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Tag Archives: Beat

For a while now I have been messing around with what I have called a domestic appliance sequencer. I think I have photos of it on this blog (the start of it). I have not had time to improve it or work on the software and now youtube user arcattack has beaten me to it. The project is very effective though there are some very impressive, percussive sounds being produced.

Touche mr arcattack!

Just found this video on nextNature.net:

I love the lengths Diego goes inorder to get interesting sounds.

I have been busy running through ideas for automated instruments I could use to enrich my performances at open mic nights. One of the main points of interest for me is percussion as it is usually quite over looked at open mic nights apart from the occasional set of bongos. I have been drawing up sketches for a snare drum played using dropping marbles and also for a cassette player hack. The main hurdle for any automated instrument is how will it be sequenced to play itself. Last night I sat down for a while and coded a very very basic sequencer in processing that controlled an Arduino with Firmata installed. There is nothing fancy about the code but I believe this will be a good solid starting point for most of the automated instruments I could ever imagine. There are some images below of the basic setup and a video of the sequencer on the screen and the Arduino carrying out the sequence using LED’s. I am quite happy to publish the source code on request.

This made me smile so I thought i would post it. One of the projects I am working on at the minute is a snare drum that is played using marbles dropping from shoots. I had been wondering how to return the marbles to the top of the shoot until I saw this video posted on hackaday.com. Its such a simple idea I cant wait to see if it will work for my project!

Its been a really long tome since i wrote anything on here. This is partly because i am slacking and the mainly because i have 7 weeks left of my degree and have endless amounts of work to do. Just thought I’d take some time to document version two of the rhythm bug idea I posted a while ago.  Its a bit slow at the mo but works well. Gonna try different wheels maybe a different motor to see if i can improve its performance. I have also changed the switch to be more linear instead of rotating. This seemed to fit better into such a small space. One other detail that is worth mentioning is the humble Drawing pin. The contacts that slide across the circuit board are made from upside down drawing pins. They slide really well, conduct electricity really well and allow the contact to rotate with the movement putting less strain on the solder join – Useful little things!

There are three main reasons why i love this project. Firstly the switches are ingenious. They look to be made out of washers cut in half and separated then as the ball bearing is placed down it connects the two half’s and joins the circuit together. Its so simple that is brilliant.

The second reason i like this project so much is that it uses the old CRT type screen. If you ever go to a dump you will see plenty of these thrown to waste replaced by the more convenient TFT monitor. Its nice to see the old monitors being put to use, i have always thought that the CRT screen would make an awesome base to a coffee table (project coming soon).

I also love that the interface is placed directly above the screen making it possible for the interface to react and change colour throughout the experience. I found this project on the MAKE magazine blog. The Make blog has more information on the build and techniques used for communicating with the computer so if this interests you take a look there as well.

Links:

Peter Bennet

Video of BeatBearing Tangible Rhythm Sequencer

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