place, a tactile connection to childhood memory. So, while it’s perhaps neither necessary nor terribly practical, this rig that turns a LEGO board into a step sequencer is somehow irresistible. And, like any good hack, it’s a chance to learn and discover – one that, thanks to freely-available code, is shared.
The ingredients: a camera, Ableton Live, and some code for analyzing the camera image and translating those events into MIDI messages Live can turn into sound. It’s the work of Bonn, Germany-based artist/creative coder superquadratic.
Made at ADVANCE HACKATHON 2012 in Cologne using a webcam, Python, OpenCV, OSC, MIDI and Ableton Live.
Source Code: github.com/superquadratic/beat-bricks
ADVANCE HACKATHON: hackathon.advance-conference.com
Thanks to Alexander Joscht for the tip!
LEGO bricks have certainly attracted hackers before. A selection of the many LEGO appearances we’ve seen previously:
Brilliant LEGO Mindstorms Drum Machine, NXT-606 – New Video
A LEGO Sequencer, Imaginary Electronic Antiques, and Other Yoshi Akai Creations
LEGO Christmas Tree Plays Carols, Courtesy Max/MSP, Custom Electronics
DIY monome Case from LEGOs, Live Performance in a Bathroom
And, most recently, of course, LEGOs even made a CD case.
Check it out in action: