Let’s be clear about one thing: building your own Monome from a kit isn’t actually necessarily for everyone. DIY is a wonderful thing, but you want to make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew — always start simple and grow from there. You can buy a premade Monome, the sustainably-produced, open-source, boutique controller, and be much safer. That said, sometimes something wonderful happens along the way when a project evolves from what you thought it would be into something else — the occasional bloodied finger a necessary sacrifice.

Johan Larsby was inspired by the team behind the Arduinome clone. (I got to talk off the heads of Arduinome’s Jordan and Owen yesterday and get to stalk them in the LA area next week.) Somehow, in trying to create his own, something … else happened. And there was blood.

It was one of these I tried to build, but failed with as you will read further down, so instead I created something that suited my skills better and something I probably will use a lot more 🙂 Thus I dubbed my contraption to Moanome.

You really have to see the thing in action — oversized with its giant arcade buttons, it’s got a quirky character quite different from the minimal original:

Johan Larsby has been seen round these parts before. He’s made wonderful plug-ins, tipped us off on early Wii-as-music experiments and bent toy guitars into instruments in our circuit-bending challenge. Check out his site for java demos, DIY projects, code and Buzz plug-ins and more.

If you start a project and it goes … somewhere else … don’t be afraid to share.

And as the monome originators note in the original post, this both inspires smiles and demonstrates “the rewards of open source.”