An Epic, Evil-Looking MIDI Controller: the Custom SR MixControl

From Austin, Texas, a bit of a haven for brilliant custom sound hardware, comes this epic-looking MIDI controller by Mad Zach, the SR MixControl. Covered in blinding super-bright LEDs, and with an absurdly-thorough complement of sliders, knobs, and arcade buttons, it looks as thought it’d be right at home on your evil flying saucer or Mad Max Interceptor. Here’s what the makers have to say about it in their sales pitch:


Electronic Music in Austin; Free Listening from Eskmo

Austin isn’t generally associated with electronic music, but from bands to strictly electronic acts, you see lines blurring all over the place. And amidst the many, many things happening here in Texas in the coming days, we’re fortunate at CDM to help support two events. Tonight is the Allies Electronic Lounge – 416 W Cesar Chavez, 9-2, no badge and free, with Two Fresh, DJ Vadim, Eskmo, and Mindelixer. I’m especially excited about Eskmo’s music, and wherever you are in the world, you can take a listen, free. (Topspin just launched their media platform for everyone if you want to …


Synth Madness, as Sound-making Manufacturers of Austin Gather Today at Switched On

Images from Bleep Labs (top), Livid (bottom) — that’s a SxSW-only edition of Livid’s Block controller, complete with a Texas star. Not pictured: lots of insane analog modules and other audio gadgetry, because I couldn’t get good images. I’m quite excited about those, too, so stay tuned. I’m guessing a lot of gear is showing up later today. Analog and digital, gadgetry and module, DIY and ready-to-play, today in Austin we’re blessed with a get-together at the insanely-amazing Switched On music store. Austin’s noisiest manufacturers are dropping in to show some of their wears. If you’re not in Austin, have …


CDM@SxSW: Free Live Electronics, Academik Record Launch, Local Electronic Instrument Get-Together

Get your dancing boots on. Striped footware spotted recently at Austin’s hip rooftop lounge Lanai, where we’ll be with Academik Records Friday night. Photo (CC-BY) Cameron Russell. Next week, as the South by Southwest Music Festival descends on Austin, Texas, I’m pleased CDM gets to be involved in a few terrific independent events. No badges, no cover, free drinks and even free giveaways – if you happen to be in Austin, you can save money and then do what I’ll probably do, spend it all at the awesome Switched On synth boutique. Here’s the schedule: Wednesday 3/16: Switched On Meet …


New Year, New Handmade Music: Call for NYC, Austin/SxSW, the World

Pete Edwards of casperelectronics making some noise at Manhattan’s Culturefix in October. Handmade Music is our party for people who make things that make music. If you create your own musical tools – whether acoustic instruments and soundmakers, hacks, circuit bends, custom Pd and Max patches, electronics, or code – we want to hear from you. We’re looking for contributors in NYC, Texas, and around the world: Live acts and projects in New York Street team volunteers in NYC and to help organize and promote events in other parts of the planet Live acts and projects for a special South …


Handmade Music, From 3D to Wires, on October 10 in NYC, Austin, or Your Workbench

Handcrafted CD covers for records and mixes, meditative music made in game engines, handheld chip music creations, analog light synths and drone labs, VL-Tone classical music, and more surprises are coming to New York on Sunday, October 10. (Austin, Texas gets its own event, making noisemakers and ring modulators.) We promise music you can dance to, music you can’t, and tapas (at least in NYC). And on October 10, a little secret will finally be revealed to Manhattan and the world. If you’re a citizen of The Internet, we’ve got lots of sounds and creations to explore here on The …


Free How-to on Circuit-Bending the Saw Vocal Recorder; Handmade Music Austin Sunday

“Your kids will love this Saw figure.” So, too, must have been the calculation of the person who decided to immortalize the film Saw with little toys and figures containing 30 seconds of voice recording, because this toy is now available in quantity for — wait for it — US$2. A $2, 30-second sampler? Now that’s a bend waiting to happen. Circuit bending blog GetLoFi in 2008 posted a detailed set of instructions for bending the SAW III sampler. Download the full PDF, and you can make one yourself, using the $2 part from All Electronics. In the spirit of …


Austin + SxSW Handmade Music, New Kit, Super Show of Music

Austin is whirling with South by Southwest excitement, so why not make some swirly radio noises? Yes, Handmade Music Austin does have a big blowout party in the midst of South by, with a huge music lineup. Wish I could be there, gang, but I’ll be staying here in NYC. On the docket: FREE performances starting at noon by Florene, The Hearts & the Minds, WHITE, The Loud Objects, Bodytronix $10 for a workshop Registration and details: Handmade Music Austin #6 Super Show + update Eric Archer writes:


DIY Music Tech Community Round-up; Reflecting on the State of Music DIY?

The elegant patterns of a circuit board, as photographed by / (CC-BY) Last week, what was intended to be a day of posts wound up being several days of updates on events centered around music technology and DIY creation. Here’s a birds-eye view of what we covered, some of the events you can catch in person, and some of what these events reveal. It’s worthwhile just putting these posts in one spot so you can easily mark your calendar – and you can see, even in this small slice, the amount and breadth of activity happening now. At STEIM in …


DIY Community: Austin a Hotbed of Inventive Hardware You Can Build and Use

Wherever you live, you can enjoy the DIY and open hardware inventions coming out of Texas. Or, as the famous song goes: “That’s right, you’re not from Texas / Texas wants you anyway.” Austin, Texas may be associated with the strum of guitars. But it’s also populated by some of our favorite electronic music hardware inventors on the planet, led by the likes of Bleep Labs, 4ms, Eric Archer, and more. They’ve taken the idea of a “Handmade Music” and come up with the best formula for building a community around DIY hardware I’ve seen yet: 1. Get beginners – …