Launchpad + Raspberry Pi = Standalone Grid Piano Practice Machine, Boots in 10 Seconds

A standalone grid musical instrument? Done. And it can be a new way to venture into the worlds of harmony. Marc “Nostromo” Resibois is back with another clever Raspberry Pi hack. We saw him last fall, beating KORG to the punch with his own – digital – MS-20 mini, using the Pi. It’s still appealing, […]

Melodies in Triangles: Christopher Willits on Playing Grids of Push [Tutorial Video]

You can think about melodies and harmonies in geometric shapes. In fact, instrumentalists playing piano keys or guitar frets have already been doing that for some time. What’s happening with grid controllers like Push – among other alternatives – is that it’s now easy to rearrange melodic setups to see and play these relationships in […]

808 Patterns, Visualized in Posters, Connect Graphic to Rhythmic

Designing a piece of gear, an interface, is a musical exercise much as is sketching a written score. It’s particularly apparent in the simple but descriptive “x0x” grid of the step sequencer on the Roland TR-808. Graphic designer Rob Ricketts has made some beautiful, arresting posters that simply provide those patterns. Apologies if you’ve seen […]

Bassnectar on Beat Structure, EDM, and Dubstep, Illustrated: Hearing Rhythm

How do you hear? What do you hear? Coming to agreement about something rooted in perception is by definition a doomed exercise. But that means the best thing to do is not so much to agree as to talk about the music – about what you hear – and not just the labels. Amidst glib […]

Pythagoras, Upcoming iPad App, Recasts Frets to Make them More Harmonic

To celebrate what in the US we call 3.14 or PI day, today I’m offering stories that deal with mathematics and circles. First up, an app named for the great philosopher who is credited – even if perhaps ahistorically so – with finding that ratio and ratios in harmonies. Technology has long introduced innovations that […]

SoundPrism – Colorful, Playable iPad App – and Organizing Tones and Harmony Visually

The iPad may be the catalyst, but look beyond the platform, and you’ll see a reinvigorated examination of how to think about musical interfaces. If you’re looking to relax and make some musical noises on your iPad, check out the videos above. It isn’t actually necessary to fully understand the design work behind the interface […]