Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Single Board Lunetta

Single Board Lunetta
Originally uploaded by drOffset
Working on a new way of doing things. (New for me at least.) Everything happens on the board itself, and I have several perfboards in this size so the machine can expand. Also for me this kind of build feels tidy and easy to work with.
Sparkfun sells awesome single header female/female wires.

So far it has:
4 oscillators based on 4093
3x 4040 ripple counters
4011 nand
4070 xor
4077 xnor
40106 inverters

To come(for this board)
More logic gates(AND/OR), maybe 4017 and 4018, they do have their uses.

The second board will have shift registers and data selectors, maybe the flip flops if they fit.

And lots of blinking LEDs this time!

Currently thinking about ways to mount it to a blog of wood or something to give it weight.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Custom Deluxe NAND Photo Synth Plus

I built this for a friend and had to mail it away before I could get any video.

The design is based on the classic 4093 based NAND synth, but there are some big differences on this one. There are phototransistors across pins 1 and 3 of each potentiometer to modulate things. Under the hood they are connected via small alligator clips to be removable if you get tired of them.

Basically all of the capacitors are separate from the circuit and the appropriate pins on the 4093 are brought out to header pins. That way you can 'roll your own' custom setup. There's also a simple 4 channel passive mixer that brings it all together for your output.

Annotated image here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tradition and the Blues.

Thank Goodness it's Friday, and to celebrate I want to look at the blues. Not because I'm sad, but because musically it's where I keep coming back to and I aim to play some guitar with my little son this weekend.

So here's a group of videos from the Youtube school of art. You'll see a lot of people on youtube wanting to teach you the blues, and while they might be getting the notes right a lot of them are just playing it all wrong.

I was at a guitar store about this time last year shopping for a guitar because I wanted to get back into it. So I'm in this shop and a young guy was in there impressing some younger guys with his skills. Fair enough right? Well he worked there and was showing them this magnificent real steel guitar that I would have loved to get my hands on but I just kind of kept looking around at the stuff I could reach. Anyway, this guy says "you know how to play that Delta stuff?" Of course my ears perked up because that's part of what I've been admiring since I was 12. Dude puts a slide on his finger and proceeds to defile that poor guitar playing the worst sliding mess I've ever heard. He got the notes right, but he was playing it all wrong. The younger guys were very impressed. I left.

Note that I don't mention 'tone' or what vintage guitar you'll need to play. It's in the fingers, and it's in the person controlling the fingers.

Not that I can do all that much better, but there's a disconnect somewhere there. There's technique and there's feeling, and there's the language you're speaking. Not just blues, pick your artform and this would apply.

I'll pull on the thread for a while and see what ties together.

On joining a tradition:

Maybe Leonard Cohen is a good place to start, even though it's not about the blues. But the blues is a bit like folk, enough for me.
(5:30) Confession filtered through a tradition...

Jack White (from 2:20, and around 3:00)

If you haven't heard this album yet you're missing out.
2:00 and 4:00

Remind me to compile some videos on minimal setups and artists wanting to create limitations to make themselves come up with creative solutions.
Looking for the tradition (without a textbook):

Billy Gibbons teaches more than technique here. It's a language.

Keith knows it, look for the '1 on 1', for example.

Stevie Ray Vaughan

"You feel it first and then you learn how to do it. It takes a lifetime..."

Zuzu Bollin - remind me to compile some videos about how so many blues musicians' Mamas didn't want them playing that devil music.

How it's played distinguishes one song from another.
(It's at 2:00)

Sometimes you better get it right.

And to pull it all together here's Jimmy, just because he's amazing.

Want more?
Here's a great playlist.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

AnnMarie Thomas on Why Making Matters (from TED2010)

Ms. Thomas writes:

"Below is a "transcript" of the short talk I gave at TED this year (short= 5minutes). Of course, given that I didn't use notes, I'm sure the actual speech I gave varied a bit from this one. If the video is ever posted, I will let you know. (Note that this is from the "TED-U" portion of this year's TED, not the main stage!)"

Read her article here:

Collin's Lab: Kit-making

Collin from Make is about to release his MidiVox DIY Adruino shield kit and he took some time to make a video where Becky Stern gives him some valuable advice on getting those bags put together.

I've had the same kind of dream for some time, to come up with some kind of product, some kind of innovative gadget that people will want to buy and build.

Until I come up with something you can watch this video and build his.