The world of PMCs – Linnstrument

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Wired introduces the world of PMCs (polyphonic multi-dimensional controllers) as ‘revolutionary’ MIDI machines that

can sense finger movement in three dimensions simultaneously—in addition to controlling volume, a musician can also change a note’s pitch and timbre in real time.

The article details the Linnstrument; others cited include the Roli Seaboard, the Haken Continuum, the Eigenharp and Madrona Soundplane.

Fifty years from now, the 1970s to 2015 will be regarded as a strange period in history when people played musical sounds with secretarial input devices: on-off buttons, switches, sliders, and knobs. Controlling numbers by pressing keys. That’s a horrible interface. – Roger Linn

Over at Youtube you can check out what Roger had to say at NAMM 2015, and this well-played Linnstrument using a classic guitar patch.


Axoloti, a digital audio platform for makers

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Recently seen at the CCC conference in Hamburg is Johannes Taelman’s OPEN Axoloti project (link to 30-minute CCC video.) (Synthtopia link)

It’s built around the Axoloti Core (DSP and microcontroller) hardware. The Core is configured using Axoloti Patcher, a modular audio environment written in Java and works on Windows, OSX and Linux. Similar to Pure Data and MAX, Patcher output runs on the standalone Core’s micro. The CORE also handles MIDI I/O.

Taelman’s IndieGogo campaign has already reached its goal two weeks early, so it’s on!

Axoloti website, (with links to already-completed projects), Github site, YTube playlist

Geist MR-808 Drum Robot

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Moritz Geist has recreated many of the sounds of the 808 drum machine using mechanical actuators to play physical objects. MIDI controls the Arduino which controls the actuators. All instruments are encased and lightsrwerkin!

On a separate page, Geist explains all the technical details. Might be useful in many ways!!

Sneak-Thief’s Sneaquencer is a DIY Monster

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For years I’ve been dreaming of a live-performance sequencer that would give me the power and flexibility to perform music with a perfect balance between the ability to control, improvise & automate. Drawing heavily on sequencing paradigms developed at Yamaha (16 sections with multiple tracks per section), I built and programmed my own….

On the Sneaquencer, I can choose any song and it will instantly begin playing. Since it has two independent sequencers, I can mix and match everything on the fly: “Oh how about the drums from this song mixed with the melodies from this one? Or the vocals from this other track mixed in with this track’s bassline?”

It’s a live performer’s paradise – I can change directions any time and mix and match material to create unique and reactive live sets.

For the whole story, visit CDM: Sneak-Thief’s Sneaquencer is a DIY Monster.

MUCH more tech detail on Sneak-Thief’s website. Then ogle his DIY 8-rack modular. From there find a collection of tracks on Synthcloud, which leads to the goodies at electro-music.com. Never doubt, there’s a whole lot of makin’ goin on!

Make Project: Laser harp

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Laser Harp — DIY How-to from Make: Projects

Stephen Hobley‘s Make/Arduino project (not for beginners, but not that complex) describes how to create a “laser harp” that works as a MIDI controller … as you wave your hands through the laser beam, the output can control pitches or other synth features. Looks cool!

First I’ll show how to make a single-beam laser theremin, which changes pitch with the position of your hand. Then we’ll replicate the circuit and reprogram the Arduino to produce a multi-string harp, with each beam corresponding to a different note. The Arduino has 6 analog inputs, so this harp is limited to 6 beams, but at the end of the article I’ll suggest ways to expand it.

RELATED PROJECT. A Touchless 3D Tracking Interface. Besides an Arduino, this project uses capacitance instead of a laser to track the position of your hand. An easier and faster project.

MAKE Circuit Skills: Infrared Light

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MAKE Circuit Skills: Infrared Light.

This is pretty much IR 101, but there are plenty of uses in music. (Did you know that MIDI circuits use “opto-isolators” … a send-receive pair as shown in the video? Of course you did, just kidding.) The Roland AX-7 keytar uses an IR light in its D-beam sensor. You might imagine getting rid of that MIDI cable using Infrared Wireless? Not all that hard!

The Many Functions of MIDI DATA

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I’ve mentioned Tweakheadz before; ‘Naked’ points to a Tweak article about uses for MIDI not everybody knows about. (He limits the discussion to music … but there’s more, like controlling lighting …)

… read The Many Functions of MIDI DATA

via Naked on a Strange Planet

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