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Coming soon: a guide to getting started building your own synthesizers! I have some info on my website, but it mostly relates to my particular modular synthesizer and doesnโ€™t really address how to actually get started, what tools you need, where to find circuits, etc. Iโ€™d like to change that and…

This sounds fantastic Chris. Definitely interested. Just need to get me a workshop too
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Iโ€™m building a small robotic orchestra. Why play drums yourself when you can get bits of code, wire, and solenoids to do it for you?

I built a little control unit that takes voltages and makes them into something that can power motors and stuff without anything catching on fire.

If you set this up with a Python script then you can just sit back and enjoy?
Replied to Windchimes by an author

This is a generative piece I built just before my daughter was born. I envisioned something that would soothe a baby, like a mobile but with sound. Like wind chimes but smoother. As it turns out, once she was born I forgot about most everything, including this project. Much later I rediscovered it and found it soothing myself!

Chris, this reminds me of Brian Eno’s iOS app Bloom.
Replied to My favorite museum ever!

Took a trip to The Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona today. What a great place! A huge variety of instruments from many places and cultures. I especially liked how inclusive they were; lots of displays highlighting female makers and musicians, displays with amateur homemade instrument…

That looks pretty awesome Chris. I love the idea of a space where you can tinker and play. I recently stumbled upon a local establishment – Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio – designed to explore the past associated with electronic music. Now to find the time to visit.
Replied to Badges! DIY Gamification by an author

Iโ€™ve been working on my website and added a new feature: Badges!

Itโ€™s basically like little digital awards you get on Foursquare, Untappd, etc. except I made them myself and award them to myself. Itโ€™s a way to get motivated and also share my achievements and skills on my website. Like the โ€œSkillsโ€ section of LinkedIn, but self-hosted and DIY. 95% inspired by the kids show โ€œHey Duggee,โ€ and 5% inspired by the * Scouts.

To see all my badges, check out

I really like this use of badges Chris. I was meaning to share with you my notes on Open Badges, but never got around to it. Your iteration reminds me of Don Presant’s discussion of ‘self assessment‘.
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:synth: !!! working on adding custom emoji to my wordpress siteโ€ฆ if I type `:synth:` it should be converted into a little image of a synthesizer, like this: :synth: (hopefully it works). What happens if this also gets posted to my Pleroma instance?

This is something that I would love to add to my site. Instead of pasting in the emoji I could write :thump_up: and it would translate. In part I have never really had the time to dig in. Did you add something to your child theme?
Bookmarked CBโ€™s Synesthesia by an author

My brain is wired a bit differently than most other brains. I have synesthesia, a neurological condition where one sensory input can cause me to have more than one sensory experience.

Chris Beckstrom provides a primer to synesthesia and reflects on his own experiences. I remember reading once about Rollo Armstrong from Faithless creating music by colour, but Beckstrom unpacks this in more detail.

I am intrigued as to how this appreciation of sound differs from the ‘phonographic memory’ experienced by artists like Paul Dempsey:

He’s amused by “people close to the band” chiding him for being “wilfully obscure” as a writer. Can he help it if he finds Galileo, Max Planck, electricity, echolalia and “brains in jars” more interesting than girls in cars? Or if his uncanny ability to play anything on a range of instruments after a single hearing – his bandmates call it his “phonographic memory” – naturally attracts him to more challenging musical ideas?

I also came upon this extensive list of artists on Wikipedia.

Listened Beckstrom Holiday Extravaganza Volume X, by Chris Beckstrom from Chris Beckstrom

6 track album

It is always an interesting time of year when it comes to music. Michael Buble has his niche. Last year Sia created an interesting album of original music. With all this said there is something truly joyful about these Holiday Extravaganzas. The pictures are also a useful reflection of the effort required.
Liked Building a portable modular synthesizer in a roller skate case by an author

The cold weather has arrived which means itโ€™s time to transition from mostly outdoor activity to mostly indoor activity. Iโ€™ve been working on some electronics projects, perhaps gearing up to sell some of my creations (stay tuned!).
In the meantime, Iโ€™ve started working on a new modular synthes…