Teenage Engineering Drum Machine, Hacked with Big Buttons

You’re going to need some bigger pockets. (Overalls?) British-born, Kyoto-based Ally Mobbs has hacked the inexpensive Teenage Engineering PO-12 drum machine into a full-sized box. Instead of the tiny, fingertip-challenging buttons, you get nice, big arcade buttons. He’s also made a lovely-looking wooden case and a jack connector.


Mods Make The Moog’s Werkstatt Synth More Educational, More Fun

It began as an exclusive for a limited-edition workshop. But it’s turned into more. Moog’s Werkstatt synth is a lovely little analog synthesizer in its own right. But, driven by its educational mission, it’s also become a means of learning electronics. This is a synth you want to hot-rod.


What Can You Hack on KORG volca series? First Mod Details, as KOMA Meets KORG [Video]

When KORG’s Tatsuya Takahashi is involved in a project, you can expect some hackability. KORG surprised the music tech community by releasing filter schematics for its monotron and designing the boards for the monotron and Monotribe in such a way that opened them to modifications – like adding much-needed MIDI capability absent on those first devices. The KORG volca series already has MIDI input and most other features you want, so the majority of volca buyers won’t need or want to modify anything at all. That’s not bad for boxes that cost just US$150. But there are some opportunities for …


Tuning Ableton Live, Push: Undersea Colors for Push, Important Bugfixes for Live

If Push’s whites have been giving you the blues, everything’s better down where it’s wetter. And while some readers happily dove into the Live 9 waters right on release, recent bugfixes have made this software significantly more mature. (Uh, read: yeah, some stuff was rather broken for a bit there.) First off, just for fun, let’s talk about making your Push “seapunk” in coloring. RGB LEDs have gotten brighter, but color calibration remains an issue, and so many Push users have complained about inconsistent white coloring. Even if you haven’t had calibration issues, too, you might just want a change. …


DJ Control: Up With Extra Buttons, Down with Clean and Store-Bought, Says DIYer

Praxis Doktor Andy is adding extra buttons to his Numark DJ 2 Go, ripping it apart and putting it back together again just in the name of making it more … button-y. But he also has something to say to the industry, something that might surprise you: There are too many good DJ controllers. He’s posted a full walkthrough of the modifications, enough so that you could duplicate it yourself if so inclined. But you might be equally inspired by a manifesto of sorts interwoven with the build pics. I’ll excerpt here my favorite parts: Digital Dj’ing has become too …


Compact Foot Controller Mod: KORG nanoKEY for Your Feet

Compact MIDI controllers for your fingers are plentiful, but tiny foot controllers are far fewer. map~map aka Marcus Fischer decided to build his own by performing a simple but clever mod of the KORG nanoKEY. Now, personally, I find the nanoKEY the one product in the nano series that’s lacking; it feels more like a QWERTY keyboard than anything resembling a MIDI keyboard. But Marcus transforms it into the world’s most compact and portable foot controller. You may have to be somewhat delicate with your toes, but he says the solution works perfectly! i’ve been wanting a compact usb midi …


VJing with the Half Life 2 Game Engine

“Games” are, at their heart, high-performance, real-time-optimized, interactive three-dimensional graphics engines. And that means that, by focusing on their live graphical capabilities, they can become incredibly advanced live visual instruments – the stuff of VJs and visualists. A number of artists have put that to good use. Riley Harmon sends along his work with the Source Engine, the Valve-developed graphics engine behind the classic title Half Life 2 (and Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, and the like). It’s an unusually well-balanced, solid engine that works really nicely, so a good choice. Here, it gets warped to new visual performance …


Mod the $50 SX-150 for MIDI: Instructions + Code

Photo via Flickr courtesy (C) MrBook aka heurtubia aka Hector Urtubia. A $50 synth that makes neat noises is fun. But a $50 synth that has a proper housing, audio jacks, and can be MIDI controlled — that’s a whole lot better. So readers were wowed last week as we saw the work MrBook did with his Gakken SX-150. Now, by popular demand, MrBook shares his techniques with specs, instructions, and code. This isn’t a bad project to get started with if you’ve been thinking of doing something on these lines. The basic ingredients and process: Find the connections on …


Video: TouchOSC on iPod touch Adds Controls to ReMOTE SL Keyboard

Tom Phillipson sends us a really lovely video in which he extends what’s possible on a ReMOTE SL keyboard from Novation by adding the touch controls of an iPod touch. This is exactly what I’ve been talking about in terms of the usefulness of the iPod and iPhone apps: they’re a perfect, reasonably affordable (US$220 for an entry-level iPod touch) means of adding interactive controls to your hardware. You can use the touch controls for parameters well-suited to touch and that layout (and see those controls in the dark onstage), and physical controls for other tasks. Tom writes: Rob from …