While on the subject of wonderful handmade musical instruments, Max (and Audrey) aka farnea have been posting some fantastic creations to Flickr over the past few months. They recently cropped up on the Create Digital Music Flickr Pool.

The Sound Destruction Unit:

DIY modular synth made putting together a lot of things I’ve built in the last times. There is a Weird Sound Generator, a Crackle Box, a random pattern generator, some filters (cutoff, square to sine), a gate controller, a Vactrol based controller, optical sensors and body contacts, mixing and power stuff.

Orange Commodore 64 Synth: A lovely, custom-painted “Modded C64 with SID2SID expansion and Prophet64 cartridge.”

The C64 also has a helpful discussion of paint. Music DIY extraordinaire Fibra advises:

Always apply at least one layer of plastic primer. Let it dries enough after each layer. Also apply at least 2-3 layers of paint. I also used spray canned paint (for cars) which is probably better than acrylic based.

Hmmm, I’ve got a few keyboards that could use a custom job. (“Pimp my Synth,” anyone?) Please don’t be shy about joining in on our Flickr group, by the way. It seems like it could be a great way not only to document impressive hardware DIY projects, but also custom software patches in Max/MSP and Reaktor, unusual clip configurations in Ableton Live, racks in Reason, musical scores, performances — all kinds of things.

Another nice example: choking sun’s very nice studio.

Now, some videos of the Sound Destruction Unit:

  • I posted this to Electro-Music.com DIY forums, so expect some more gems like these. =]

  • Coolness.

    Do people do a light sanding to the surface before painting as well?

  • da paintah

    Depends on the surface.

  • BassTooth

    i really like the paint job. reminds me of something from star trek.

  • When painting always dissasemble as much as possible rather than tape off. that being said, what can't be dissasembled, tape off.

    On particularly slick surfaces, a very light once over with fine fine grit sandpaper will help your primer stick better. Cover evenly, but lightly. Wash down with a clean lightly wet rag to remove the dust. Let dry.

    Apply primer in several light coats until you have a uniform coating of primer. Allow each layer to dry before applying the next.

    Repeat with paint. Auto paint (in spray cans as well) dries a bit harder. Although any paint you like will work as well, but may require a clear top coat to keep of dirt and finger prints.

    A tip: if you get runs, sags or bubbles in your paint, stop painting. With a wet rag very carefully dab (not rub!) off the runs, sag or bubbles. Wait until the paint dries and then with very fine grit sandpaper start in the middle of the area and using straight lines lightly sand the area up,down, left right and diagonals until you've sanded the area smooth as well as some of the surrounding paint. Wipe off the dust with a slightly damp rag. Wait for it to dry. Repaint the area or continue painting in coats.

    Runs, bubbles, sags and other things are an indication of the paint not sticking to the surface. If you notice on the C64, right below the left of the spacebar, is some bubbled paint (sometimes called orange peel).

    The secret to a good paintjob is patience patience patience.

  • Damon

    Love this thing. For my money, effects and automation really lend themselves to obscure and absurd controllers.

  • thanks to all for posting our works, enjoying and commenting them šŸ™‚


    max & audrey

  • A C64 is rather easy to paint because the internals are easy to take out of the casing. Back in my days I had a camouflage-like one and a white one with some thick black graffiti-tag-like lines. But the orange in the pic above is a great pick.

  • Fin

    Wow, thanks for the painting tips metrosonus.

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