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.

Electrix Filter Factory – Face Plate Graphic

I can’t imagine anyone will need this but while I had my Electrix Filter Factory apart for cleaning and routine maintenance (i.e. screwing around w/ it) I decided to clean up the faceplate and scan it in.  For Cubase users, this would make the perfect graphic for your user defined MIDI Device Controller… (If it’s for an Electrix Filter Factory that is).  I’m thinking a redesign and custom faceplate plate might be in order.

Electrix Filter Factory Faceplate

Kathrin Stumreich – Fabric Machine

Kathrin uses the manual manipulation of photodiodes over moving “tracks” of a variety of sewn fabric to generate rhythmic droning passages.  The movement of several of the fabric tracks, at different speeds, directions, lengths, and composition makes this fascinating to watch and listen too. I for one am looking forward to what Kathrin does next.

fabricmachine from Kathrin Stumreich on Vimeo.

From Kathrin’s website:

The instrument

Two fabric loops, driven by a motor divide space. At certain points there are light sensors installed to receive signals, which get translated in audio signals.

Musicality and design

Fabrics which differ in their weaving technique, are sewed one after another (each loop consists of 196 inch length, with a width of 4,2 inch), creating a fabric track.

The basic parameters which take influence on the sound generation and can be chosen by playing consist of the following:

The frequency ( Hertz) or tone pitch is created by the quality of the fabric, weaving tecnique, basically this is the amount of threads interrupting the light per second. For example very transparent fabrics like silkchiffon create breaks.
Breaks and Rhythm are due to the seam, and the length of each sort of fabric, as well as to the performer
The arrangement of the fabrics in aspects of lenght,quality and the connecting seams are additive parameters for composing a rhythm or a flowing change of the tone pitch (frequency).
The information the lightsensor detects gets transformed into the acoustic signal, which gets amplified and sent to loudspeakers.
Engineering Features

The object that runs the loop is a movable construction and can be taken anywhere.
It works as an instrument as well as a standing alone (interactive) sound art installation.

The musicality of the instrument can be experienced by sliding or positioning the sensor across the tracks on the installed amatur.

MIDI Ironing Board

The title says it all. This is way past old news but it’s still a gem. This photo comes by way of Flickr but it was taken at the first (as in 2007) “handmade music” event at Etsy Labs in Brooklyn NY, sponsored by, MAKE Magazine, and Create Digital Music.

Lara Grant – 16th and Mission

In the world of hacked and modified sewing machines using arduino to control max msp and generate music Lara Grant owns it big time.

From her Flickr page:

Lara Grant, part of the circuit bending orchestra for Diana Eng’s Fairytale Fashion Show held at Eyebeam NYC. Through various hacks and circuit bending techniques, Lara’s sewing machine trigger signals that is then fed onto laptops running MAX/MSP to produce the final soundtrack for the runway. Other team members of the orchestra are Peter Kirn and Matt Ganucheau.

You can see the project blog here:

looks like it’s been zapped. too bad. it was exceptional.

Which has many more great closeups like this one…

16th and Mission - Lara Grant

and more of her and her sister’s work here: