I’m sure you have already seen this somewhere else (cdm for instance) but I feel the urge to replace the default post with something. So, here we go:
Two weeks ago, I have been attending the Berlin Music Hackday, a convention of coders and creators from around the world. Being seemly the only owner of a bottle-opener, I quickly came in touch with Ramsey Arnaoot, a nice guy from the US who has unfortunately already moved back there. Discussing the focus that the presentations had on Web 2.0 APIs, we decided to take a more physical approach to computer-generated sounds, using one of the Arduino boards we had lying around.
After a short trip to Kaufhof and Conrad to stack up with servos, toy instruments and hot glue, we put the whole thing together in very short time.
The build is nothing special and quite self-explanatory, little hammers made of hot-glued bolts strike the Glockenspiel. The Arduino library suffered from a bug that would let us use only 6 servos, so we had to settle for the major pentatonic scale.
On the computer side, a Java application is listening to incoming MIDI data and triggers the servos using simple serial messages. This was the second project I did with the Arduino and I am still amazed how easily things can be prototyped with this platform. Ramsey wrote a custom Pd-Patch for RjDj to generate music from sensory data, though we haven’t got a video of this (yet).
By the way: I’m very interested in attending the Amsterdam Music Hackday, so if anyone reading this is driving there, passing Berlin and willing to take me along, please get in touch.