Autonomous bassline generators? Wireless, modular, infrared sync? Tiny drum machines networking together? Welcome to Texas, and the minds of Eric Archer, Bleep Labs, 4ms Pedals, the Church of the Friendly Ghost, and Andromeda Space Rockers.

One look at a floor full of blinking circuits, and most ladies and gentleman might assume they’ve stumbled upon some alien technology. “Imagine the things we could learn from this civilization – advancements far beyond our own,” as the stock line from sci fi goes. “Man and woman are not meant to learn such things. You’re meddling in things beyond your comprehension.”

In other words, you couldn’t build something like this, right?

Or could you?

In Austin, Texas, Eric, Dann, and Dr. Bleep are launching a new Handmade Music series, kicking it off with kits and classes so that anyone – including beginners – can start building stuff. For the 101 crowd, there’s a free beginner class even if you’ve never touched a soldering iron, so you can build your own analog drum. “I’m no n00b,” you say, “impress me.” Sure – the “upper division” gets to talk more advanced synth design and walks through the full-blown modular, networkable kit.

At the end of it all is an open jam and featured performance.

If you’re anywhere near Austin, Texas – or can find a bargain plane fare – you’ll want to clear your calendar for October 18!

Full Event Details, October 18 Handmade Music in Austin [Handmade Music @noisepages]

That’s just the first of more events to come, so stay glued to the Handmade Music site for events in Austin, New York, Portugal, Germany, and beyond.

“That’s right / you’re not from Texas / Texas wants you anyway.” For those of us in New York, Lisbon, Rio, Sydney, and Jakarta, there’s still hope. The kits will be online, and I”m looking at ways of putting together a full Handmade Music curriculum of projects online for all of us on the site we’re developing this fall, noisepages – ideas welcome.

I certainly didn’t expect to get deep into these geekier topics in high school while I was busily trying to fail Calculus and screw up science lab results in ways that baffled my teachers. But it’s a glorious age we live in, in which we get to assimilate alien technology as our own. Stay tuned.

  • UTM

    That's great! So to whom shall I send the beer for my devices? 🙂

  • Scott Flavin

    If only one of these workshops would show up in the Minneapolis area 🙁

  • Armando

    I’ve been dying to geek with other people in my town who do this! I feel like its impossible to find people until now! Thanks Peter for the heads up, and to the guys throwing the classes. I have never been more grateful to live in a particular town.

  • lematt

    wow those wireless connected drum machines are awesome ! i want 6 kits at least 🙂

    when will they be online ? i'll sure buy some kits

  • usedtobe

    dude, of course the freakin month i move out of austin this all starts. i was even selling kits too 😉 i'll be back soon brothers!

  • rhowaldt

    Peter, your introduction reads like a dramatic piece of proze. i like it.

  • awesome thanks for this! Rock n roll

  • bjm

    shit…very old…his NO future…W the melody

  • s ford

    wow, they look amazing.

    when will kits be around. london is a long way from texas. i am a moron with a soldering iron though! if only i lived in texas, i'd buy those guys a 6 pack…

  • joe


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  • AO

    Looking forward to learning more about the Autonomous Bassline Generator!

  • Please keep in touch everyone! These kits will available for purchase be online SOON, and we're doing these workshops once a month in Austin moving forward. Signing folks up for DEC 20th right now! 20 seats available

  • Felt so hopeless looking for answers to my qeuistnos…until now.