Apart of contemporary music and sound art, I’ve been fascinated by evolving technologies and processes in electronic music, especially in the 20th century. No wonder that my bachelor’s work was comparing BBC Radiophonic workshop and Kling Klang studio of Kraftwerk – their history, technologies and methods (and maybe in the near future I’ll write some article in English about this) had such a huge impact on popular music and even each other…
So I wanted to know how all the musical technologies work, but I’ve never went further than to understand some basics theoretically and even less from the practical point of view. That’s changed the last Sunday, when I took part in one of the workshops made by Standuino – my folks from Brno, Czech Republic. For alreday 2 years now, they make (apart of music, installations etc) workshops, where you can make your own digital musical instrument. Because it’s a hot topic lately, they organise the workshops around Europe and I have to say it really worths it.
The idea comes from Italian open source Arduino and tributes to the generation of their fathers and DIY musical enthusiasts, who were „bastling“* their instruments in their basements or private studios. The workshops are very proffessional made, a great fun and with all the nice brand features like adjusted and designed components, poster and a manual (and of course a detalied description of every single part of the device while supervising you). So far, you can make your own synthesiser (FraAngelico), drum machine (FrauAngelico) or a sampler (microGranny).
Their ardour hopped on me and so the result of the Sunday’s workshop is this drum machine/ synth (picture above). As all the other instruments by Standuino, it’s 100% hackable, repairable and ready to be adjusted or edited (I’m personally thinking about connect it to some pedal effect). The model of a drum synth is called FrauAngelico, so I call this one Frauday. It has 8 basic drum sounds, which you can edit and modify, record sample and microsample. It also containes the sequencer, MIDI input and of course the possibility to save your beautiful noise. Now wish me luck to explore all the possibilities of this little beauty and learn how to play it properly!
And this is how it sounds (yes, I chose that video on pourpose).
* bastl = common expression for DIY in Czech slang