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some things i did today

Fixed Jacki's drum machine. This thing is acid house music in a box. I could literally sit with it for hours using samples and drums to make minimalist house techno. Tons of fun, but unfortunately designed poorly, the power adapter plug port thing easily brakes, and turns a perfectly functional techno machine into junk.

Also finished Jacki's keyboard. Didnt do anything too out of the ordinary with this one. Standard pitch-bend and body contact with a 1/8inch output. I also added two LEDs which ended up being totally useless. I tried to wire them to the audio output so they would flash in time with the music but using one two of them would make the audio too low to hear. My next thought was to use it for some photocell action, but then realized that if they dont change with the music or modulate in some way its sorta useless. Although I did figure out a neat little trick to make them turn on and off with the keyboard without having to deal with those really annoying PCB slidey switches all circuit benders hate. All you gotta do is add a new wire from the LED to the + of the battery and attached the LED ground to the speakers ground and it works perfect. I tried to think of cool things to do with the lights, but nothing work so Im leaving them as is. I also tried to etch/scratch it with a dremel but the plastic was really brittle and proved way more difficult than I anticipated.

Started building a really simple volume pedal I got for free from Build Your Own Clone. Its the simplest possible pedal, but it is apparently pretty nice, so Im adding among other things a photocell to control the volume. I dont know if this is a terrible idea or not (Im guessing it probably is) but I think it might let me make really ghetto tremolo effects in a dark room with a flashlight with some delay. Put some reverb on that, and I could probably get some nice volume swell effects going on as well.

Tomorrow I am going to Hand Made Music (scroll down a few entries on the cmd blog to find info) with Jen. Its a very cool looking/sounding event in Brooklyn dedicated to homemade instruments and audio devices so expect some photos and words on that later.

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