Wee See: Wonderful Animation from Simple Shapes

wee see – collection one from Rolyn Barthelman on Vimeo. When working with drawing code – or perhaps even computer media in general – starting out with simple shapes can feel oddly uncomfortable. Perhaps as adults, we’re accustomed to dressing up our work and our identities. Using something as basic as a regular triangle can feel naked and dry. As kids, we don’t think this way. We love bright colors and simple shapes, maybe because we’re seeing everything for the first time. And maybe it’s simply that we have more imagination. (How many young kids have you seen in utter …

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An Adorable Singing Note as Musical Instrument: Maywa Denki’s Otamatone

What’s the cutest conceivable musical instrument? It’d be tough to top an anthromorphic musical note, complete with eight-note flag, whose smiling face opens when it “sings.” Boing Boing Gadgets (by way of Tokyo Mango) gets the story on this latest creation of art group Maywa Denki and lead creative instigator Novmichi Tosa. The Otamatone is only barely practical as an instrument; it sports a nasal tone from its simple electronic oscillator and, at the end of the video, demonstrates an entirely new way to render the US National Anthem slightly out of tune. (Apologies to Jimi Hendrix.) But it also …

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Exclusive: Free (Cardstock) Minimoog Model Offer Extended

If you missed getting a free Minimoog model with the purchase of landmark ambient album Gas0095 from label Microscopics and still want it, we’ve got good news for you. Microscopics have extended the offer, exclusively for Create Digital Music readers. Paul writes: "If they enter the code CreateDigitalMusic.com in the ‘Add special instructions for the Merchant‘ field in PayPal, we’ll extend the offer until July 14th. Not getting any promotional fees for pitching this; I’m genuinely excited about my papercraft Moog and the album! (Though I think I may have Microscopics buy me a beer if I see them…) In …

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Microscopics Play with Scale on Gas0095, Give You Tiny Moog Model

Gas0095, the landmark 90s ambient release by Mat Jarvis (Gas / High Skies), is back in a remastered version. If you know the music, you’re probably already thrilled by the return of this epic sonic world; if not, even non-ambient fans are likely to get a kick out of the spacey, synthy goodness. (Best press quote: “the ideal soundtrack to an IMAX film on the history of space travel.” You had me at IMAX.) Paul from Microscopics (the label) writes to tell us they’re sweetening the pot with a 1/8 scale Minimoog freebie for all June preorders. (Nanomoog?) It’s brilliant …

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Circuit-Bent Cellular Automata Video Synth Toy with Patch Bay

You may have seen the Video Critter video synth hardware kit generating visuals using cellular automata algorithms. (Think cell-based models a la the Game of Life.) But you haven’t seen it quite like this. Univac has combined the Critter kit with a VTECH LessonOne educational toy (boring toy, beautiful case), quite a lot of circuit bending, light snakes with optical sensors, a bending patch bay, plus a 7″ LCD screen for viewing it all. Result: self-contained, patchable, performable cellular automata video synth! CellularRecombomat: patch-bay circuit bent cellular automata video synth [Techdweeb.com, Univac’s site] It’s really quite lovely — and another …

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Glam Machine, A Box That Makes Bent Retro Noises, and Other Nervous Squirrel Stuff

One box, many sounds, all toy-like and strange. Such is the vision of the Glam Machine. Norman Fairbanks, the man who brought us the all-Tenori-On album, has been teasing this creation, housed in a lovely wooden box with a giant VU meter on it, for a few days. Now we finally get to find out what it is — and apparently it was all inspired by Norman doing an interview here for CDM. Imagine a semi-modular box with glitchy sampler and the repurposed, Frankenbending sounds of electronic toy guts: The instrument will consists of three main sections: two modified toys …

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Sharper Image Selling Pre-Made Laser Harp, But Why Not Make Your Own?

The Sharper Image, a source of various amusing musical oddities over the years, now has a ready-to-use USB laser harp music controller for PC (Windows XP/Vista), at the price of — wha? US$599? Yes, this is obviously Sharper Image exercising the business and marketing acumen that allowed it to — erm — file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year. And, in a move we haven’t seen in years, they spell the name with a ‘z’ instead of an ‘s.’ Classy. And they’ve opted for a design that looks like the security fence in Jurassic Park. The beamz Music …

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Free Samples: Lo-Fi Drum Machines, Fisher Price Music Box Record Player

Free, odd soundware keeps on coming — hot on the heels of faux bent instruments and a tape-recorded Roland 606 and 808, here are more sounds to satisfy your need for unusual sounds. Stephen Haunts was inspired by the cassette-recorded 808, and writes to tell us he’s decided to give something back. He’s uploaded 22 kits from a Korg ElecTribe ER-1, a kit from a Yamaha DD-10 (pictured amusing the awkward fellow at right from the manual), and a Yamaha PSS-80. The Yamahas steal the show: they’re little toy keyboards with a decidedly lo-fi sound. I always admired the Japanese …

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DJTT Video Review: Fisher Price DJ Controller

Yes, it’s time to see (tongue-in-cheek, anyway) just how Fisher Price stands up to the competition in the crowded DJ gear market (thanks to producer Ean Golden from DJ Tech Tools for sending this our way): The ground breaking MBRP-101 from Fisher Price is the best all in one music playback solution for mobile and club djs that need affordable and reliable performance. Visit http://www.djtechtools.com/?p=202 for more info and release dates on this exclusive release. World Famous Dj Mei Lwun (5 time dade county YMCA battle champ) was kind enough to review the unit for us. Check him out at: …

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Gibson’s Cute Miniature Les Paul 1 GB Flash Drive, Consumer Electronics Line?

Believe it or not, you’ll stick this into the side of your computer. Bizarre but adorable, Gibson has turned their iconic 1959 Les Paul guitar into a miniaturized replica, a functioning USB 2.0 1 GB Flash Drive. It will store data. It will not make any sound. But it does have specs that you, erm, don’t normally get out of a guitar: 14Mbps read / 6MBps write, 9 year data retention, LED indicator, and USB extension cable. Gibson Signature Series Les Paul Flash Drive No one told me, but Gibson has introduced an entire line of consumer electronics, including HDMI …

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