Democratizing Creative Tech: Julià Carboneras, OFFF (English + Espanol)

Gijs Gieskes setting up, as I look on (bottom left). Photo courtesy OFFF Festival. What does it mean to truly democratize technology? When is DIY more than just the creation of an object? That’s the question asked by our friend Julià Carboneras, who curated the new Nerdeferences feature of the OFFF digital design conference in Portugal last week. DIY is more than just cool devices, argues Julià: it’s social hacking, too. He brought together myself, Instructables.com founder Eric Wilhelm, and musical inventor and artist Gijs Gieskes (who stole the show, showing some creations live onstage). But there was a bigger …

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Bleeping Good Fun: Videos from Handmade Music; Your Part of the World

It’s easy – and partly appropriate – to appreciate the bleeps and blips of homemade and bent circuits as noise-making insanity. But as Peter Edwards (casperelectronics) and E-Squared walked us through their creations at the April installment of Handmade Music, it was clear that compositional exploration was at the heart of the work. Edwards talked about trying to be freer with sound and get away from techno, using handmade creations that helped him shake musical habits. E-Squared described studying the intricacies of classic Roland drum machine and synth circuits, then re-imagining them in fantastic new creations that allowed them to …

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Where’s the Party At: Bendable, Open-Source 8-bit Sampler Now Shipping

If you hate modern samplers with all their supposed fidelity, longing instead for the glitchy digital distortion of samplers past, a DIY project has brought you the sounds you love. “Where’s the Party At?” has been inspiring tingly sensations in digital lovers since I first wrote about it in September. Now, the kit version is shipping. It’s a unique-looking combination of reliability and sonic unreliability, good open source design engineering and, as the creator puts it, a certain “crustiness.” Apocryphal Feature List and General Horn-Tooting: 8-bit max sample depth, 1-bit minimum. 20kHz (or so, user adjustable) max sample rate, no …

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Handmade Music + Bent Fest + Chippy DIY Electrosonics: This Week in NYC, in Videos

Above: our friends at 2playerproductions shot this beautiful video that gets at the heart of what circuit bending and DIY electronics are about. It’s a look at some of the work of casperelectronics / Peter Edwards. And yes, Barbie is involved. Who are the people in your DIY music neighborhood? Well, quite a few of the DIYers here on Planet Earth are converging this week in New York. Lover of circuit bending, creative electronics, and DIY music hardware are gathering for the massive Bent Festival in Manhattan, complete with performances, workshops, and a book launch. And we’ve got a special …

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Handmade Music March Noise and Mayhem Recap; Call for Stuff Next Thursday

Wonderful things happen when you invite lovers of noise together in a room. Musicians and non-musicians, electronics geeks and first-timers, folks pick up a soldering iron — often for the first time — and cause utter mayhem. So we again had a fantastic time at Handmade Music last month. I’ve just gotten the photos in, so decided to share. We’re looking for folks to bring stuff to Handmade Music on 4/16 – see the bottom of the article and give us a shout if you have software or hardware creations to share. They don’t even have to work, entirely – …

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Reminder: Noise Toy Making, Alternative Music Software Playing Tonight in Brooklyn!

Make me! Once a month, CDM goes from its virtual state to a sort of augmented reality existence in Brooklyn. (In Williamsburg, no less, which has itself been augmenting itself into neighborhoods formerly known as Bushwick.) Tonight is one of those times. If you’re in Brooklyn, you should come enter our physical dimensions so you can: make your own NoiseToy with Loud Objects’ Tristan Perich, and take it home for the low, low price of ten clams. (Dollars, though I think clams are actually worth more at the moment. I’ll eat the clams.) witness strange, wonderful things happen in the …

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On Demand: CDM Winter 2008, with Gift Guide, Bending and Slicing Tutorials, More

“What if, instead of targeting Web content to a single day, you turned it into an object that would last a season? What would you want to save and savor?” That’s the question I ask at the beginning of the Create Digital Music Winter 08 guide. We’ve filled it with good stuff we love, plus good stuff we hear that you love (via our survey of hundreds of readers for the holiday guide). Via Creative Commons-licensed images, you’ve shared your world of music, and so we share the whole guide as fully free work (it’s got a CC Attribution / …

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Sega Master System, NES as Audio Effect; Videos Coming from Blip Fest

8-bit audiovisual party Blip Fest started last night here in New York, so it’s only natural we celebrate game systems used for music through the weekend in its honor. (Reminder: come meet up with me and Boing Boing’s Joel Johnson tonight, 6-8p, if you’re going to Blip. Facebook event / CDM post) Sega Master Bitcrunch The promising new – and music-savvy, I might add – Boing Boing Offworld gaming blog points to a Sega Master System II that’s been turned into a bitcrush/digital overdrive effect. It sounds absolutely terrible. You know – in a good way. Bender / chip artist …

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Alternative Theremin: On Your Wrist, in a Mug of Tea

Neither of these items is “news,” but since I missed them, you may have, too — and because they’re so absurd and wonderful, I can’t let that happen. Some things are timeless. Via Chris Cheung’s Hong Kong’s-based Special Interest Group comes the Theremin Watch, “Modified (circuit bend) from 大人之科學 kit set.” I love the idea of a wrist-mounted Theremin. On one hand (ahem), it does mean that you can calibrate relative to your body, because it’s always strapped to your wrist. On the other, I expect that’s still something of a challenge. But it’s not so often you get wearable …

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Today: Circuit Bending in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is already a artistic-technological hotbed, and today (Wed. 29.10) some of their best circuit benders are gathering in one place, including regular favorite of ours Gijs Gieskes. (Gijs made the wonderful, spinning device above, which I missed when it came out — see it on Music thing.) If you can make it, we’d love a report! 29 oktober ‘s-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands) Nerdlab (initiative of CBK-Digitale workshop) organises topic evenings in the Verkadefabriek with artists who work on the borders between art, science and physics. The topic of the first edition is circuit bending. On this evening the following …

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