Surveying toys at a previous Handmade Music night.

Handmade Music, the monthly celebration of DIY musical instruments, electronics, and software hits its new home at East Williamsburg’s 3rd Ward tomorrow night, Thursday 12/11 7:30-10:30p. [Directions] Here’s a glimpse of a couple of the projects expected tomorrow night.

If you’re not in the NYC area, you can come visit us online at 8:30p Eastern time and hang with the crafty community denizens of

Etsy Virtual Labs [not updated as I write this, but check in tomorrow]

If you are in the NYC area:

1. Workshop: We have more workshop spaces available in Michael Una’s workshop. For the cost of parts, and even if you have zero electronics experience, you’ll leave with a finished Beep-It optical Theremin! Walk-ups are okay if we have room, but to be safe, pre-register today:

And it’s got a new form factor, as seen at right.

2. Projects to bring: If you’ve got a project you’d like to bring, just bring it! If you want to give us some warning, fill this out today:

Call for Works Form [Google Docs]

3. Facebook us: You can also RSVP on our Facebook page

4. Snacks/drinks! We’ll have pizza and (for a nominal fee, if you’re of age) PBR’s, and if the weather’s nasty, hot chocolates

Project previews

Handmade Music is a pot luck supper for everything from Max patches to strange acoustic instruments, so we never really know what will show up. Here are a couple of projects that are coming, though:

Electronic Glockenspiel, Michael Sperone

Glockenspiel with microphone pickups which go through a max patch which expands the range of the little 2.5 octave instrument to a full 5.5 octaves, as well as adds other features not present on a glockenspiel.  It almost sounds like a glockenspiel/marimba/vibraphone hybrid.  The project is also starting to experiment with interfacing with max/msp in new ways.

Plink Jet, Andy Doro + Lesley Flanagan

Plink Jet is a robotic musical instrument made from scavenged ink jet printers. The mechanical parts of four printers are diverted from their original function, re-contextualizing the relatively high-tech mechanisms of this typically banal appliance into a ludic musical performance. Motorized, sliding ink cartridges and plucking mechanisms play four guitar strings by manipulating both pitch and strumming patterns like human hands fingering, fretting, and strumming a guitar. Plink Jet is designed to play itself, be played, or both.  The result is an optionally collaborative performance between both the user and Plink Jet, with the user choosing varying levels of manual control over the different cartridges (fretting) and string plucking speeds (strumming).

Updated: Andy decided the Plinkjet was a bit too bulky to bring – though it’s worth watching the video to check this thing out. Instead, we get other surprise wonders – a networked sound device and a cube whose sounds shift as you pick it up and move it around:

And while I don’t have any documentation of it yet, Ted Hayes is bringing this:

A floatometer is a simple wireless (XBee) accelerometer in a watertight plastic ball that floats on water and controls synths…

More expected! Stay tuned!