New Synth, Mixtape Alpha, Inspired By Cassette Tapes & Stylophones

Open Music Labs has introduced Mixtape Alpha – a new synth they describe as ‘the smallest synthesizer we could make without a prescription.’

Mixtape Alpha has a Stylophone style input for continuous note generation, and 6 buttons for discrete notes. It allows for 4 voices, 4 effects, and 5 note polyphony.

The best part, according to the designers, is that “you can record the songs you make, and trade mixtapes with your friends.”

Mixtape Alpha is based on the ATmega328p and can be hacked to make even crazier sounds. Details on hacking the Mixtape Alpha are available.

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Performance Art From The Matrix – This Sensation Is Audio

Sunday Synth Jam: Coded Sensation is a project, developed by Martin Rille, that explores the idea of turning our bodies into ‘sensible containers’ of information that can be released through body contact.

Futuristic suits, with embedded sensors and audio tape, respond to touch and motion with audio:

Touching, hearing and feeling thus become equally important as seeing; a synthesis of senses become a way of knowing the world. For the moment it is only a possibility; but that is exactly what art should do: envision possibilities and open perspectives, allowing us to became aware of our present and even more of our hypothetic future.

The result is a bit like performance art from The Matrix.

Above, choreographer Amber Gabrielle & Martin Rille perform Coded Sensation.

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The History Of The Boombox

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This NPR video looks at the history of the boombox:

The boxes had to be big, to make that bass boom. The speakers in early boxes had extra-large magnets to push all that air around, and they were housed in heavy metal casing to deal with the vibrations from all the bass. Fab 5 Freddy says they got pretty big.

“I remember some boxes so big, they required 20 D-size batteries to an already heavy box,” he says. “So these boxes were so heavy that some cats that would carry their boxes all the time, they would develop massive forearms and biceps.”

The boxes were part of a style that included white Adidas and big gold chains. Freddy was a filmmaker and artist at the time, and he says he took his box everywhere.

“I traveled with my massive boombox,” Freddy says. “That thing moved with me, you know. I remember, like, being on the plane — it couldn’t go in the overhead bin, but that was my baby. It traveled first class right along with me.”

Doesn’t it make you want to go hunting for a vintage boombox?

via noiseforairports