Once upon a time, people made things from electronics. Boys, girls, laypeople made stuff. My Dad actually tinkered with Theremins growing up and subscribed to Popular Mechanics. Now, in an age of hyper-specialization, too many people assume that making sounds with geeky-looking, handmade electronics should be left to the pros. But give people some instruction and let them make some noise, and you might be surprised how eager people are to try something out. Noise making, it seems, is some sort of primeval human instinct.

So, it comes as little surprise that the wizards of Austin got lots of people into the act of electronic sonification. Led by Dr. Bleep, Eric Archer, and 8ms, they’ve kicked off the Texas iteration of Handmade Music Night, and send us the video to prove it.

There’s no reason you have to be left out of the fun, though – you can handmade some loud noises at home. Eric Archer has expanded the site for his freebie Mini Sound Rockers, the kit he used to get folks started at Handmade Music Austin:


Check out the video below to see them in action. And I think we should definitely have, in addition to the schematics, a step-by-step tutorial. The gang in Austin also promises some ready-to-buy kits coming soon, so stay tuned.

More on the Handmade Music series around the world:

And for another video of the Mini Space Rockers circuit, here’s a terrific creation from Switzerland, as suggested by Eric in comments:

The work is by datenkrieger75, using both Eric’s circuit and a hacked Gakken SX-150 bassline.

  • Excellent, I'm building up quite a collection of little noise-making gadgets now, I might have to add one of these too. Each time I build a new kit I learn a little more about what goes into them. Considering I started this with next to no electronics knowledge I can't think of a better way of learning.

  • hey its eric. I think thats a nice idea, to add an online tutorial about building Mini Space Rockers. I'll work on that.

    PS. check out this DIY electro beatbox video from datenkrieger75 in Switzerland, with a Mini Space Rockers circuit as the bass drum, and a hacked Gakken SX-150 bassline…

  • Been trying to build up my own little electronic drum sounds out of discrete components too — I'd like to see more circuits for these – snares, hats, toms, bass drums etc — epecially ones that can run off a 9v battery, not a +/- power supply.

  • Zach

    @Simon – It's super easy to convert a PC power supply to a bench/lab-style one for stuff like this. Then you can just plug the whole project into the wall.


  • Seadnamc

    That is class. wish i had the ability to modify electronics like that.