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Inside the 18€ Lunchbox Synthesizer Kit with Unit Unlikely

[vimeo width=”640″ height=”360″]https://vimeo.com/120154304[/vimeo] 18€ buys you this lunchbox-style synthesizer kit – and it’s just the thing to put together on your lunch break. Unit Unlikely is a hardware startup working with simple parts to make accessible, fun instruments. And its founder joins our resident Dutch design expert to talk about what it’s like diving into the synth business for the first time – and where he might go. It all continues our series from Eindhoven, NL. From the edge of the Netherlands’ slick design scene, industrial designer and music technologist Arvid Jense joins CDM for a series of interviews with …

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Beatseqr: 808-Inspired DIY Step Sequencing Controller, and Making Just What You Need

God bless you, 4/4. Yes, there’s still something about that four-beat, sixteen step bar that gets toes tapping and booties shaking and floors fouring on the… floor. So, when musician and maker Steve Cooley decided he wanted more physical control, he didn’t want some perfectly generic controls, and he didn’t want rows and columns. He wanted sixteen steps and faders alongside. The result is Beatseqr, an Arduino-powered hardware controller recently spotted at the Maker Faire outside San Francisco. Because it’s just a controller, they’ve built Roxor, a Mac software step app that sends OSC, and Steppa, a Max/MSP patch, though …

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Maker-Faire Music: Moldover’s Syncomasher, Live Electronica Controllerism for Everyone

Moldover at the Maker Faire from The Amazing Rolo on Vimeo. Yann Seznec aka The Amazing Rolo brings CDM his coverage of music tech at the Maker Faire in three episodes today. Our friend Matt Moldover is a mad scientist of controllers. Stock Novation and M-Audio keyboards enter, and wind up coming out as live musical control monsters. You know that kid who mashes up toys in the first Toy Story movie? It’s like that, only musically productive. Moldover has been steadily perfecting what was originally the Octamasher, a set of M-Audio keyboards connected to a central Ableton Live brain. …

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Maker-Faire Music: VAMP and Glove-Controlled Vocals

Elly Jessop and VAMP at the Maker Faire from The Amazing Rolo on Vimeo. Yann Seznec aka The Amazing Rolo brings CDM his coverage of music tech at the Maker Faire in three episodes today. Continuing the tradition of computer-augmented vocal performance and interactive gloves, Elena “Elly” Jessop shows off her VAMP system at Maker Faire. Elly is a Masters student at the MIT Media Lab’s Opera of the Future research group, headed by Todd Machover. Interestingly, Elly’s background is in conventional theater, including stage and costume design and choreography. http://web.media.mit.edu/~ejessop/ VAMP stands for “Vocal Augmentation and Manipulation Prosthesis.” What’s …

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Maker-Faire Music: The K-Bow for Sensor-Augmented Violin

Barry Threw demos the K-Bow at Maker Faire from The Amazing Rolo on Vimeo. Yann Seznec aka The Amazing Rolo brings CDM his coverage of music tech at the Maker Faire in three episodes today. As long as there have been computers, violinists have looked for ways of extending the nuances of their physical performance into the digital realm. (Us keyboardists have it easy – we’re used to pressing an array of levers, and a lot of the gestures we make are, arguably, superfluous.) Many of these concepts return to the idea of the bow. The K-Bow by Keith McMillen …

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Music Made from Microfiche, And Other Maker Faire Projects

Andrew Turley writes to share his microfiche-to-MIDI music maker, which he shared at the Maker Faire. The idea: take the humble library microfiche, and translate light and dark values into MIDI, fed to a Casio keyboard. Sound like a random idea? Well, it would be — except Andrew happens to be in a band called Microfiche. (Check them out on MySpace.) None other than IEEE Spectrum — yes, from the IEEE standards body that brings us stuff like FireWire (aka IEEE 1394) — got hands-on with his project; IEEE Spectrum’s Josh Romero named it one of his favorite musical projects …

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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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