KORG MS-20 Kit: Analog Classic Remake Now Full Size, Assembled Yourself

This one is just for the superfan. KORG’s MS-20 mini, a circuit-for-circuit analog re-release of the original MS-20, stole the show last year. But apart from adding a MIDI input, there was one glaring change that would distinguish the mini from the original – the whole thing was shrunk down. Not so this year’s MS-20 Kit, announced today and released as a limited edition this spring. Call it the MS-20 Full-Sized, if you like. The MS-20, like the mini, recreates the analog signal path of the original. And like the mini, it cheats a little to give you MIDI input …

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DJing with Step Sequenced Traktor: Remix Decks Meet New Hardware

Light-up colored grids are hardly news in the controller scene. But what makes original, boutique hardware worthy of the name “Digital Warrior” is the unique take it brings to DJing and live remix – pushing the envelope with Native Instruments’ Traktor (all the while perhaps making even Ableton Live a little bit jealous). The new hardware takes Traktor’s Remix Decks and transforms them with built-in step sequencing, in a kind of mash-up of a lot of different techniques. You have to see the results in action to really appreciate how nice that can be. CDM reader and electronic music inventor …

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Bleep Drum Machine Gets MIDI, $110 Assembled, Glories of “Rad-Fi” Digital [Gallery]

In the box, inside the world of the computer, sound has few limits. It’s clean, it’s pristine; mimicking perfectly-miked drum kits or high-fidelity sounds is as easy as dialing in the gigs of samples you’ve assembled. But … wait a minute. It’s too clean. There’s something beautiful about a digital circuit, screaming and crunching as it cranks out every last bit. Those bits … hurt. There’s some personality to a peculiar machine that seems like it crawled out of a heap of circuit boards, staring back at you, blinking – winking? And in that world of anthropomorphic alien sound machines, …

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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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Transcendental Glitchy Drones, as the Standuino Crew Assemble an Ensemble of Electronics [Videos, Gallery]

Standuino π [pi] synced with frauAngelico + microGranny from standuino on Vimeo. Once the stuff of noise art oddity — isolated electronic experiments staying mostly on the test table — the DIY instrument is starting to find friends and form ensembles. And so it is that Czech instrument design mad scientists Standuino have assembled a clever little suite of open boards, happily chirping and glitching and droning together in musical harmony. So, before we start delving into the esoteric number theory of the new “π” drone synth, behold as their three creations play together in the video at top. There’s …

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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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Grains In Your Pocket: microGranny is Compact, Homemade Granular Sampler Hardware

microGranny – pocket-sized handmade granular sampler from standuino on Vimeo. The Czech team of Standuino have been cooking up lots of wonderfully-geeky sonic electronics lately, but the latest might be my favorite. microGranny reads samples from a microSD card (hello, field recorder), and crunches them into granular bits. It’s the musical equivalent of one of those inexpensive compact blenders/juicers. If electronic music had late-night informercials, I’d be telling you what you could do with sound – with this. And just in case you think all this open source hardware stuff is just for the cool kids to use buzzwords, here’s …

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frauAngelico: Lo-Fi, Playable, Open Source Drum Instrument and Sequencer [Gallery, Video]

A hackable, playable drum synth not afraid to sound digital: count us in. If you liked last week’s Dam-Drum 2.0, here’s yet another grungy beauty with four triggers and knobs. The frauAngelico also features nicely-low-fidelity drum samples, performance controls, and a built-in sequencer, just like Dam-Drum 2.0. It has some tricks up its own sleeve, though, with built-in MIDI capabilities (promised for a future drum synth from Bleep), some very cool effects and performance controls, and an open source, Arduino-derived foundation for easy hacking. (The software is open source, as is the Arduino-style basis; the hardware itself appears not to …

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"Look, [darling significant other], it'll even be totally at home in our modern decor!" Photos courtesy the artist.

Flying Saucer UFO Controller, Ultrasonic MIDI Instrument; Coming as Kit [Arduino]

The desire to be a little different in a band might drive someone to choose a custom guitar, or maybe, you know, change their hair. For some, it drives them to build a giant flying saucer they can play like an instrument by waving their hands. No, MIDI controller, don’t destroy Earth. Klaatu barada nikto. That’s the case with Helsinki-born artist Tommi Koskinen, now doing this as part of an MA thesis in the Media Lab of Aalto University. Another strange gestural controller? Yes. But this flying saucer might just land a bit closer to home. This is just the …

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Mutable’s Anushri Bundles Sequencing, Drums, Synthesis, CV in One Hobbyist-, Modular-Friendly Kit

Call it the Mutable Fun Pack. The Synth Happy Meal. The Family Variety Bucket. The Anushri doesn’t have quite the sound design depth that Mutable’s Shruthi-1 does, but in its place, you get a whole mess of different features. It’s an analog synth, with an additional digital oscillator. It’s got its own step sequencer/arpeggiator. It’s got an 8-bit, bit-crushed drum machine. And it has analog connections for modulars in addition to MIDI, so modular lovers can put it into a Eurorack if they like. In fact, it seems to bring some of the compact, lovable features of Roland’s 101 and …

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