Awesomeness of Daft Punk: A Meta-Roundup

Photo: André Felipe, capturing Daft Punk in Tronworld São Paulo. Daft Punk is on a mind-blowingly cool tour. Aside from, you know, being Daft Punk, they’ve assembled dazzling futuristic visuals, slick leather jumpsuits, and sophisticated, animated LED helmets. What? You want to tour with LED helmets, too? It’s easy, outlined in a PDF by the creators. I can make the steps even more brief: 1. Cast your face and make a bust of the face and clay models of all the parts. 2. Modify a motorcycle helmet for the electronics. 3. Design your own LED display and controller board. 4. …

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Yamaha to Ship Toshio Iwai’s Tenori-On, But Will Open Hardware Win?

In June 2005, we first saw the Tenori-On, a futuristic music-making device covered in a grid of interactive, lit buttons, designed by the talented interactive artist Toshio Iwai as a prototype for Yamaha. Last week, Yamaha revealed some details about plans to make Iwai’s experimental device into a shipping product. (I missed this in preparations to fly off to Oahu.) Basic specs: 16×16 grid of buttons, MIDI out, sequencing, and perhaps most surprising, built-in sampling and Motif sound capabilities with internal speakers (plus line-out, naturally). (Notably missing: any mention of network capabilities, which was arguably the most compelling part of …

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Hand-Painted PCB Puppet Dances to Game Boy Music

How much does circuit bender Gijs Gieskes love circuit boards? Enough to make them into puppets. A little paint, lots and lots of colored lights, and the ability to receive clock signal (MIDI sync) from LSDj, the homebrew music app for Game Boys, and you have a geeky, wonderful animated character who can flash along to your Game Boy beats: gieskes.nl/visual-equipment/pcb-puppet Gijs conceived it as a way to add to his Game Boy performances. This may be not safe for work. It depends on how what you think those flashing circles are. I do think someone in comments on Gijs’ …

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Prototyping Custom Gear: Friendly Plastic a.k.a. Shapelock

I received an email this morning from a friendly fellow Australian named Keith. He had googled his way to a short post on my site Jaymis.com looking for a source of Friendly Plastic/Shapelock/Polymorph in Australia. After a couple of emails back and forth I figured out that he’s Keith from plasq/Comic Life/Rax, and he figured out that I’m Jaymis from CDMu/CDMo, but we still didn’t have an Australian source for useful thermoplastics. Update!: Paul wrote in to tell us that he’s found a source of polymorph in Australia, at the soldergeekly favourite Jaycar! It’s reasonably expensive at $10/100g, but the …

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New Videos, Blog for Toshio Iwai’s Imaginative Musical Creations

Media artist Toshio Iwai continues to develop stunning, fanciful ways of making music. From SONAR, here is Toshio Iwai working live with his Tenori-On music controller, in case you haven’t seen this already: More YouTube goodness after the jump, but let’s skip ahead to the even better news: Toshio Iwai has started a development blog for the Tenori-On. Nat, the graphics designer behind Create Digital Music, has all the details on his blog onetonnemusic. Tenori-On Report by Toshio Iwai and Tenori-On Development Team Aside from keeping tabs on the Tenori-On, you can watch other ideas develop, like a blue-lit sound …

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Nintendo Day: Tenori-On Live Performance in Spain, From ElectroPlankton Creator and Interactive Wizard

Toshio Iwai, creator of Electroplankton, is working on a new digital musical instrument with Yamaha. It’s called the Tenori-On and, at least from an industrial design point of view, it looks beautiful. And if you’re in Spain, you can check it out live in action.

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For Those Dark Club Environments: DIY LED Light

I don’t care how great your touch typing skills are, when you’ve been drinking beer and jumping around on stage for an hour you’re going to need some light to help you trigger that next sample. Fortunately for laptop performers an increasing number of current machines are coming with integrated lighting solutions. Whether it’s the Macbook Pro’s backlit keyboard or the Thinkpad Thinklight these gadgets are a boon for electronic musicians. My primary VJ machine is a Thinkpad so I’ve got no lighting issues there, but I also have a second Asus laptop for running Live or generating visuals. It …

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DIY Multi-Touch Interfaces and Other Futuristic Tricks

Via Pixelsumo comes a fantastic lineup of links to futuristic interfaces for music, etc. If you were impressed by Cycling 74’s new Lemur touchscreen, with the power to let you touch multiple points on a pad simultaneously for controlling music/sound/etc., Jeff Han has built his own. His Frustrated Total Internal Reflection project may sound like some sort of existential experience, but it’s really an optical system for tracking multiple finger touches on a screen. You need a back projector, so it’s not as portable or compact as the Lemur, but watch the video: extremely low latency, extremely high sensitivity. Jeff …

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Yamaha Tenori-On: 16×16 LED Light + Sound Toy

What if Lite Brite and a tablet PC had a crazy love child? It might look something like the Yamaha Tenori-On. The basic idea is, you press buttons on a 16×16 LED grid and trigger sounds and visuals; there are collaborative features for playing with your friends Tenori-Ons, and the back of the screen functions as an LED, so instead of a private trippy experience, everyone can see the fun. Tim writes us: On the strength of the demo videos I want one of these! I first read of its existence [at We Make Money Not Art]. Most of the …

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Not-Ready-For-Primetime Music Interfaces: Episode 11,987

Thanks to readers asger, Fer, and Joel/Warpedeye, who send us the latest experimentation in musical instrument controllers. They don’t quite look like the Next Big Thing — but sometimes oddities are just as interesting. First up is The (Untitled) Box which “should theoretically eliminate the keyboard and mouse dance party” for running audio and video. What is it? A giant grid of buttons that light up. In fact, we covered the same box in April, though it seems to have evolved a little. The most interesting thing about it is the way it was configured, with each row as a …

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