Critter & Guitari’s new music box turns into anything, with Pd

What makes something a “computer”? In practical terms, the definition is getting steadily blurrier when it comes to music. With computation sipping power, generating less heat, and costing far less than before, that “computer” may find itself in places other than a big folding metal typewriter with a spendy display and a picture of a bitten fruit on the back. But the power of the computer – the ability to turn a magic box into the instrument or effect of your desiring – that stays. And that’s something that’s beginning to remake musical objects.


Play a Russian Folk Instrument with Your Mind, Or Turn Seashell Patterns, Likes Into Generative Art

::vtol:: “turbo-gusli” demo performance from ::vtol:: on Vimeo. Musical instruments: make a move, get a sound. Or, musical instruments: apply an algorithm, get a sound. Read the tattoos on your arm as a score, turn the black-and-white patterning of a seashell into generated audiovisual artwork, apply brainwaves to a folk instrument and let a robot play it… Such are the mental excursions of one ::vtol::, aka Moscow’s Dmitry Morozov. He’s been busy over the past year or so, wearing robots that interface with tattoos to make music and constructing surround sound umbrellas. And we still have more crazy-science goodness to …


Now with MIDI: Critter + Guitari Pocket Piano

The Pocket Piano remains one of my favorite boutique creations – a devilishly simple, irresistibly fun musical instrument. And now, in addition to other subtle tweaks it has received, it gets MIDI – see video above. We got to spend time with the Pocket Piano at CDM’s Handmade Music Lounge at Solid Sound Festival, presented by Moog Music; video from that coming soon, to remind us of the warmth of summer as we slip into fall. What does MIDI mean for the Pocket Piano? Send MIDI (controller): key presses as note messages Receive MIDI (sound module) all 88 notes of …


In Electric Colors, New Video Generators from Critter and Guitari, Gieskes

Video synthesis hardware is suddenly on fire – and you don’t need a fortune to get into it. From two legendary makers of audio electronics, we have two fantastic new designs for video synths, available on the cheap for your psychedelic optic nerve-massaging fun.


Kaleidoloops: Beautiful Box for Collecting and Layering Sounds by Critter and Guitari

In a week awash with new music gadgetry, Kaleidoloops are a reminder of the electronic musical object at its most basic. It’s a box for collecting and making sounds. The Kaleidoloop contains basic digital audio recording capabilities – 16-bit / 22,050 Hz mono WAV. You can now save those recordings on an SD card, with up to 32,000 tracks and – if you upgrade beyond the paltry included 256M card – hours of sound. What makes it interesting is its simple controls for manipulation. Knobs control speed and direction, and you can switch the speed control between a continuous mode …


Groovy Color TV Oscilloscope Box from Critter and Guitari

This isn’t your average oscilloscope. This is that buttoned-down lab equipment with the tie off, gone psychedelic. The Derraindrop is the latest strange hardware creation from the wizards at Critter and Guitari, the folks who brought us the brilliant DIY Video Critter custom video synth and other wonderful video creations. In an age when hardware has waned as video input, they’re keeping the dream alive. The Derraindrop is simple but brilliant: plug in an audio input, get oscilloscope output, but repainted into sweet, groovy color. Knobs adjust mode (both lines and filled areas are available), color, and gain. And the …