MIDI and Music

Strange Wiimote camera…

March 29, 2011

Patrick van der Poel wrote to me with some pictures of what he found when he opened up a Wiimote recently. Instead of the normal Pixart sensor he found a strange daughter-board configuration. It looks very easy to remove, but it’s nothing like the regular sensor. Fortunately they labelled the board pinouts on the underside […]

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How to get 100% on your Senior Project…

March 26, 2011
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Build yourself a laser harp. At least that’s what Connor Thomas did – he’s been working on it for some time and he just sent me an email to let me know that the results came in and he scored 100%. Nice one. Here he is next to the tri-fold display.

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…getting one million views on YouTube

March 19, 2011
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Yay! After 3 years of ‘tubing I finally watched the view counter on my Youtube channel account click past 1,000,000 views. Here’s the 5 most popular videos by subject… 1. The Laser Harp – got the lion’s share at 389,367 views 2. How the TARDIS really works – 23,317 views 3. Building a robotic Dalek […]

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AudioLab – a very slick audio processing library for .Net

March 15, 2011
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I recently needed to do some analysis on an audio signal through the microphone socket. I tried using an “off-the-shelf” audio package and the results were OK, but it took quite a lot of effort to isolate the correct frequency bands to get the information I needed. So much so, that I started to look […]

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…the last darned MIDI interface I’ll ever build.

March 14, 2011
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I have a love/hate relationship with MIDI. More than half the projects I work on require some kind of MIDI interface, and I can *never* remember the hookup. All the diagrams on the web never indicate if the view is from the front, or the back of the connector. *And* I can never find a […]

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MIDI Camera – gesture control for Ableton (and just about anything else!)

February 26, 2011
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Way back in 2008 I did quite a bit of work with the Pixart camera taken from a Wiimote. There are no official specifications or data sheet available, so everything has been gleaned by reverse-engineering the chip itself. Over the last couple of years I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the sensor […]

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Can *you* top the laser harp…?

February 1, 2011
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This pitch tracking interface was originally created to add MIDI capability to a Vacuum Tube Theremin. It was only after it was finished that I realised it could be used as the basis for a whole range of different electronic instruments. The idea is that this processor can be used to interface to a wide […]

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Official! Laser Harp #2 most badass musical instrument ever built…

January 29, 2011
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Bill Fredette – a fellow laser harp user – alerted me to this write-up on cracked.com… http://www.cracked.com/article_18980_the-5-most-badass-musical-instruments-ever-built.html “If you could kill Bond with your Nanoguitar pick, you’d use the Laser Harp you’d to wipe out the rest of MI6 in one hellish afternoon of fire, blood, and inappropriately mellow tunes.” Just getting in, in front […]

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Pitch and Volume Tracking MIDI interface for the Theremin

January 24, 2011
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Can you top a laser harp…? After I published some of my earlier videos I get asked on a regular basis if I can create a MIDI interface that would work with any Theremin. So after completing the vacuum tube Theremin, I thought it was about time I put something together. The hardware tracks threshold […]

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R.I.P. CASIO VZ-1 Synth

January 21, 2011
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I think I was 17 when I finally saved up the £300 I needed to buy my first synthesizer. I opted for the Casio VZ-1 – not a particularly powerful synth, but at the time it was a very good controller keyboard. Casio where well known for “novelty” keyboards, and so the VZ-1 was quite […]

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