The AirHarp Ultrasonic Digital Autoharp Is Like The Theremin Of Harps


Developer Peter DeSimone has announced a Kickstarter project to develop a production version of the AirHarp – an open-source ultrasonic digital autoharp MIDI controller that’s sort of like the theremin of harps.

The AirHarp responds to hand gestures and translates them into MIDI. You play the AirHarp by moving your hand through the air, ‘strumming’ virtual harp strings much like a theremin player controls pitch by the position of her hand. You can control which strings are playable using the fingers of the hand that holds the AirHarp.

The AirHarp is open source, based on Arduino, and DeSimone provides instructions for building a DIY version on his site. The Kickstarter project goal is to build production AirHarps in large enough volume to get the price of pre-assembled AirHarp instruments down to US $100 each.

Here’s DeSimone introducing the AirHarp and how to use it: Continue reading

CONTACT Turns Any Table Into A Musical Instrument


CONTACT is an experimental tangible audio interface, designed to manipulate and visualize sounds generated from interaction with a simple tabletop.

Any physical contact with the table generates acoustic vibrations, which are manipulated and visualized, in realtime. Here’s a preview of CONTACT in action: Continue reading

MeeBlip anode Bass Synth Is Cheap, Open Source And Pretty Bad-Ass Sounding


Canadian electronics company Blipsonic and Berlin-based website Create Digital Music have introduced their latest joint venture, the MeeBlip anode – a compact bass synth, complete with an analog filter.

The anode is a hybrid analogue/digital instrument, featuring digital pulse oscillators with pulse width control – based on those found in the original MeeBlip – alongside a three-stage envelope, a LFO and an all-analogue filter with resonance control.

As with the original MeeBlip, the anode is open source, and users are encouraged to learn from and experiment with its code and circuits. The anode comes fully pre-assembled, however, and is ready for use straight out the box.

According to its developers, the MeeBlip anode is “capable of producing a range of uniquely aggressive, bass-heavy sounds.”

Does it deliver? Check out these audio demos and let us know what you think: Continue reading

Monome Intros Aleph Open Source Sound Computer


Ezra Buchla (son of Donald Buchla) and Brian Crabtree (monome) have introduced Aleph – a Linux-based open source sound computer.

It can be a synthesizer, sampler, looper or drum machine – or, because it’s open source, anything that you can develop for it.

Key Features:

  • soundcomputer - powerful audio processor, synthesizer, noise machine, rapidly modifiable instrument. a platform for experimental practice and organic discovery.
  • attachments - connect grid controllers, modular synths, midi keys, stomp boxes, gamepads, hand-made circuits. for more direct control and uncommon pairings.
  • topography - dynamically arrange control mappings with unprecedented flexibility. create software control sources such as modulators, logical operators, aleatoric processes, sequencers. all quickly storable and recallable.
  • open source - designed for community engagement, a benefit for musicians and developers alike. an exceptional educational tool. the library of uses and possibilities can only grow.

Continue reading

New Open Source Modular Audio Environment, Integra Live


Integra Live is a new application that’s designed to it easy to use interactive audio processing to create new music. According to the developers, it ‘opens up new possibilities for those seeking an entry point into interactive live electronics’.

With Integra Live you don’t have to write code or patch objects to create interesting live processing. Neither do you have to deal with the complexities of finding, loading and learning external plugins. The software provides a library of built-in audio processing modules to let you get started with interactive audio.  Continue reading

The Eigenharp As A Game Controller – Extreme Overkill At Its Best

Eigenharpist Geert Bevin has found a new use for his Eigenlabs Eigenharp – as a game controller. It may be extreme overkill, but that has never been a problem for us at Synthtopia.

Here’s what Bevin has to say about using the Eigenharp as a game controller: Continue reading