Bhoreal Makes Grids Color, Open, Controls Robots and Lasers; Final Hours of Funding

BHOREAL gets ready from MID New Media Design on Vimeo. It’s been almost a decade since the monome first began making appearances. Now, grids are everywhere – and that raises the question, where will the next innovation come from? What’s exciting about Bhoreal is that, far from simply cloning the monome, it realizes potential frontiers that the original monome couldn’t. And as Bhoreal reaches the final hours of crowd funding, the last chance to be first in line for the first hardware, it’s performing a lot of tricks to show off. Think lasers and robots. See the video at top …

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Meganome: A Massive Super-Monome Capable of Jazzy Rhythmic and Melodic Robotic Feats

Minneapolis-based artist Patrick Flanagan is no ordinary drummer or electronic musician. His rig does everything the hard way – and the results are fantastic. With robotic drum kit mechanically playing acoustic drums, his fingers command complex feats of rhythm and melody from an oversized, custom grid controller. There are idiomatic musical possibilities unlocked by software he’s built in Max/MSP and Java. Repeat increments, of the sort found in drum machines, produce complex rhythmic figuration on multiple drums – partly because, unlike the dumber implementation on drum machines, it’s possible to play multiple repeat increments at the same time. (In other …

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Bhoreal: RGB Grid as Open Source Hardware – Kit or Ready-Made, Wired or Wireless

We are Bhoreal from MID New Media Design on Vimeo. Grids are suddenly everywhere – in music control, but also in visuals and art. And they’re lighting up in RGB. But Bhoreal promises to do some things other grids aren’t. Whereas the monome is a truly beautiful, handmade and rare object, its rarity – by design – means it’s hard to get. And readily-available commercial products aren’t open source, and while they fit certain needs elegantly, they’re designed to stick to those needs rather than allow easy modification. Bhoreal is this kind of blank-slate, do-anything colored grid you can turn …

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It Comes in Colors: An RGB Grid Controller from Livid, RGB Grid Roundup

Lovers of the grid for music control now get to reenact the scene in MGM’s The Wizard of Oz, stepping out of the world of black and white into one of color. The OhmRGB, the latest controller from Austin, Texas-based controller and custom hardware shop Livid Instruments, adds multicolor LEDs behind its array of controls. We’ve already seen red, green, and yellow add color feedback on Novation’s Launchpad (and of course the APC line from Akai). The Livid piece bests Novation’s three colors with seven possibilities. For those who prefer their grids to come with knobs, faders, and crossfader, the …

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Chronome: A monome-inspired Grid, with Color and Pressure Senstivity

Chronome Prototype from FlipMu on Vimeo. The monome is defined as much by what it isn’t as what it is: it’s monochromatic, it uses only on/off binary buttons, and that’s part of its beauty. But what if it weren’t that? What if a monome could do color, and velocity sensitivity? As both engineering problem and design inquiry, that question holds some intrigue. Owen Vallis, who with Jordan Hochenbaum makes up the digital duo FlipMu, shares the Chronome prototype. Like the Arduinome before it, it re-conceives the monome’s brain around the open-source Arduino microcontroller platform – now in the form of …

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US$50 Bliptronic 5000 Gets Monome Conversion, with Code

The monome meme continues to spread virally through your music gear. With some custom code (made freely available) and a little assistance from the free Arduino platform, Philly-based hacker Wil Lindsay has converted the $50 Bliptronic 5000 device from ThinkGeek into a monome. That gives you full compatibility with the community-made patches that support the real thing, for a song. If you’re handy with this sort of thing, you can follow the code and basic build instructions provided and mod your Bliptronic yourself. If not, you have two choices – the first half dozen early adopters can pay Wil to …

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Pocket Jam: GorF DIY Sequencer + Renoise + Game Boys + Max + Live + Arduinome

What happens when you put all the digital and electronic tools you love together into one groove session? I expect it probably looks something like this video. Welcome to the new digital music age: DIY electronics, vintage digital tech (Game Boys), and modern computer tech (Monome as Arduinome clone, Max/MSP, and shiny MacBook) all coexist. And a fair bit of what you see if a modern hybrid of old and new paradigms, like the thoroughly modernized Tracker Renoise. Thomas Margolf says “Greetings from Rotterdam” and writes, We made a first Jam using the new GorF step-sequencer, Arduinome, max msp patch …

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In LA This Week: Live in Venice, Ableton Gone Multi-Touch

I’ll be in Los Angeles this week and very excited about everything going on. I’m playing the Air Conditioned Supper Lounge in Venice Wednesday night with my friend Steve Nalepa, hosted by the amazing electronic impersario and producer Irwin. (Event info: Facebook | venue) The night, delightfully named Irwin’s Conspiracy, promises to inject some new life into the live electronic music scene in LA, so it’s good stuff. I’ll be working with Kore and Ableton, Steve with Ableton, and hope to get some live iPod touch control action going. If you’re in the area and want to come say hi, …

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Moanome: How a DIY Monome Grew and Became Something Personal

Let’s be clear about one thing: building your own Monome from a kit isn’t actually necessarily for everyone. DIY is a wonderful thing, but you want to make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew — always start simple and grow from there. You can buy a premade Monome, the sustainably-produced, open-source, boutique controller, and be much safer. That said, sometimes something wonderful happens along the way when a project evolves from what you thought it would be into something else — the occasional bloodied finger a necessary sacrifice. Johan Larsby was inspired by the team behind …

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Arduinome: An Arduino-Based Monome Clone, Behind the Scenes

The Monome project, a USB MIDI and OpenSoundControl control surface for music and art, was built on open source principles, on its users making the product better as they used it. Its community has already built custom housings and elaborate software setups. But a clone based on the Arduino microcontroller promises to do still more. Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR. The “Arduinome” gifts the Monome with two new possibilities. First, it’s a breakthrough on the availability front: at a time when official Monome kits are backordered, it makes it easier to make your own Monome on a budget. Second, it makes …

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