The Noise Toy is one of the simplest electronic kits I’ve ever seen. It’s an AVR microprocessor on a tiny board–apparently the smallest AVR available. You program it with software to make noises. This requires an AVR programmer and some knowledge of embedded-system programming (although the programming SW they recommend makes it fairly easy).
One thing I don’t get: what’s with the giant power switch?
While not specifically synth related, this features a neon lamp multivibrator, ostensibly for the purposes of creating a suboctave signal to mix in with the straight signal. In this device, it more or less just creates a different type of distortion, albeit a cool one.
The housing is from a fried computer power supply.
Youtube clips to follow shortly:
…that he’s making silicone rubber molds, and casting new keys himself. He gets an A for sheer determination.
You could do him a favor, and offer to support his project.
The project Google Group is here.
SDIY.org user “Pinky”
I’d call him a serious DIYer.
And for interest: he also runs a Yahoo group for tube synth DIYers. It has a considerable library of old schematics from various pre-1965 textbooks and articles.
Talk about an obscure analog sequencer! It deserves to be better-known.
Theremin was not the only Russian to pioneer electronic music equipment.
There was Evgeny Murzin’s ANS, a giant synthesizer that used photocells to read scratches from rotating glass disks to make music. Somewhat like the Optigan organ, but far more complex. And dating from 1937.
Read about it here, here and here. Yes, Matrix ran it.
Coil used ANS sounds on an album in 2004.
A French project to create a completely reconfigurable, open MIDI controller.
Sadly, there have been almost no new posts on their forums (which are mostly in English) since 2007.
Someone mentioned American distribution:
Yet there’s nothing on Analogue Haven’s site about the Mawzer.
Did it fail?
We just have to bring up the notorious “swearing” Leapfrog Alphabet Pal. Idiots have been blubbering about it since it hit the toy market in 1999. Even David Sedaris has some comments about this “evil” toy.
It became such a popular meme, Leapfrog reprogrammed later versions to censor its speech.
Thankfully, Austin Cliffe of Creme Dementia did the proper thing with the “obscene” talking caterpillar.
Talking toys can be a problem. (not)
Oddly, Leapfrog’s corporate office is right next door to the office of Electronic Musician magazine. Is there a conspiracy here? 😉
here is an advanced Cacophonator and a Chaoscillator inside, plus a ringmodulator.
info and sounds at: