Eric Skiff

Feb 132010
 

We’ve just gotten our new T-shirts, an they look awesome! Huge thanks to 1aeon for another set of fantastic designs!

This time around, we got both Men’s and Women’s shirts in a variety of sizes, but we’ve got a limited supply, so to get one of these shirts, you’ll need to find your way to the NYC Resistor space! Shirts are $20 each. With the move coming up and a limited supply, we unfortunately won’t be able to ship any out.

Feb 102010
 

Valentine’s day is fast approaching, and what is an enterprising hacker with a laser cutter to do but make some heart-shaped LED projects?

There are a few valentine’s day related projects in the works here tonight – here’s a peek into what’s being built!

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Nov 262009
 

Devon pulled out his amazing, hand-made chainmail dice bag Tuesday at NYCR and everyone immediately swarmed to check it out. Much like the mythical Turducken packs three meats in one, this amazing bag pulls together three geeky memes, D&D, DIY, and Ren faire chic, into what may be the greatest dice bag ever made.

Music: Arpanauts – Resistor Anthems – Eric Skiff download

Aug 192009
 

A few months back, I acquired the Monome that Bre had put together. It’s a neat little device and I was able to hook it up using SerialPyIO to get it to light up, play some games, and communicate over OSC, but I was having trouble making any good sounding music with it, and it was sitting on my shelf, unloved. It also needed an enclosure upgrade – I wanted to slim it down, make it a bit more sturdy, and let the circuits and the glow of the LEDs show through some sexy new clear acrylic.

AwesomeAugust spurred me into action, and I grabbed a template for a enclosure top, cleaned it up a bit, added screw holes, designed slices for the hollow body, and started cutting it on the NYCR Laser. I just managed to make it all fit on one sheet of 12″ x 24″ acrylic. I’ve put the template online and it’s and free for anyone to use/republish, however you like. Once it was sliced, I used acrylic cement to bond it all, snipped out the USB port, and it was good to go!

Making music for free…

While the laser was cutting away and the glue was drying on my new enclosure, I spent some time figuring out what tools to use to make music on the cheap. There’s lots of incredible, expensive software out there, but I’m really just playing around for now, and don’t have $500 to blow on a toy. While the full creative suites are often expensive, several companies make “runtime” versions that you can only use for playing instruments and patches other people have made. I decided on the free MaxMSP runtime, and fired up Edward Loveall‘s “ArpShift” script I found on the Monome forum to start programming sequences and changing their pitch and timing on the fly. It’s a great little script, but I wanted something a little more satisfying to listen to than the standard midi piano and other midi instruments it was playing, so I grabbed Native Instruments free Kontakt player samper and their free instrument sets. There are a lot more great scripts for MaxMSP and .nki instruments for Kontakt available on the web, so even without breaking the bank to roll your own instruments, you can make great sounding music on the fly. You can hear the simple tune I managed in just a few minutes with ArpShift and Kontakt in the video above.

I’m still looking for a good program to record the loops I’m creating with these instruments and assemble them into a song and I may break down and get myself a copy of Ableton Live LE for that. (Anyone know of other options for live loop creation and on the fly multitracking?)

In the meantime, I’ll be playing with my new music creation toy, and Ranjit and I will be teaming up to hook the Monome up to his Player Toy Piano for the NYCR Interactive Party this Saturday. If you want to play with the Monome/Player Toy Piano (or any of a bunch of other neat interactive projects in the works) RSVP, and we’ll see you there!

Aug 172009
 

While on vacation on Cape Cod, I got a chance to see Fritz of Fritz Glass, working his craft. Glass Blowing is a very technical art and he was a master craftsman, and was happy to share the process, answer questions, and talk while he worked. His open workshop felt a lot like Resistor, full of the tools of his trade and evidence of current hacking (he also builds his own furnaces!), and it was fascinating to watch the process, so I figured I’d share the video here.


High-Res quicktime file

Music: Learn to Fly by Josh Woodward

Aug 082009
 

Bre and Skiff Vamping it up

Gizmodo kicked off their “Summermodo” event yesterday with a post asking if you’re a “nerd that can tan“, and they chose to use this hilarious photo of me and Bre showing off the fangs we made for a Halloween episode of the show that Bre was working on a few years back. I guess there’s nothing quite as pasty as a vampire geek, so kudos to Gizmodo for pulling that photo from the archives.

By a funny coincidence, I’m on a beach vacation for the week, so I figured I should present some photographic evidence that, yes, Resistors (and geeks everywhere) actually can get a tan.

Mario Beach 3

And yes, that is a scene from Super Mario Bros made of seashells beside me. ;)

Mario Beach Scene

Aug 072009
 

Download the album free!

Resistor Anthems

After instigating Awesome August and challenging myself to finish 4 projects this month, my first order of business was to start putting the finishing touches on my 8-bit album, “Resistor Anthems”. The overarching theme for all of my Awesome August projects is “open everything” and accordingly, this album is released under the super-permissive Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. That means you are free to download the music, use it however you like, mix it up, mash it up, and use it in podcasts, videos, or commercial projects however you see fit, so long as you provide attribution, preferably like so:

Music: [Track name] by Eric Skiff, http://glitchnyc.com/music

In the interest of making the music as open and easy to repurpose as possible, I’m also putting out many of the Garage Band files used in the making of this album, which contain direct dumps of each nanoloop channel. I wasn’t 100% organized when I started putting this album together, but there should be some great samples you can pull out of there, and if there’s anything you hear on the album that you’d like to work with but can’t find, just let me know

This album was composed primarily on a Gameboy using nanoloop 1.3 and 1.5. Thanks to Bre for lending me his cart and vintage GB!

You can listen to individual tracks after the jump:

Continue reading »

Aug 042009
 

Awesome August Flyer

Here at NYCR, this is no ordinary August we’ve just started… This, my friends, is Awesome August.

What’s Awesome August you ask? Well, in order to make this hot summer month live up to its new name, we’ve challenged each other to get off our collective butts and finish up all those great projects, neat ideas, and crazy pipedreams that we’ve been talking about since January and get them done this month.

Like many other Resistors, I’ve had a few projects brewing for far too long, and it’s time to get them done and put them out there. I needed to give myself a deadline, and here it is. I’ve pledged to finish, document, and publish 4 awesome projects in August. It’s a tall order, but I’ve got some great stuff in the hopper, and I’m excited to finally get them done. The idea of Awesome August caught fire at NYCR, and when I issued the challenge to the rest of Resistor as well, everyone in the room stepped up with at least one amazing project that they’re going to finish this month!

So, this will be a busy (and awesome, yes, we’re going to totally wear out that word) month here, but Awesome August doesn’t just stop with us. I’m issuing this challenge to everyone who’s got a project on the burner but hasn’t gotten around to finishing it up. Now is the time! Finish it up, snap some pics, write up a blog post, and tag everything #awesomeaugust so other people can find it, and add a link in the comments here.

Finally, Join us on August 22nd for the Interactive Party – Justin’s already started his Awesome August project for the party – a giant 8′ lite brite!.

You can see what everyone else is tagging with “#awesomeaugust” here:

Help us spread the word! You can link to this post here: http://bit.ly/awesomeaugust