Roman Sowa’s Synthpages

I’ve referenced Roman Sowa previously in the AD633 Ring modulator post however I’ve never posted about his past work. To start with, Roman has incredibly detailed build pages on his DIY analog synth projects here. If you dig in and check out the details on his modular build he includes photos, schematics, and technical details that are more than sufficient to guide you in your own build but not overly verbose and distracting. Take a look at his extraordinary hand-made modular.
Roman Sowa Modular

Richard Scott Modular Synths & Compositions

Richard Scott is a composer, free improvising musician, prior administrator at the London Musician’s Collective, holds a Phd from his thesis on free improvisation, resident at STEIM in Amsterdam, designer of the WiGi infra red controller, and holds more distinctions than most artists working in this arena.




Modular Synthesizer | Richard Scott.

Livid Instruments’ Code Station Prototype

Many times when I look at someones work I think of it in terms of ‘could I do that?’. For example, if my system were a scale from 1 to 10 a 1 would be ‘I can definitely do that’ and a 10 would be ‘I probably can’t do that without going back to school for 6 years, lots of practice, and a butt-load of cash’.

Livid Instruments’ photo stream on Flickr highlights one of their most recent projects – the Code Station Prototype. This is definitely one of those times I’d give this a 10 on my ‘Can I do that scale’. I’m looking forward to seeing this i production.

The Octapol, a Flower Conservatory, and WTF?

I came across this great DIY midi controller by Flickr user Mikest

In addition to having a great aesthetic appeal the prototype for the LED ring digital encoders is bitchin’. Hats’s off to Mikest.

Just as an additional observation, usually when i find a flickr user with some cool audio/midi/synth stuff i like to look at all their images. More often than not you can get an idea what the person is into, their hobbies, personality. While browsing Mikest’s pictures this is what I cam across. So I get it, I can see what the flowers resemble, and it appeals to me. But what I think is really awesome is that one image wasn’t enough… another, zoomed in version was necessary.


Flickr user FoToopa just blew my mind.  Their DIY, laser triggered, multi-flash photo set-up for taking hi resolution macro photographs of water droplets is absolutely awesome.  I figured since they use a speaker to control the water droplet output it qualifies as DIY-audio related and deserves posting.  Take a look at the setup:

Waterfigures DIY Setup by FoToopa

FoToopa writes,

Setup for waterfigures. The upper speaker is the dropcontroller. This dropper give a second drop via an audio waveform on the speaker. Control of this timing via a second laser detector just under the dropper. Multiple flashes are used, 5 max for the forground, one for the background. Background can be changed via a colored A3 paper. Different tools can be added, a color injector stay more on the foreground and is controlled via a magnet drive system. This color injector can inject a few paint drops into a falling drop to merge and to form multiple gradiend colors on the splash. On the bottom a second speaker system is used for the waterfigures. Splashes and waterfigures and color injection can be merge together. On the leftside stay a projectiel tool to fire a small iron item through the falling droplet. Ofcourse all this parts are homemade including the hardware controller ( not to seen into this picture). The camera is the D200 nikon driven also by the controller. 2 lasers are used for detection to give the controller the information for all delay’s and timings. All timings are digital at a resolution of 1 to 100 usec at 4 digit/ delay unit. Delays are entred via the keyboard but preset by poweron at the best default time. Some values are drive by 2 rotary encorders to change fast the value.

And then take a look at the results…  Amazing.

Waterfigures by FoToopa

ASMO – the Tweakarium

Stu Smith under the project heading ASMO has built this beautiful hand-made custom MAX MSP controller for Chris Cousin.  Click the image to see the entire Flickr set.  From the ASMO blog:

He works with self made instruments custom built from the modified circuits of electronic toys, keyboards and other discarded gadgets. His work explores the sonic landscape of ‘circuit bent’ instruments and their integration into existing modular synthesizer systems. He writes and performs with the groups Threep and The Buoys and has performed at concerts and festivals across the UK, Europe and New York.

You can see more of ASMO’s work here: