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Making things that make music.

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Build Music Things becomes Hand-Rolled Noise

After a long break (nearly 10 years!), it seemed like a good time to dust off this blog and post some updates to recent projects I have been working on. The blog has a new name, Hand-Rolled Noise (it used to be called Build Music Things), and an updated website.

STEIM Patterns+Pleasure Festival

The STEIM Patterns+Pleasure Festival is approaching on the Sept. 26, 27 and 28. I can’t go this year, hope they run it next year. Patterns+Pleasure Festival Trailer from STEIM Amsterdam on Vimeo. Like the BEAM festival, there are workshop events which include building the STEIM CrackleBoard: STEIM CrackleBoard

Theremin Style Music Controller

I’ve built a music controller that senses hand movements, in a similar way to a Theremin, for an interactive musical installation dorkbot bristol is exhibiting at the BV Open Studios 2011 this October. I’m hoping that people will be able to have some fun playing with the sounds of some music sequences being synthesized on a Mac by moving their hands...

BV Open Studios Weekend 2011

Last weekend was the dorkbot interactive musical installation at the BV Open Studios Weekend held in the Bristol Hackspace and the kitchen at BV Studios. The Theremin Style Music Controller was set up in the kitchen along with two installations made by other dorkbot members: Richard’s biscuit-tin rhythm copying drums and John’s Tilty music box. Other...

Rockit Kit Arrives

The Rockit kit arrived last week from HackMe Electronics. A few people have already built working kits, I’m looking forward to building and powering it up. There’s a fair bit of soldering in this kit, so those of us building a kit have our work cut out…

SX-150 MIDI Interface

Gakken SX-150 synth, with MIDI interface circuit.  A Sparkfun AVR programmer was used to program the attiny2313 microcontroller used in the circuit. The Gakken SX-150 synth has a stylus which is touched on a continuous strip to control the pitch of the sound. It’s hard to play tuned notes using the stylus and so a MIDI interface for the SX-150 is a...

Building the MeeBlip Firmware on Mac OS X

Here’s how you can build the Meeblip firmware on Mac OS X. For Windows, AVR Studio can be used to build the firmware. For Mac OS, the command line tool avra can be used, and presumably this will also work on Linux, although I’ve not tried this. Using avra to build the firmware was discussed on the MeeBlip forum, but I’ve summarised the steps below....

Rockit Kit Build

After a few sessions of building, the Rockit is finished and working! The Rockit has 2 digital oscillators, a 2-pole analog filter with low-pass, band-pass and high-pass modes, and 2 LFOs that can be routed to different control inputs of the oscillators and filter. From first impressions of playing the Rockit, the analog filter sounds nice. The band-pass...

Move to WordPress

Following a move to WordPress, this is the new site for Build Music Things!

Building and Uploading the Rockit Firmware on Mac OS X

Like the Meeblip synth, the supported tool for Rockit development is AVR Studio which can only be used with Windows. It’s possible to build the Rockit code from the Mac OS X command line using the avr-gcc compiler and a new Makefile. The avr-gcc compiler is available for installation on Mac OS X through MacPorts. You’ll also need to install avrdude...

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