Archive for November, 2009

Novation Launchpad Tear Down

November 21st, 2009 24 comments

For those of you that are curious like myself, here are some images of me disassembling the Novation Launchpad.   I hope this inspires some of you to do some cool modifications to the controller, and make sure to send us some images of your modified launchpad.  Click on the pictures to zoom in.

1. The launchpad

Launchpad unopen

2.  The launchpad flipped over.  There are only 9 screws, taking this thing apart is a piece of cake.

Launchpad from back

3.  The launchpad without the face plate.

Launchpad without face plate

4.  The Launchpad viewed from the top without button pads.

Launchpad open top view

5. The launchpad opened and viewed from the back.

Launchpad open from back

6.  Here is a close up of the mcu’s and the programing header on the board.  The bigger chip is a STMicroelectronics 72f63bk2m1, here is a link to it’s data sheet.  The smaller of the two chips is the NXP 74hc164d, and here is a link to it’s data sheet.

close up of mcu


James’ Circuit Bent Library

November 20th, 2009 6 comments

Here is a Collection of samples from a few of my own circuit bent toys. I’ve made a quick couple of videos that will show you the method of how I captured these samples. I edited them in Protools at 16bit 441khz as mono WAV files. Feel free to comment or request any more. Enjoy.

Download James’ Circuit Bent Library

Here’s a video of my toy car, it has 8 samples and two sensors, a light sensor and a potentiometer to control the sensitivity of that light sensor.

Here is a video of my drum machine it has a tone bend and an on of switch for that tone bend.

This is my speak and spell it has 2 momentary push buttons on it. One of them plays a random letter from the alphabet, (at one time i had this connected to a blinking led so it would trigger at each blink) The other button loops a few millisecond sample of the letter being spoken until you let go. You can create cool sounding pad sounds sending this into various effects.

The toy above is my Phonics Board. It has a light sensor on the top left near the speaker and a control switch to that sensor also a tone bending potentiometer .

Here is my Musini, I have added a glitch button and a tone bend. I really enjoy this toy because it has such a vast variety of sounds with a really large frequency range, and most of the glitches are FULL of harmonics so filtering them can make some dope instruments!

I will be updating the Library frequently so watch for updates!


Categories: Circuit Bends, Downloads, Samples Tags:

Hardware version of Random7

November 16th, 2009 2 comments

A couple of months I took my MAX/MSP code for Random7 and rewrote so I could embed it into a hardware version.  Random7 Hardware Version 1 (R7H) is a very basic version of the Random7 software.  The core element of R7H is still the same,  the program randomly picks from 7 different midi notes.  As of now the key R7H is preset to the key of A Major, and the only control is a potentiometer that controls the speed of R7H.  Output for R7H is a midi port, an on/off switch, and there is also a red led the flashes everytime a note is sent.  The some of the next additions I plan to the hardware are a midi input to provide midi sync options, a small lcd to provide useful information such as tempo and key,  and allow user to pick from any diatonic major key.  The microcontroller I am using for this is the arduino built into a d.i. box housing.  Here are some pictures.

Front View


Back View


R7H Open


Download Software Random7 for Windows

Download Software Random7 for MAC


Categories: Arduino, Midi, Misc. Audio Builds Tags:

Seven Easy Steps to Circuit Bending Any Toy

November 14th, 2009 No comments

1. Find a toy – I’ve chosen this handy dandy gun.

2.Pick some parts to add to it – I am going to add a pot and a switch to this

3.Open her up. – It may be unwilling the first time but after that its easy1114091802

4.FIND A BEND – This is the most fun. there are several meathods to this, I just use alligator clips to touch around various spots on the board. After messing around with dozens of kids toys you start to see patterns as to what causes a different glitch.  here’s a couple other guides if you are really interested The Art Of Circuit Bending F.A.Q.

In this toy we will be doing the most common circuit bend the “tone bend” locate a resistor (usually close to the main IC) and change its value with something. You could put a light sensor there or a volume pot. Here I’m using an old volume pot and an on off switch to that pot. The end result is that I am adding resistance to this place in the circuit.


Here I have the alligator clips connected to the resistor a couple different ways for testing. 1114091741

5.Mod the Case – basically drill any holes for parts and find how everything should fit before you solder anything in place.


6. Solder! – make sure you cut those wires the right length.

7. Button it up – finish up the job. you might have to do some more drilling to make everything fit, but as long as it can hold together then you are all good.1114091855


Categories: Circuit Bends Tags:

Novation Launchpad running Polygome64

November 10th, 2009 5 comments

Here is my next launchpad build this time featuring Polygome by Stretta.  Further documentation about Polygome can be found here. Once again I am using Piclae’s version of nonome.  This is also nonome version 1.13a, in this version Piclae made some great upgrades to the program.  You can now pick the led color on the launchpad and has also added a backround image. Check out his blog here. Right now I only have a Windows .exe of the software, but I should have an OSX .app up in the next couple days.  Here is a video of Polygome64 running on the Novation Launchpad.

Download Nonome-Polygome64 for Windows


Categories: Ableton Live, controller, MAX/MSP, Midi Tags:

Dub Amor album

November 9th, 2009 3 comments

Here’s the link to the Dub Amor album.

This is a studio project featuring Mike and I plus various other musicians. In the project, I used sampled radio and distorted drums. It has a traditional dub feel with an electro-experimental twist. I call it Noise Dub.

Enjoy Dub Amor, “Breathtaking, The Best Album Ever”




Categories: Music Tracks Tags:

Novation Lauchpad – Nonome/MLR OSX build

November 6th, 2009 5 comments

You asked for it so you got it. I just built the OSX version of nonome with mlr for the launchpad. This was built on OSX 10.5.8 and worked great. This software is still in development so if you find bug report them here, or to the developer of nonome and mlr. If you want to see more us this kind of stuff please feel free to drop us a line and leave some comments of what you want to see.

Nonome/mlr OSX zip


Categories: controller, MAX/MSP, Midi Tags:

Link of the Month – Baz Tutorials

November 6th, 2009 No comments

With the release of Max for Live happening at the end of this month, I thought it would be a good idea to let all of you prospective Max programs know about Baz and his tutorials. The Baz tutorials are a collection of MAX/MSP youtube tutorials packed with information about the software. This is a great place for everyone that is new to MAX/MSP to hit the ground running. So without further ado here is the first couple of videos in the collection. Oh and if you make anything cool feel free to send it our way and we can do a write up about it for you.

Baz Tutorial 2 – Random frequencies from Barry Moon on Vimeo.


Categories: Link of the Month, MAX/MSP Tags:

Novation Launchpad running Nonome and MLR – Amen

November 3rd, 2009 13 comments

The Novation Launchpad Ableton controller was released the other day, and I decided to pick one up.  I got the chance to play with it at work before I bought one, and it is a good controller with small desk footprint.  It connected to Ableton Live 8.0.8 with no issues at all.  This controller is great for live performance with Ableton Live, while the Akai APC40, another similar Ableton Live controller, is better suited in the studio.  Triggering clips is easy and fun with the Lauchpad, but I don’t like having to go to the mixer screen everytime i need to stop a track.  The volume control is not the best either, the button control causes the volume to move in steps instead of a linear motion.  The best part of this controller is the ability to program it in different ways.  With the right emulation program the Launchpad is able to emulate the monome.  Piclae created a version of nonome for the novation launchpad.

Read his post

Piclae provides the Max5 code for his copy of nonome and a monome program call mlr also written in Max5. I took the two separate codes and brought them together in one code, and built it as an .exe program for Windows. Here is a video of me running the mlr software on the Launchpad.

Novation Lauchpad running mlr from Mike Tron on Vimeo.

Here is the Window’s .exe build I made of nonome and mlr built together.I can make an OSX version if anyone wants it just let me know in the comments.

Nonome+mlr Zip download


Categories: controller, MAX/MSP, Midi Tags:

Modding the Vestax VCI-100

November 1st, 2009 3 comments

Here is the latest project I just did for one of my DJ friends.  He uses Native Instruments Traktor Pro and controls it with the Vestax VCI-100.  A while back he asked me to mod his controller with arcade buttons, and I final got around to doing it for him.  Here are some pictures of the progression of the mod.  This is not a difficult modification, the toughest part was cutting the holes fir the buttons which I did with a hand drill.

Original VCI-100 Layout


VCI-100 taken out of casing with old buttons still attached.

Vestax VCI-100 topless

VCI-100 with old buttons removed, and red wire splint into four leads.


VCI-100 reassembled with new buttons



Categories: Misc. Audio Builds, Modification Tags: