Archive for category: Music

High-Low Tech – Paper Speakers

October 4, 2011 | electronics, Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

Another cool link in my blog searching: constructing speakers out of paper and strips of copper foil. High-Low Tech – Paper Speakers.

Real Sound Cookery – Make a contact mic with baking soda and cream of tartar. |

August 22, 2011 | Amateur Science, electronics, Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

A couple of months ago, Collin’s Lab featured a story about making your own piezoelectric crystals from Rochelle salt. Collin stopped short of making an actual microphone though: he just demonstrated that the salt crystal would generate a series of voltage spikes when whacked with the handle of a screwdriver. Leafcutter John followed pretty much […]

Building tanjent’s “bliplace” kit…

August 4, 2011 | electronics, Music, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was in the mood to melt some solder, but didn’t really have a lot of time and/or brainpower last night, so I turned to my box of little electronics kits that seems to have been growing over the last few years. I located a small plastic bag which contained tanjent’s “bliplace”, a tiny kit […]

You can tune a banjo, but you can’t tuna fish…

December 16, 2010 | diy, Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

Or can you? Courtesy of the Make Blog, here’s an interesting little musical instrument called a “canjo”, a two string banjo that uses an old 4″ tuna fish can as the resonating cavity. Perhaps I should take a break from my plinky string sounds generated with software, and instead do it the old fashioned way. […]


December 13, 2010 | Music, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Okay, I finally found my copy of Ken Steiglitz’s A DSP Primer (a great book, but sadly more expensive now than when I got my copy) and read through the implementation of the tunable plucked string instrument. A couple of things really need to be added: first of all, I was off considerably in my […]


December 9, 2010 | Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

The other day, I was trying to remember how to generate some simple sounds with minimal amounts of code. I remembered vaguely something called the Karplus-Strong algorithm, and it has been floating around in my head that I should look it up again. I mentioned it to Tom, and he spent 15 seconds drawing something […]

Ambisonic Microphone Exp2 Construction

September 23, 2010 | Audio, diy, Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

Here’s one for Tom, or anyone else interested in doing ambisonic sound recordings. It mounts four inexpensive Panasonic electret microphones into a tetrahedral array to record sound that can later be processed for surround or other spatialization effects. Seems pretty cool, and they even include the patterns for PCBs that can be cheaply manufactured by […]

Zounds! Sounds!

August 11, 2010 | Computer Science, Hacking, Music, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Tom and I have been discussing some early hacking efforts, probably spawned in part by my re-reading of Levy’s Hackers. A couple of days ago, this resulted in me pondering the mysteries of Minsky’s circle algorithm (still ongoing), but today it drove me to an early interesting sound algorithm documented in the legendary HAKMEM, ITEM […]

The Virtual Choir – Eric Whitacre

May 6, 2010 | Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

In between celebrating the completion of a project at work (and coincidently Cinqo de Mayo) and pondering the mysteries of singular value decomposition, I found this rather interesting Internet collaboration, where the voices of 185 different singers which were recorded separately are combined into a virtual choir. The results are quite beautiful. Not my usual […]

Handmade Cigar Box Instruments – Ukuleles – Banjos – Guitars

November 20, 2009 | Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

It’s been a while since I posted a link to anything related to home made musical instruments, so when I ran across this page this morning, I thought of my friend Tom and his love of quirky instruments, and decided to pass it along. Papa’s Boxes sells both kits and completed ukuleles and banjos made […]

Zinc based audio oscillators

January 8, 2009 | Amateur Radio, Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

Courtesy of the Make blog, check out Nyle Steiner’s Electronic Composition, using a variety of audio circuits which use bits of heated zinc instead of transistors. Nyle has done a bunch of experimentation with zinc negative resistance oscillators on his Spark, Bang, Buzz website, all of which are awesome. httpv://


January 5, 2009 | Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

Another place holder post so I can find this later: a simple synthesizer that does MIDI, based upon an Atmel AVR microcontroller. Very retro. 4bitsynth – Google Code Here’s a link to an example MP3.

Intimate Control for Physical Modeling Synthesis

December 29, 2008 | Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

Okay, for every slobbery dog video I post, I promise to post something with a little more meat. My friend Tom is interested in all kinds of computer music and interface technologies, and no doubt, has already seen this controller. But just in case he hasn’t, here’s a really nifty controller, and even he has […]

Dennis Havlena’s cool DIY instruments…

June 18, 2008 | Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

From the make blog, here is a pretty cool link to Dennis Havlena’s cool website about DIY musical instruments, including a youtube of him playing several of them. I’ve become fairly interested in folk music and folk instruments thanks to Tom, and Dennis’ web site has all sorts of ideas for instruments of every kind […]

Weird Sound Generator

January 29, 2008 | Arts and Crafts, Music | By: Mark VandeWettering

Here’s a link for Tom: a kit for the Weird Sound Generator. Unlike many of these things, I actually found the variety and quality of sounds produced by this thing to actually be pretty darned interesting. It might be fun to build one of these and work on your own soundtrack for Return to the […]