Seeing Sound: Couscous, Steel Cafe Tables, String Instruments, Math

Note that the different Chladni (say “clad-knee”) Figures he generates corresponds to different pitches (i..e, frequencies) and timbres (think “flavors of sound”), and that he does this by creating a node (which is technically any point in a wave where it crosses zero, and literally the places where a vibrating thing—like a guitar or cello string—is not moving).

All of which is neat, but mostly I just posted it because it looks hella sweeeeet!

Josh Burker’s Scratchbox Turntable

Josh Burker—an early reviewer of my latest DIY book, Junkyard Jam Band—didn’t just build a sweet-ass Scratchbox (although he did do that)

Josh went one better and adapted it to a hella rad turntable interface.




I love this sooooo much! Check it out:

Wanna build your own Scratchbox (or Scratchbox-inspired awesomeness)? Check out my full illustrated Scratchbox build instructions on the MAKE magazine website.

For a brief history of the credit card magstripe that makes this all possible, check out the first bit of this Planet Money podcast: Episode 695: Put A Chip On It : Planet Money : NPR:

(thx Josh!)

“Junkshop Percussion” in the Wild: Techno Goes Acoustic

I’ve been wrapping up my new book, which dedicates an entire section to “Junkshop Percussion”: washboards and cajons and spoons and buckets, and all the great “instruments” that are just detritus-plus-panache.

So, folks like this–who take a musical form that arose from digitization and mechanization via insanely expensive studio gear, then make it a dirt-cheap, no-tech, hands-on, all-acoustic expressive art form–just tickle me pink.

Like this guy, he’s a pure delight with the speed, steadiness, and raw sweat of that drum-n-bass:

Around the 2:15 mark this guy emulates a classic EMD filter sweep with his foot muting a bar; wünderbar!!!

Or check out the Pipe Guy’s PVC-and-flip-fop electro trance:

OMFG! I *love* old-school analog drum machine claps (like you get on a Roland 808, or my treasured Boss DR-110)–and he’s getting that sound from a goddamned flip-flop! *Outstanding!* I especially dig the point near 2:55, where dude launches into a cover of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”, then abruptly segues into the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” (although I’m kinda disappointed that this never becomes a cover of the Knight Rider theme, ’cause it hovers right at the cusp of doing so).

There is a future where these dudes appear on a Skynet-hosted show called HUMANS GOT TALENT. Howie Mandel continues to host, because he is a cylon.

At any rate, more to the point: If you dig things like these dudes are doing, then you might dig my next book (out in July). If you can’t wait to start building instruments and making sweet-ass sounds, you can start *right now* with a free download of the two most popular music projects from my fist DIY book:

Get your Junkyard Jam Pack download NOW!