Preview: OpenStomp, Open Source Effects Stompbox, US$349

Ever dreamed of being able to program your own DSP hardware as easily as you can connect custom effects on your computer? Earlier this summer, we saw the open source OpenStomp effects pedal. Then, information was scant and we hadn’t seen an actual unit. Now, the box is going into production for North America at US$349, available for purchase right now. The magic inside is Parallax’s Propeller CPU core. If anything kick starts a DIY revolution for DSP hardware, this could be it. The software is Windows-only, but Mac users, could be a good reason to install Windows dual-boot; there’s …

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Easier DIY Controllers: MachineCollective in Beta, Shipping Next Month

There’s a growing appetite for using custom controllers or creating DIY controllers from scratch. Why not, after all, get exactly the number of knobs and sliders you want, in just the layout you want? Where a lot of these projects stumble, though, is in the enclosure. That’s what made the appearance of machinecollective, an polished-looking modular system of just the kinds of enclosures you’d want, so exciting when we saw it last month. Well, here’s some good news: Machinecollective may be coming to you very soon. The site has launched in beta, and prototypes are scheduled for shipping early next …

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Nintendo to Block Homebrew Game Hardware; Leaked DS-10 ROM Inspires DS Music

A hacked DS, as photographed by BAMCAT. Homebrewed game music has an uneasy relationship with the mainstream game industry. Running or developing DIY music software isn’t possible on the Nintendo DS without special hardware – hardware that’s also favored by pirates. Nintendo is now suing the makers and sellers of that hardware, because they (correctly) point out it’s being used to pirate — but that could impact the homebrew music software scene, as well. And against that debate, we have a major leak of the Korg DS-10 cartridge, the one cartridge that is official and runs like a normal DS …

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Big Updates for Handheld Homebrew Music: NitroTracker 0.4, PSPSeq 3, PSP Rhythm 8

iPhone what? There’s big stuff happening in homebrew music development for Nintendo DS and PSP. NitroTracker 0.4 (Now) First up, on the uber-popular Nintendo DS, NitroTracker 0.4 adds some big features. Creator Tobias Weyand writes: I wanted to tell you that I just released NitroTracker v0.4 with lots of new features and improvements, the coolest ones being sample looping and stylus-drawable volume envelopes. You can basically just record a sound, make it loop, draw an envelope, and there you have your instant instrument. Sample looping is interesting, too – you can loop forward or, as in many video samplers, ping-pong …

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Journal: The Mind Meld Audiovisual Retreat in New England

Last month, I was lucky enough to head to a gathering of music and visual artists at the studio of artist Duncan Laurie in Jamestown, Rhode Island, accompanied by performances in Providence and Boston. Among the cast: Richard Devine, Josh Kay (Phoenicia/Schematic), Steve Nalepa, Todd Thille (Synesthete), Vidvox’s David Lublin, Josh Randall (Robotkid/Harmonix), Aerostatic, Brian Kane (former Emergency Broadcast Network), and Ooah (Glitch Mob). And then there were the rocks and coconuts. Duncan Laurie and electrical engineer Gordon Salisbury have been sonifying natural signal sources, hooking up vintage radionics equipment and connecting rocks and bananas and such to signals. Richard …

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Nintendo DS Goodies: glitchDS Update, repeaterDS, Wireless MIDI, DS-10

Can $130 buy you more versatile digital musical studio hardware than (bizarrely) a Nintendo DS loaded with homebrew software? The software keeps rolling in. The wonderful cellular automation synth glitchDS has just gotten its 1.3 update, with per-sound volume, a tap-able “pad play” page for triggering samples, quick snapshot saving, and other improvements. Better still, the author has created a new tool, demoed in the video above. repeaterDS lets you draw on the DS screen to play a looped sample, with the Y axis impacting repeat length and X axis controlling playback offset. repeaterDS (Thanks, foosnark!) dsmcu is an in-progress …

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MIDIFY, Shipping Now, Adds MIDI to Nintendo Handhelds, Microwaved Corn Dogs

Here’s the one you’ve been waiting for. MIDIFY is a DIY board that lets you add MIDI to any Nintendo handheld game console – DS, DS Lite, GBA, GBA-SP, and (with some extra parts) other devices – even microwave ovens. US$34.99, a scant 2 oz, and you even get a MIDI cable. Wire that sucker in, and you can assign MIDI messages however you like, including either omni or channelized modes. This is a very direct solution: the board actually outputs signal directly into whatever you wish to control. Midify Product Page; story broken by hahafresh  It’s fitting that in …

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Guitar Pedals Go DIY, Open Source

Ever wished you could open up guitar pedals and make them work the way you like? This week brought good news for you, whether your flavor is hardware or software. Prefer to wire up a simple DIY project and learn about circuitry without soldering? Or want a mad eight-core food pedal with video output and lots of jacks? Whatever your taste, Beavis and Coyote can make you happy – all without needing a gigantic crucifix form factor. (Uh … more on that in a bit. Long story.) The Beavis, shipping now, offers everything you need to wire up 25 sound-shaping …

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Time to Buy Up Generation 1 iPhones for Hacking?

Everyone’s been having the same thought, from what I’ve seen on the blogs and on Twitter: as iPhone users dump their current models for the new 3G iPhone, is now the time to snap up old iPhones and hack away? Hackaday picks up the idea: Hackit: What to do with a 1st gen iPhone? Thanks for the link to our music round-up, Hack-a-Day. (With more stuff coming out, I may have to update that soon.) Of course, if this gets real popular, even the old, discarded iPhones may have a price premium. But if you’ve got one you’re trying to …

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glitchDS: Free Cellular Automaton Music Sequencer

The clever musical gems for the Nintendo DS just keep coming. Nintendo’s handheld game console, in my mind, wins hands-down among mobile platforms in terms of sheer choice, even though the homebrew development is entirely unsanctioned by Nintendo. The latest entry: glitchDS, a clever sequencer that uses a cellular automaton (a simple, grid-based model of the evolution of cellular structures). CA, particularly John Conway’s Game of Life rendition from the 70s, has been applied to music before; there’s a powerful version in the Newscool preset in Reaktor 5. But this happens to be particularly well-suited to a touchscreen, and to …

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