teaching machines

Counting in Time

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. Musicians are servants of the beat. But who controls the beat? In this exercise, we do. We will create an abstraction named ticker that provides a steady pulse that will drive […]

Annotations in Twoville

Software for creating digital media tends to be driven by a mouse or stylus. The user directly manipulates shapes until they feel right. Twoville and Madeup, on the other hand, are programming interfaces for digital media. While code opens the door to algorithmic generation, programming interfaces tend not to give as much feedback as direct […]

Playing Sound Files Repeatedly

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. In an earlier exercise, we created an abstraction to read in a sound file and play it. If you plan on playing the sound more than once, it doesn’t make a […]

Music Mouse, Part VI

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. The Arduino side of the Music Mouse is working. Whew! All that’s left is to interpret the messages it sends out in Pure Data. Soon we’ll have music. Pure Data Interpreter […]

Music Mouse, Part V

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. In this exercise, we prepare our Music Mouse to send messages to a Pure Data patch. When the musician goes up or down in the Music Mouse interface, we issue a […]

Music Mouse, Part IV

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. We’ve got horizontal motion working in the Music Mouse. Let’s add vertical motion. This will be very similar to the horizontal motion, but there is an important difference. Vertical Motion In […]

Music Mouse, Part III

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. Music Mouse walks the horizontal axis in steps of one right now. If we were to interpret the x-position as a MIDI number and move along one halfstep at a time, […]

Music Mouse, Part II

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. We’ll complete the Music Mouse in stages. In this stage, let’s get the joystick behaving like a mouse. We’ll start at a position and allow the joystick to move us around […]

Music Mouse, Part I

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. Our final instrument is inspired by the work of composer Laurie Spiegel. In particular, we will recreate her instrument the Music Mouse. This software was released in the 1980s. In the […]

Arpeggiator, Part III

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. The last step of our arpeggiator gives the musician the ability to control the tempo or timing of the notes. We’ll use our last potentiometer for this. Its reading will be […]

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