NYC: Handmade Music Now Monthly – 12/11 Event, Call for Works, Beep-It Workshop

Handmade Music, the regular series of DIY music tech parties CDM hosts with Etsy.com and Make Magazine in New York, is back. And it’s back in a big way: the event has a new home in Bushwick and will be held on an actual schedule monthly. The first event is next Thursday, December 11. After the December debut, it’ll be every third Thursday of the month, starting with January 15, 2009. We’ve got a spacious, new home at the hip galleries and workshops of 3rd Ward in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We want to see your projects, from simple first-time creations …

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Beep-It: Portable, Open, DIY Optical Theremin

Beep-it from Michael Una on Vimeo. Cast your shadow, shine a light, make a square wave synth make noise. Michael Una is at it again. This time, he’s created something called the Beep-It. It’s a wonderfully elegant design for a light-controller soundmaker, an optical Theremin. He describes it to CDM thusly: This minimalist electronic musical instrument eschews esoteric interface in favor of intuitive, expressive control.  One button turns the device on or off, which can produce a continuous tone or a rhythmic sequence.  One sensor varies pitch of the output waveform in response to ambient light.  The resulting system encourages …

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Alternative Theremin: On Your Wrist, in a Mug of Tea

Neither of these items is “news,” but since I missed them, you may have, too — and because they’re so absurd and wonderful, I can’t let that happen. Some things are timeless. Via Chris Cheung’s Hong Kong’s-based Special Interest Group comes the Theremin Watch, “Modified (circuit bend) from 大人之科學 kit set.” I love the idea of a wrist-mounted Theremin. On one hand (ahem), it does mean that you can calibrate relative to your body, because it’s always strapped to your wrist. On the other, I expect that’s still something of a challenge. But it’s not so often you get wearable …

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How to Turn Theremin into MIDI, Free with Pd

Last month we saw Sarah Angliss using the Theremin as an audiovisual controller. If you’ve got a Theremin and want to try this yourself — or try some other similar continuous input — here’s a really simple example of a patch that converts audio to MIDI. It uses Pd, Max/MSP’s open-source cousin for Mac, Windows, and Linux. If you haven’t used Pd before, you should download pd-extended. It’s a stable, friendly installer for Pd with all the documentation and extras you’d need. Pd can be tricky to install, but this is friendly to just about anyone. Pure Data Downloads (choose …

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DIY 3D Controller: Inspired by Theremin, Powered by Arduino, Processing

DIY 3D Interface: Tic Tac Toe from Kyle McDonald on Vimeo. The Theremin, not too far off from its one hundredth birthday (start planning now), was a breakthrough in enabling a touch-free gestural control in space. Using the same principle that allows the Theremin to sense hand position, Kyle McDonald has created a 3D interface, and posted the process on Instructables. CDM gave him some of the inspiration: Your recent post, "Theremin as AV Controller", inspired me to finish an idea that’s been living in my sketchbook. It operates on the same capacitive sensing idea as the Theremin, but in …

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Theremin as AV Controller: Technical Details from Spacedog

You’ve heard the Theremin as a sound-making instrument. But it can be a MIDI controller, as well – an extremely sensitive and expressive one. Continuing our DIY round-up, here are the details in case you’d like to try it yourself. When we last heard from Sarah Angliss and Spacedog, we were introduced to their creepy Theremin-playing doll Clara 2.0. Now, they’re using the Theremin as an audiovisual controller, triggering audio and video samples from the 1968 film The Devil Rides Out and my personal favorite, a parakeet training record. The result is a new version of the ballad “Willow’s Song” …

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AirPiano: Touch-Free, Sensing Gestural Music Controller

Omer Yosha has created a beautiful, elegant interface that uses infrared sensors to control music applications. Touch-free interfaces, of course, date back to the Theremin, but Omer is trying some new things here, creating an invisible matrix of controls in the air. And I love the way the physical object looks. He writes to tell us about the details: I’m an Interface Design student from the FH Potsdam (near Berlin), i have a musical background, and the idea to create an AirPiano developed as i was playing around with the Arduino board, Processing and some IR sensors in my free …

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Theremin Music, Streamed Live from Ethermusic; Moog Guitar Official

Our friends at the Spanish-language site Hispasonic.com are streaming Theremin music live for free worldwide from the Ethermusic Festival in Moog country, North Carolina. (Pictured, right: Randy George.) Hispasonic TV When it’s not live, the previous recording plays on continuous loop. From Hispasonic’s Xabier: Now we are just replaying the yesterday concert. The next live webcast will be at 2:30 AM (GMT+2) – 08:30 PM (GMT-4). And speaking of Moog, here’s an update from Frank Schubert, who played at the show, regarding Moog’s new guitar: The show was great.  We opened up and then did a piece with Justin from …

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April is For Music: Bent, Tank, and a Moog Announcement at Ethermusicfest

There’s a simply insane amount of electrified music happening here in the US this week: Bent Festival NY: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights are concerts at the Bent Festival in NY, not only of circuit bending but other DIY sound, as well. Stop by Saturday during the day for a day full of workshops. (also on Facebook) Thursday, Bent NY sponsor The Tank will be hosting Warper Vs. Splice, a 2-floor audiovisual collision in downtown NYC; I’ll be on music + eyethings in the middle of the evening. (See Facebook) Saturday, The Tank hosts the 8-bit crowd, also concurrent with …

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Theremin Music for Aliens, Theremin of the Damned

Seed Magazine asked recently, “Who Speaks for Earth”? Answer: Russian kids playing Theremin music! In 2001, Zaitsev and a group of Russian teenagers created the “Teen-Age Message to the Stars,” which was broadcast in August and September of that year in the direction of six stars between 45 and 70 light years from Earth. The Teen-Age Message notably included greetings in Russian and English, and a 15-minute Theremin symphony for aliens. Unlike Drake’s Arecibo message, Zaitsev’s messages target nearby stars. So if anyone wishes to reply, we may receive it in the next century or two. I’m all about instant …

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