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Oct 092009

The Motor City area has a new hackerspace!!! i3 Detroit held their grand opening this past Saturday 10/3 much to the delight of the geeks of the midwest.  They even lured in the mayor of Royal Oak to perform the ribbon cutting.   As was fitting, the i3 folks set up a “ribbon” of amphenol cable and gave the mayor an acetylene cutting torch to do the honors.

Though unforch I was out of town for the opening, I was able to get out to i3 a few weeks back to meet a few of the i3 founding members. Led by Russ Wolfe, i3 is filled with super friendly folks overflowing with ideas, talent, and enthusiasm. To boot, their space is DOPE!! Tis ground level with a garage door, electronics lab, classroom, reading loft, and…they’ve got metalworking equipment!!! Oh, dear angle grinder and MIG welder, how I love your sparks, smoke, noise…and how I hope see you join with microcontrollers and heavy duty servos to make robots that fix abandoned buildings! How I would love to see a homebrew alt fuel open source automobile roll out the i3 doors! Pipe dreams?? Only time will tell…

 Posted by at 6:22 pm
Jan 192009
blingdaddy midi hotness

While visiting Detroit back in December, I ran into my friend Mike Bizon at the opening of the Yes Farm.  We hadn’t see each other ages, so it was a pleasant surprise that our shared love of music and art had also extended into electronics.  Here’s one of his projects, and a description…

This is an analog midi controller I made to control software built in MAX/MSP.

It uses a MidiTron, a MIDI analog/digital I/O Interface connected to a computer with an M-audio Uno, a USB MIDI interface. This translates the analog messages to MIDI, readable by MAX/MSP.

This can be used to control any sort of MIDI device/program/message. I use it most to control a 8 step drum machine (see attached photo). It is set up as a glitch patch, the messages often getting crossed and the resulting audio having digital feedback and general unreliable glitchiness to it.

The controls on the instrument include 20 assignable potentiometers (knobs), 5 assignable photocells (at varying resistance), and a patch-bay allowing the user to decide which knobs or photocells are linked to which pin outs on the MidiTron (you can basically choose which knob (or light sensor) controls what function in your software, allowing you to change control over software parameters physically, without going into code.

Computers and programing can get a brother down, this is a physical answer to my digital pain.

 Posted by at 8:38 pm