monkeysandsynthesizers

Synths Versus Real Primates: So Easy, a Monkey Can Play Them? A Zoo Finds Out

Synths meet monkeys. Photo: Andreas Tilliander. Composer and Swedish dance music maestro HÃ¥kan Libdo has been a constant source of experimentation. But his latest project yields zoo-like new adventurousness. Six species of monkeys are equipped with synthesizers to test the question of whether playing a synth is really playing music – or if it’s so simple, a monkey can do it. Describing the project, there’s a bit of a defense of the complexity of the instrument: “You just press a button and out comes music, right?” Well… you do press buttons, twist knobs and faders, but there are endless ways …

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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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Bliptronic 5000’s Creator: Hacking Tips, Prototyping, and the Switchnome

Ed.: Resident hardware hacker and sound artist Michael Una chatted via phone with the creator of ThinkGeek’s $50 Bliptronic instrument. We’ve already got some early tips on how you might hack this design into custom creations, which could make the Bliptronic 5000 an ideal hardware hacker choice. (And, because it is cheap, you may be a little more adventurous with the thing.) Designer Ty Liotta also talks about prototyping, the design process, and reveals an entirely toggle-switch prototype that I wish they had actually shipped. It’s a must-read for hardware geeks. -PK I just spoke to Ty Liotta, the head …

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Bliptronic 5000: Tenori-On, monome, Meet Your $50, Hackable Clone

You know the grid craze is in full steam once ThinkGeek offers a $50 clone. The Bliptronic 5000 is somewhere between the Tenori-On and monome. It certainly looks like the monome, with an 8-by-8 grid of light-up pads in a square form factor. But like the Tenori-On, it has built-in sounds and speaker, it’s made of aluminum, and it runs on batteries. The Bliptronic also simplifies its user interface. Its 8×8 pads are simply an eight-note octave with eight steps. There’s a play button, and knobs for tempo and tone selector. There’s also the ability to link up devices and …

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