Cybernetics and Spare Parts: A Robotic Opera and Workshop in Ontario, Online

Before you correct me, this is actually a Commodore B128. But it’s one of the oddities you’ll see at the Personal Computer Museum. What if all the technology you loved, everything that ran on electricity, came to life and played one epic musical performance? That’s about as best as I can sum up the “Emergence” event happening in Ontario and in an online stream. It’s a workshop. It’s a performance. It’s Commodore 64s and surplus parts. It’s cybernetic theory. There’s a robotic singer. It’s at a computer museum. Nerdtastic. Rod Adlers describes his own setup: “3 Commodore 64’s running Cynthcart …

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Spacedog Sleigh Ride: Robotic Bell Rig Chimes in the Holidays with Prokofiev

We’re in the middle of a snowstorm of holidays (most definitely plural), and, for many of you, possibly also a snowstorm of snow. So, gather by the fire with your robotic DIY carillon and bask in the warm glow of gorgeous, chimey Prokofiev. What? Haven’t got a DIY bell-playing construction of your own? It’s not snowing? Gather by the YouTube and bask in its warm glow instead. Robotic Prokofiev will be all you need. Creator Sarah Angliss of Spacedog sends us the video above. Video details and technical specs: Fireside music, performed for your enjoyment in one take after a …

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Video: Violin vs. Robot Guitar, With Mari Kimura and GuitarBot

Mari Kimura is an experimental string player extraordinaire, regularly venturing to the edge of what’s possible at the meeting of acoustic and electronic technology. GuitarBot is a “guitar”-playing robot (perhaps more reminiscent of a shamisen), an invention of Eric Singer, founder of the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots. The two meet above in a lovely video – not new, but well worth watching any old time, as reminded to us by Richard Swelling’s Etherbomb blog. Mari writes in comments on YouTube: HI, Mari here. For those wondering what’s happening: Behind the white box, there is a Mac and an …

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We Are Hacks: Music and Visual Performance at HOPE, NYC – Preview

8-bit and robots and odd Max and Reaktor patches and custom visual software and visualizations of data packets and sound made from plants and mutant trumpets and gloves for DJing and laptop music – we’ve got quite a lineup here in New York this week. Friday night, a live audiovisual lineup from the worlds of createdigitalmusic.com / createdigitalmotion.com invades the HOPE conference, aka Hackers on Planet Earth, the three day-long convergence of tech hacking. $10, open to all, 11-2a Friday July 18 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York. It’s a live digital, technological variety show in a doomed NYC …

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Plant-Reactive Robots Play Bamboo, Chinese Instruments at Royal Botanic Garden, Scotland

THREE PIECES sound installation from Ziggy Campbell on Vimeo. Digital music is extending more deeply into the physical world, thanks to sensors and robotics. The result: gorgeous acoustic sounds as part of the lexicon. When we last spotted Simon Kirby and the Found Electronics collective, they were taking the tangible interface out of electronic music and applying them to ambient sampled sounds out in the woods. Now, they’re talking to plants and channeling traditional Chinese instruments. Found Electronics: Three Pieces Project Page Simon writes with some of the details:

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Video: The Trons, All-Robot, Self-Playing Band

Perhaps fueled by YouTube comepetition, robotic instruments are looking more and more impressive. What I’d most like to see: a robotic battle of the bands. The latest creation comes to us from the all-robot band The Trons, based in New Zealand. They have cute names, and I bet the ‘bots are more fun to date than some, ahem, real drummers my friends have gotten involved with… The crew: Ham (vox and rhythm guitar), Wiggy (single string lead guitar), Swamp (drums), Fifi (keyboards, one hand working!) Hmmm, basically true of my keyboard playing, as well. And here’s their blurb: The Trons …

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Virtual Frontman Plug-in Replaces Need for Human Vocalists

Today, CDM is proud to announce a new feature to keep us competitive with fast-moving music technology coverage on the Web. It’s called “Industry Clipboard Connection,” and it allows us to fully connect you with the latest industry news by giving you complete, un-edited press release content, pasted up to the minute. And we kick it off with what I think is a really game-changing product that could change the relationship of vocalists to bands forever. Be sure to read the full press release for the complete details. Seriously. I think you’ll want to read to the end. Sweetwater announces …

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Robot Drum Machine Roams, Samples, Bangs On Stuff

This has been making the blog-o-rounds, but if you haven’t seen it, the Yellow Drum Machine is a brilliant musical robot — brilliantly musical, and brilliantly simply technologically. (There’s something to be said for elegant design.) It rolls around, looks for objects nearby, bangs on them, and samples that sound. (Hmm, it’s like a little robotic equivalent of me around my apartment.) As seen on MAKE. The specs are terrific: Cost to build: $120 Time to build: 20 hours Actuators / output devices: 6 geared motors in total, 2 speakers, sound sampler Control method: autonomous (very) CPU: Picaxe 28 Operating …

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More Cute, Yellow Keepon Robot Videos

The Keepon Robot — a bopping yellow bot — was easily the technological darling of 2007. It sent even the most skeptical, hardened technomage into spurts of giggles. So, we’re giving you more: take note, because you, too, could learn to dance to the electrical sounds in the club if this robot can. (Thanks, Mandy, for all the links!) And yes, Carnegie Mellon is advertising how cool they are in these videos. In these days of geek chic — and with involvement on various projects just beginning with the Keepon — I can’t really argue. (I wasn’t paid to say …

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MidiTron Wireless: Make Your Own Wireless Sensor-to-MIDI Project

Eric Singer, creator of musical robots and maestro of LEMUR, the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots, has unveiled a new wireless sensor-to-MIDI interface. It’s quite a bit pricier than the non-wireless MIDI models at US$495, but the payoff is a complete kit for wireless performance that promises to be resistant to both latency and interference. The receiver can be connected via either USB or MIDI, and the sensor unit has 20 inputs which you can mix and match as up to 10 analog ins and 20 digital ins. Put the sensor/transmitter unit wherever you like, then transmit data wirelessly …

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