DIY Community: Austin a Hotbed of Inventive Hardware You Can Build and Use

Wherever you live, you can enjoy the DIY and open hardware inventions coming out of Texas. Or, as the famous song goes: “That’s right, you’re not from Texas / Texas wants you anyway.” Austin, Texas may be associated with the strum of guitars. But it’s also populated by some of our favorite electronic music hardware inventors on the planet, led by the likes of Bleep Labs, 4ms, Eric Archer, and more. They’ve taken the idea of a “Handmade Music” and come up with the best formula for building a community around DIY hardware I’ve seen yet: 1. Get beginners – …

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Handmade Music Spreads to Austin, Teaches You Awesomeness, Andromeda-Style

Autonomous bassline generators? Wireless, modular, infrared sync? Tiny drum machines networking together? Welcome to Texas, and the minds of Eric Archer, Bleep Labs, 4ms Pedals, the Church of the Friendly Ghost, and Andromeda Space Rockers. One look at a floor full of blinking circuits, and most ladies and gentleman might assume they’ve stumbled upon some alien technology. “Imagine the things we could learn from this civilization – advancements far beyond our own,” as the stock line from sci fi goes. “Man and woman are not meant to learn such things. You’re meddling in things beyond your comprehension.” In other words, …

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Handmade Music: Cybernetics, Wireless Beats, and Ingenious Sonic Circuits

four tiny drum machines from ALH84001 on Vimeo. Cybernetics is poised to make a comeback. The theory is, everything from electronic circuits to plants and animals can be understood in terms of feedback loops, as organisms – mechanical or organic – respond to input from their surroundings. The father of modern cybernetics, MIT mathematician Norbert Weiner, was inspired by working on the guidance systems of missiles. His writing was picked up Louis and Bebe Barron, informing their organism-like sonic circuits, as used in the film Forbidden Planet. The word cybernetic itself comes from Plato. Plato was talking about human self-governance. …

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