Bassoforte and other new instruments

[Diego Stocco] makes music with instruments he assembled. For instance, his Bassoforte uses piano keys, the neck and strings from an electric bass, and what look like some cymbals. Throw in a hammer from that piano and a double bass bow (plus heavy use of audio software) and he’s in business. Big business actually, his work has been in video games such as The Conduit and in feature films like Sherlock Holmes where he worked with Hans Zimmer. Bassoforte isn’t his only invention, he’s got several more including the Experibass string family on one instrument, the Light Controlled Oscillator, and sand music using the fine aggregate along with some piezoelectric film transducers.

[Thanks LuciusMare]

Autonomous Bassline Generator

We’ve been watching this project ever since [Dann] emailed us about the first prototype back in September. This bassline generator has a lot of functions we like, such as an adjustable melody seed, light-sensitive controls, and device interactivity. Line up a row of them and they’ll sync up the beat, building layers of sound on top of each other (see the first video after the break).

The system is built around an ATtiny84, putting its pulse width modulation channels to work for sound generation. [Dann] has some kits available but he’s also posted everything – the schematics, PCB layout, and code – if you want to throw one together on a breadboard.

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Halloween prop: Bigmouth billy bass

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Back in 2001, the Bigmouth billy bass was still relatively new. Hacking one to record and play back both audio and movement was quite a new feat. You can read all about how they pulled it off. Though most of us agree that this could be done easier now, with off the shelf microcontrollers, this is a great example of constructing your own system to fit the need. We’ve seen a similar hack done very recently with an mbed microcontroller.

Breath controlled Guitar Hero kick pedal


[Ben Heck] the uber modder has posted a new project. He has made a breath controlled kick pedal for all of the Guitar Hero style games. Though the tutorial focuses on Guitar Hero World Tour, he does explain how it could be done for Rock Band at the end. This is intended for someone in a wheelchair who couldn’t actually use the kick pedal and needed their hands free to play the rest of the drums. He took apart the kick pedal that came with it to get the piezoelectric switch out of it. Then, he made a little chamber and placed the switch on a diaphragm at one end. When you blow, the diaphragm moves and triggers the switch. Pretty simple really. There is a video available of [Ben] trying it out as well.