Musical light show is far less complex than you might think

color-changing-light-tube

[Matt and Jason Tardy], who make up the musical performance duo known as AudioBody, were recently featured on Make: explaining how they put on one of their trademark segments. The most popular portion of their show features color changing tubes of light which the pair spin and fling around not unlike a higher-tech version of the Blue Man Group. While the visuals are pretty slick, the technique behind it is far simpler than most people initially imagine.

As you can see in video below, the tubes look to be nothing more than simple white lights. As the brothers work through their performance however, the tubes switch from white to blue and back again with a liquid-like transition between the colors.

The [Tardys] say that most people peg a microcontroller or other complex electronics as the source of their light wizardry, but the real answer is much simpler. Embedded in the end of each tube is a bright LED flashlight. A sliding blue filter positioned inside the tube provides the silky smooth transition between colors – no fancy electronics required.

If you would like to see how they were built, be sure to swing by the AudioBody web site for a how-to presentation by the [Tardys] themselves.

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The Styharp, an instrument modeled after a pig sty

This is a first for us. We’ve never heard of an instrument modeled after a pig sty before. The Styharp, built by [Yann Seznec], for [Matthew Herbert] is meant to be a mix between performance and visual art. [Matthew]‘s followed a pig from birth to the plate and made an album from the sounds he recorded. The project is called “one pig”. This would explain the reason behind modeling an instrument after a sty.

[Yann] started with a Gametrak controller, basically a reel of line connected to a potentiometer. He ended up using 12 of these, which each have 3 outputs. This gave him plenty of ways change the sound during the performance. You can see a little bit of him demoing it after the break.

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Chrome and Firefox showing JavaScript improvements

With new betas for both Firefox and Chrome being released, CNET decided to find out how good their JavaScript performance was. Both browsers got a performance boost with Firefox slightly edging out Chrome. You have to turn on TraceMonkey, Firefox’s new Javascript engine in 3.1b1, to get the improvement. We never thought Google was that serious about building a new browser. They just want wanted Firefox to get their act together and suck less. It seems to be working.

[via Lifehacker]