Monster 16×12 Grid Step Sequencer Hardware, Built with Arduino

For some, there’s the step sequencer you dream of. Maybe it has a massive array of buttons for patterns, capable of spreading musical ideas across a lit grid. Maybe every last rhythm is visible, maybe it juggles layers and patterns with ease. Ryan B just went and built what he wanted. Under the moniker RNInstruments, he constructed a killer hardware step sequencer with a massive 16×12 grid. And this isn’t like a monome – or Push, or Launchpad, or the like – in that it is truly standalone MIDI hardware. You don’t need any computer, period. See the walkthrough above …

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Melding the Physical with Screens: Prototyping Interfaces, in Videos [vvvv, Book]

Prototyping Interfaces – Interaktives Skizzieren mit vvvv from Prototyping Interfaces on Vimeo. With knobs and motors, wheels and cameras and bits of Play-Doh, a series of elegant interactive experiments provides physical controls to screen interfaces. Prototyping Interfaces, the book, can show you how, all with loads of pictures and examples in free-as-in-beer (for non-commercial use) vvvv. (Preferred pronunciation is “V-4,” generally, in English or German.) The book is in German, and the software is Windows-only, but the videos (and the examples in the book, for that matter) are illustrated visually. For German speakers, full details on the book below. (Previous …

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Bhoreal Makes Grids Color, Open, Controls Robots and Lasers; Final Hours of Funding

BHOREAL gets ready from MID New Media Design on Vimeo. It’s been almost a decade since the monome first began making appearances. Now, grids are everywhere – and that raises the question, where will the next innovation come from? What’s exciting about Bhoreal is that, far from simply cloning the monome, it realizes potential frontiers that the original monome couldn’t. And as Bhoreal reaches the final hours of crowd funding, the last chance to be first in line for the first hardware, it’s performing a lot of tricks to show off. Think lasers and robots. See the video at top …

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Bhoreal Grid Controller Could Be Perfect for Visuals; Final Hours of Funding

A color grid you can carry in one hand, with physical controls and full RGB – and the option of wireless and batteries, so you can walk around while adjusting lights or projection? Oh, and it’s modifiable, available fully made or as a kit, and completely open source hardware? Yeah, that sounds about perfect. On Create Digital Music, I describe my visit to Barcelona and a look at the Bhoreal project’s progress, as it wraps up its crowdfunding campaign: Bhoreal Makes Grids Color, Open, Controls Robots and Lasers; Final Hours of Funding But what struck me is how useful the …

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Sougwen Chung’s Chiaroscuro Installation Breathes with Light and Hand-drawn Imagery

Chiaroscuro is an installation work by Sougwen Chung, the Canadian-born, New York-based illustrator/media artist. Veering far from the mechanical minimalism of so much projection mapping, with its hard edges and rectangular conformity, Sougwen instead uses light and animation to draw outside the lines. Shimmering as though refracted through a digital ocean, the animation lights up the outlines of hand-drawn forms in one moment, then spills out onto the walls and floor in the next. Set to Praveen Sharma’s exotic and evocative score of rushing pads and alien percussion, the effect is irresistible. It was for me (and many others) a …

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Sougwen Chung's Chiaroscuro Installation Breathes with Light and Hand-drawn Imagery

Chiaroscuro is an installation work by Sougwen Chung, the Canadian-born, New York-based illustrator/media artist. Veering far from the mechanical minimalism of so much projection mapping, with its hard edges and rectangular conformity, Sougwen instead uses light and animation to draw outside the lines. Shimmering as though refracted through a digital ocean, the animation lights up the outlines of hand-drawn forms in one moment, then spills out onto the walls and floor in the next. Set to Praveen Sharma’s exotic and evocative score of rushing pads and alien percussion, the effect is irresistible. It was for me (and many others) a …

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Transcendental Glitchy Drones, as the Standuino Crew Assemble an Ensemble of Electronics [Videos, Gallery]

Standuino π [pi] synced with frauAngelico + microGranny from standuino on Vimeo. Once the stuff of noise art oddity — isolated electronic experiments staying mostly on the test table — the DIY instrument is starting to find friends and form ensembles. And so it is that Czech instrument design mad scientists Standuino have assembled a clever little suite of open boards, happily chirping and glitching and droning together in musical harmony. So, before we start delving into the esoteric number theory of the new “π” drone synth, behold as their three creations play together in the video at top. There’s …

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A Grand Piano of Light, Illuminating Rachmaninoff [Arduino+LEDs]

Nail the finger fireworks of a particularly hard Rachmaninoff, and you may well feel like blasts of light are shooting out of the piano. But to give the audience the same sense, a DIY instrument made of cardboard and homebrewed responsive lighting translates that keyboard virtuosity to an optical show. Reader Aylwin Lo sends us this project out of Canada: Rachmaninoff’s Étude-Tableaux Op. 39 No. 6, as performed by YT//ST’s Brendan Swanson from Aylwin Lo on Vimeo. I’m with YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN. We’re an art collective based in Toronto and Montreal that is most known for making music and …

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One Button, One Knob, USB: Crazy-Simple DIY Teensy Project (And Some Music)

8 knobs. No, 64 knobs! No, giant knobs, hundreds of buttons, dozens of faders… Okay. One button, one knob. Put (one of your) opposable thumbs to good use and just do something simple. And, with something this small and inexpensive, never go anywhere without a real knob again. (Friends don’t let friends operate fake simulations of knobs using mice. Augh. Painful. (Which way is a “circle,” again?) That was the creed of none other than Brendan Ratliff, aka Echolevel, aka chip music “superhero” Syphus, a composer/musician/hacker who works scoring games and film/TV soundtracks and general musical mayhem. He wanted something …

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Motion Controlling a Water Drop: Entropy, An Arduino, A Laser Pointer, and a Gorgeous Watery Animation

In an elegant, balletic dive, taking an almost impossibly-long span of time, a single droplet of water falls and splashes, an animated logo peeking out from the inside. But it’s what isn’t there that may surprise you. There’s slow motion camera behind the scenes, meaning the usual way of doing this is absent. Instead, what you’re seeing is a stop motion time lapse – a record of the shifting patterns of entropy in nature, thousands of different droplets appearing as connected that in reality are not. It’s a trick of animation and high-speed lighting, not high-speed photography, stroboscopic illusion. And …

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