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Executive Summary

by Marc Nostromo

Going in holidays is always a good way to slow down on a lot of things and gets a little more perspective on what’s going on. Mine were great and although it was only for 6 days, being in Moscow completely disconnected me from all the usual buzz. I didn’t get much online, didn’t code anything, didn’t read much tech stuff… it was just plain relaxing . I took the opportunity to classify a little what I wanted to do in the field of music machine making and discovered I did have quite a few projects boiling in the background, each with a different emphasis but equally interesting:

  1. Handheld tracking:

    The piggy is going to go forward. I still believe the handheld format is an awesome platform for music making and that the dpad+knobs+shoulder is the most awesome format for achieving something other than just twiddling around. I now sort of place the pandora in a different class than this. Although I think it will have it’s usage (see further) I believe it’s going to be less practicle than the GP2X/Wizz for pure portability.
  2. Stylus based monosynth:

    Something to explore the touchscreen performance aspect allowing multi parameter control through the stylus (see this post). Going along the line of the synths delivered by the KAOSS pads but with a lot more tweaks, more like a fun tool to improvise as does Protein Scratch. It will most probably end up into a very flexible monosynth. I’m even thinking of laying down the ground of a modular architecture for this one. Probably based on DS in a first instance but probably extended to other platform later.
  3. Hardware based monosynth:

    Since nothing beats real knobs, I’ll be exploring the possibilities of coupling a small software synth engine with a hardware interface using the wonderful little arduino-piano project. The kits are at the post office it seems, so this one’s going to go YEAH.
  4. Desktop custom synth:

    I always wished elektron would give a SDK for their Monomachine/Machinedrum. Although I’m not 100% with them on the design of their synth, I really like the form factor of their units and the idea of being able to program something in the flavor of littlegptracker but with a full hardware access is just too tempting. Hopefully slowly, parts seems to come in making this dream being closer to reality. Of course, this is the most far fetched project so far.. but I think there’s something to pull off out of the right combination of items… So far I’m thinking of using

    > Pandora for the brain & synth engine – hopefully delivering a nice touch screen interface for setup, easy audio/midi compatibility

    > arduinome/monome hack to deliver the typical X0X interface

    > Additional knobs and sliders, either using USB connectivity or possibly using the machine collective units


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