Wired.com: Competing for New Musical Instruments at Georgia Tech

The Guthman Musical Instrument Competition is a cash prize contest for new musical instruments held this month at Georgia Tech, judged by Wired’s Eliot Van Buskirk, Harmonix co-founder Eran Egozy, and Georgia Tech’s Parag Chordia. There are some familiar faces in there, but some fascinating, new ideas, too, like a motorcycle engine you can play with a keyboard. Thanks to everyone who sent this in. Wired.com has a slide show of images with audio samples and videos for many of the projects: New Musical Instruments Battle for $10K in Prizes CDM held a similar contest judged by drum machine pioneer …

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Pd vs. Max/MSP Results, in a Battle of Multimedia Tech Nerds

Nerd warfare. It’s like Mexican wrestling for people who enjoy, um, patching together interactive tools for music and visuals! And on one fateful Toronto day, the open source challenger took the prize. As promised, a group of music tech geeks challenged DIY multimedia software environments Pure Data (Pd) and Max/MSP to a mano-a-mano contest of wits. These competing patching environments share interface concepts, code, and even a surprising amount of compatibility, but open source Pd and commercial, more polished-looking Max each have their own loyal converts. I’m pleased to offer the results – though I’m already hearing calls for a …

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Dare you accept the Circuit-Bending Challenge?!?

So I was having a little chat with the Circuit Master over at www.getlofi.com about how and why we both got into circuit bending. The number one reason, for me at least: tons of bend-able toys and devices can be found very cheaply at secondhand and thrift stores. Which brings us to this: The premise is simple: 1. Wait until October 28th with growing anticipation. 2. Bicycle, walk, or swim to your nearest secondhand store. 3. Locate and purchase a cheap electronic noisemaking device. 4. Take it home and bend that thang! 5. Document the process and end result, then …

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Call for Cassette Jockeys @ Maker Faire, Cassette Tech Roundup

Photo credit: DG Jones. Leave the Marantz at home, and fire this one up in your homebrewed tape mangler. No laptops. No CD players. No turntables. The Cassette Jockey World Championships will be cassette tape only. And the rules are tough: store-bought, commercial cassette tapes only. (Dig that Paula Abdul out of your closet — you know you want to.) Sounds dull? Think again: how you play those tapes is entirely up to you, and from what we’ve seen insane circuit benders and mad scientists of circuitry do to tape machines, that could get real interesting. Mark Gunderson, aka Trademark …

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KVR Contest: Developers Get Prize Money, You Get Free Music Plug-Ins with Unusual Interfaces

Music-making in the age of ElectroPlankton: colliding organisms and physics may be just as likely on your plug-in interface as the usual fake-aluminum knobs. NuSofting’s Collide and Play. Johan Larsby points us to a developer contest at the mind-bogglingly comprehensive audio plug-in site, KVR Audio: KVR Audio Developer Challenge Developers are competing for a prize fund donated by readers and users, currently up to US$1770 (probably more than you’d make from a small plug). Developer entries are currently closed, but that means voting is on. There are 31 entries; the contest is pretty Windows-biased with only 5 Mac-compatible entries, which …

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Songs in the Key of PSP: PSP Rhythm 6.1, Song Contest

Make your PSP into a beatbox and turn it into a Speak & Spell — cool! PSP Rhythm, the homebrew drum machine for the PSP, just keeps on rolling. The song contest I covered in July is now complete. Ah, but what kind of music can you create with a lowly PSP homebrew app? Something like this: Tobias K: Nearly Flying Tobias K: Nearly Flying Isti: Summer Breeze, Summer Freeze Isti: Summer Breeze, Summer Freeze Horace: Plasma Horace: Plasma Has a sort of retro-90s game music feel to it, especially in comparison to the glitchy 80s-vintage of Game Boy musicians. …

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Design a Skin for CME’s Tricked Out Music Keyboards

I love CME. This Chinese manufacturer came out of nowhere with a new keyboard so overloaded with features and priced so absurdly low, initially some of the staff at Keyboard who saw it at NAMM thought there was some kind of translation error, like they didn’t understand the currency conversion. They’ve come up with bizarre products, like a keyboard for composing ring tones. (Really.) And now they’re holding a contest to “design a UF keyboard:” UF Design Contest Now, I have to admit, I am a little disappointed, because when I first read the press release from CME I thought …

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