18 articles Articles posted in Music

Challenger II: An Optical Theremin

The Challenger II is an optical theremin, built out of a floppy drive, an Express for Men 1MX dress shirt, and other spare parts.

Von Braun XV

The Von Braun XV is a synthesizer, originally built in 2007. The circuit is a modified 556 IC APC circuit, originally designed by Forrest M. Mims in 1980 and called the ‘Sound Synthesizer’. This particular circuit was modified by Beavis Audio Research for use with a line output. The Von Braun is housed in a painted cigar… Continue Reading →

Stephin Merritt: Sixth and I, Washington, D.C. – May 2015

[Listen to their set on Spotify!] Stephin Merritt recently wrote a book of poetry celebrating 101 two-letter words, commonly seen in Scrabble and other games. To promote the book, he grabbed his mandolin and hit the road with Sam Davol accompanying him on cello. Stephin and Sam played a total of 26 songs, one for each letter… Continue Reading →

9V Amplifier and 12″ Speaker in a 12″ Tom Drum Shell

Probably one of the weirder things I’ve built. This is a 12″ Celestion Modern Lead 70 Speaker and a 386 IC amplifier in a 12″ tom drum shell. When I built this, neon green duct tape was on sale. A lot of stuff I built had neon green duct tape all over it. The circuit is… Continue Reading →

RAGE: Richmond Area Gear Expo – April, 2015

The Richmond Area Gear Expo (RAGE!) was an eclectic mix of luthiers, guitar pedal makers, and talented musicians. I had a table with some noise instruments (Von Braun VIII and X, reporting for duty) and my ring mod guitar. I was invited by Natalie Quick, who works at Fan Guitar and Ukulele, a great store… Continue Reading →

3D Printing a Truss Rod Cover for a Rickenbacker 4001 Bass Guitar Copy

This Rickenbacker copy was one of the first instruments I ever owned! This bass was a gift from my father and, like any curious child, I immediately took a chisel to it to route out room for a pickup and performed all kinds of terrible modifications to it. I believe it’s a 1974 Greco, model… Continue Reading →

Putting a Ring Modulator Guitar Pedal Inside a Guitar

  Having trouble finding an enclosure for your new pedal? Why not just put it inside your guitar?  This guitar has a 567 Tone Decoder IC circuit inside it that acts as a Ring Modulator with an adjustable carrier wave.   The schematic can be found at the awesome Beavis Audio Research site or right here!… Continue Reading →

Playing the theme from Jurassic Park on a 3D Printer

Hold on to your butts! Inspired by the old printer that played the E1M1 music from my favorite video game Doom, I decided to see how difficult it would be to get my 3D printer to do the same thing with the theme from Jurassic Park. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t easy) I found a MIDI… Continue Reading →

Left Shark

Left Shark: The true hero of Superbowl XLIX. Also, it represents the *extremely small* overlap of my affinity for Katy Perry and my hobby of 3D printing. Sorry, I know I’m an awful painter. The teeth are pretty crooked, but I don’t know if I could make them better without a stencil. This 3D model was… Continue Reading →

Spain: Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA – February 2015

  Seeing slow-core master Josh Haden’s band Spain has always been a goal, but a goal that I was fairly resigned to leaving unfulfilled. One day before their show at Jammin’ Java, I happened to check Twitter and saw that they would be performing just over two hours north of me! I had to go!… Continue Reading →