DaScratch multitouch DJ interface

Stanton has released a new controller peripheral for laptop DJ’s. DaScratch is a USB connected MIDI device designed to emulate record interactions. It features a large touch area where the user can make scratching, sliding, and button pressing motions. The compact device has presets for software like Traktor, Serato, and Ableton Live, but can work with anything that supports MIDI. Multiple units can be paired together using magnets.

As the video below shows, there are quite a few different interactions possible. We really want to see a teardown of this device though. We get the distinct feeling that it’s designed to look more impressive than the underlying hardware actually is. [Read more...]

RGB monome clone


[Julien Bayle] has posted this great breakdown of building an RGB monome clone. He is a musical performer using Ableton Live. He wanted to do away with the need for a computer screen and found that the monome would have been perfect had it been RGB. So he decided to build his own.

The parts list for the entire project is as follows:

  • 1x Arduino board
  • 4x Sparkfun breakout PCB
  • 4x Sparkfun buttons pads (like our door lock)
  • 4x Sparkfun buttons bezel
  • 64x RGB LEDs common cathode
  • 64x Diodes Small Signal (1N4148)
  • 1x MAX7221 (LED Driver)
  • 1x 74HC164 (8-Bit Serial-In, Parallel-Out Shift Register)
  • 1x 74HC165 (8-Bit Parallel-In, Serial-Out Shift Register)

He also has files for the schematics and source code as well as information on how to assemble and test it.

The RGB aspect is still under development. He is using the LEDMatrix-Serial Interface-RGB from Sparkfun Electronics to run it. It is expensive, but is exactly what he was looking for.

There aren’t very many pictures of the project, and none of the working RGB unit. He makes up for it in sheer information. Many parts have links to manufacturers or support forums. Hopefully he’ll post some pictures and video of the final product soon.

Custom modular control interfaces


Machinecollective.org is bringing rapid prototyping to every day artists and hackers. We’ve covered similar interfaces like the monome, MIDIbox, and Stribe. Machinecollective allows you to make your own input system using multiple blocks to get exactly what you want. The setup allows you to fit pretty much anything in a block that you can think of. They’re developing potentiometers, slide potentiometers, button grids, toggle switches, LCD’s, FSR/LDR’s, velocity sensitive pads, and touch screens.

Currently, they support software enviroments like: Processing, Max/MSP, VVVV, and Adobe Flash. That list will undoubtedly grow as the community plays with it. They envision the hardware connecting via MIDI, OSC, RS232, TCP/UDP, DMX, or USB.

They encourage others to design their own inputs. Community members can share modifications and designs, though there isn’t a forum or store yet. If you design a setup that you really like, they can even fabricate a single unit for you. Keep your eyes on this one, it could be a real hit.

A similar idea for general gadgetry can be seen over at Bug Labs. Starting with a base unit, you can add different input and output modules to create various useful functions. They currently offer GPS, a camera, a display, and motion sensing. Mix and match to make your dream gadget.

Monome keyboard


If you asked [David Phipps] whether he prefers Monomes or traditional keyboards, he might ask you “why not have both?” We don’t presume to speak for him, but that’s what we think he’d say based on his Monome-keyboard combination, which puts a Monome right in the keyboard’s console, giving the user the best of both worlds.

[Phipps] calls his device The Peaceblaster (also the name of his album), and it is constructed from a 5-octave Fatar keybed, MKE electronic components, and a Doepfer PKE for the faders and knobs. Everything is available via USB and MIDI out. The project is as yet unfinished, and he hopes to fit a mac mini into the works. If he succeeds, this will be one of the most elegant, powerful and fun keyboards we’ve seen in quite some time.

Maker Faire 2008: Stribe music controller


We saw a lot of interesting gear at Maker Faire last weekend and thought we’d highlight some of those projects this week. [Josh Boughey]‘s Stribe was originally inspired by the monome 40h. It features of 16 columns of 64 LEDs for a total of 1024 individually addressable lights. Even with all those LEDs, PWM control means it can run off of USB power. 8 spectrasymbol softpots are used between the columns for user input. It’s really quite an amazing feat for being [josh]‘s first board design. All of the circuit designs and firmware are available. Check out Flickr for more photos from this weekend.

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