Monthly Archives: November 2013

MIDI switcher

Looking for an easy way to build your own robot drummer?

Jason Hotchkiss has developed a nice new proto board and he is selling the first batch as a fundraiser to help him get it started: here


This is exactly the kind of technology i used to build this:


“Really annoying little boxes”, as my sound technician likes to call them or “stupid little boxes that nerds use” seem to be all the rage on the internet at the moment. These specific ones seem relatively interesting because they seem to be Arduino based.  Perhaps they can be made from scratch ? anyway its and interesting trend.


Here is what the makers say about this assortment of cute little boxes that go bleep bloop


“We are happy to announce the launch of Bastl Instruments, new brand for electronic hand-made musical instruments, which continues the tradition set up by Standuino.

The first main product is Trinity – universal musical instrument and original sounding modular groovebox. It can function as any type of digital synthesizer, sequencer, controller, arpeggiator or almost anything that can be programmed into a micro-controller. Trinity is designed to be connected and combined with other Trinities of different functions in a chain, so you can create your own music making environment. It is ready to communicate with the outer world via MIDI and different sync and CV methods using MIDI Bastl. We are musicians passionate of exploring new fields of sonic experience – we already developed 4 different instruments for Trinity which work great together. They are sequencer, drum synthesizer, polyphonic synthesizer and monophonic FM synthesizer.…and there is many more to come!
All Trinity instruments have the same starting price: 60 eur for assembled instrument and 45 eur for a soldering kit.

Trinity is a finished musical instrument as much as an empty canvas. It is open for any sort of hacks both hardware and software. You can hack the existing softwares or write your own synth software from scratch using the Mozzi library for sound output. Because Trinity is based on Arduino, you can use the whole world of it to interface literally anything with it. Hardware hackability means that you can connect sensors or motors to it or sync it to any device. The softwares and examples are written in structured form so you can read and change them easily.

Standuino began in 2011 as artistic project giving tribute to Standa Filip, one of the pioneers of hand-made electronic instruments from Czech Republic. In 2013 Standuino cease to produce and sell musical instruments, but remains an artistic project aiming to bring up stories from the history and show the poetry of czechoslovakian DIY from the communist era. The reasons to bring up a new name and brand for the production of musical instruments itself were numerous. Most of all, Standuino began as an artistic project with different focus than development and sale of musical instruments. By separating these two poles, we want to clarify that Standuino is an active non-commercial cultural and artistic movement, whereas Bastl Instruments is a grown-up professional music instruments developer and producer. This split also comes from different structure of the hardware design. Whereas Stadnuino was intended as an universal prototyping platform, Bastl Instruments are primarily designed for sound production. The creative core team of Bastl Instruments remains the same as the team of Standuino: Ondřej Merta and Václav Peloušek. All production takes place in Brno, Czech Republic.

Graphic identity of Bastl Instruments was created by Anymade studio.

Wow, this is a lot of cmos logic (like what is used in the tutorials on this page) in one box!

The inventor says:

“What happens when you take an infinite amount of monkeys, over an infinite period of time, and give them a handful of CMOS chips, an old voice changer toy?

This thing is a workshop tool, which also makes lo-fi tones and grainy effects.

It was made using (from memory) at least one 4093, a 4040, a 5051, a 4017 & an old 80’s voice machine.”


1-bit d.i.y. drum machine

So you thought 8-bit was retro and awesome? Well, time to bow down to the far more retro and infinitly more awesome 1-bit drum machine. Its based on an Atmega328p chip (that is the same chip as on the Arduino.  And according to its maker “Jan” of Buran Electrix its highly hackable, especially if you know how to program arduino. So if you dont know then its time to learn.

The absolute simplest way to make a “D.I.Y. Synth”

I love the sheer simplicity of this beautiful hack. It couldn’t be easier a perfect way to instantly transform a piece of clutter (because there are a lot of computer speakers out there) into a screaming box of pure feedback.





After seeing the Little Bits – Korg the other day a friend tipped me off about these possibly even more awesome little modulat blocks called Patchblocks. Allthough they come in a similar package and the logic of stringing them together seems similar, these are a completely different type of animal.

Instead of being analog they are little “computers” that can be programmed to act as a number of different machines. from synths and drum machines to sequencers and effects. The programming is done in a Visual Programming language very similar to Max msp, pure data or synth edit, as you can see below.



They have a kikstarter (where you can preorder to help get the business going)

Finally check this video out showcasing their awesomeness.

Little Bits – KORG



A while back Aya Bdeir released a collection of magnetically snapping modules to learn electronics with called “Little Bits”. This was a bit boring and overpriced, BUT now she has teamed up with KORG and made a new type of little bits where the modules are parts of a synthersizer and can be used to make your own synth. Just by snapping together some magnets. And then you can take it apart and reassemble it differently. YAY!



Hopefully it wont be as overly expensive as the original little bits where, anyway, here is a video of some people playing with them:

More Atari Punk Console:

Here is another tutorial for making an Atari punk console, A great “synth” for beginners.


In case you were wondering what Chip you need, then it’s this one:



The 556 Dual timer chip (2 555 timer chips in one package)

And here are some nice ones others have built:





And here is one i made:


want to book a concert or a workshop contact me here:




Fantasy Mansion

Reprint XMAS 2017

Order here

Planck Midi/CV controller register interest here

More info on Planck here

NEW Christmas track 2016

Ravé Maria

Forest Moon Music Video

Dead Cats Coming Oct2015

on Metronomicon Audio

New EP out NOW!!!1

New VST ploggin!