The Beat-Bearing Sequencer

Beat-Bearing Sequencer

Here‘s an interesting alternate controller I’ve not yet seen: a step sequencer where one composes a pattern by placing ball bearings onto a grid.

Though I don’t exactly have one in front of me, I would imagine the sensation of manipulating the device would be similar to patching a modular synth. There must be something entirely satisfying interfacing with music in this manner, akin to eating with a well-balanced set of weighted flatware.

A tangible rhythm sequencer. Ball bearings are used to trigger drum sounds. Visual feedback is displayed from underneath to indicate the current time and the state of each ball bearing.

The brainchild behind the Beat-Bearing Sequencer is Peter Bennett.

Video posted to YouTube by peterdbennett.
Thanks to PAgent of PAgent’s Progress for sending me this link to

The Amazing Circuit Bending Worm

Following a gruelling audition process, one solo worm was hand selected to perform its own music, without proviso, upon a specially adapted and destabilised FM synthesis circuit disembowelled from a Yamaha PSS-470. For one day, this worm was treated like royalty; whisked around London’s swankiest mud spas and hermaphrodite clubs, before spending an evening at the very best hotel (whatever it’s called, I dunno). Ah, what a star…

Posted to YouTube by ashfordaisyak. Thanks to PAgent of PAgent’s Progress for the link.


Ninbento is a modification of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System that acts as a music visualization system. Using a custom-built circuit and a practice known as “circuit bending,” the modified NES will “listen” to music and generate chaotic and colorful displays to the beat.

Video by apleasantnoise. Thanks to PAgent of PAgent’s Progress for another great find.

Part of getbent.

Whitney Music Box

Whitney Music Box

The Whitney Music Box is a wonderful example of Process Music. The audio generated is musical in nature, and the process itself is obvious thanks to the simplicity of the animation. Each of the 18 variations have their own distinct qualities, showing the versatility of the instrument and of the sound spaces it creates.

Whitney Music Box is based on John Whitney’s motion graphics, realized by Jim Bumgardner, aka KrazyDad.

From the description:

in three minutes, the largest dot will travel around the circle once, the next largest dot will travel around the circle twice, the next largest dot three times, and so on. the dots are arranged to trigger notes on a chromatic scale when they pass the line

Thanks to PAgent of PAgen’ts Progress for the link.

Thumbuki Update: We’re Live!!

Circuit Board

Thumbuki as seen from Space

There are times when you just have to say, “Enough is enough.” And I’ve had enough trying to perfect thumbuki before officially launching. I have a mostly functional website with incoming content and a decent layout. There is no reason, no reason at all, to put this off any longer. That’s why I’m launching thumbuki, right…. wait for it… right… NOW!

w00t! (streamers and noise makers)

Thank you. Thank you. You’re all too kind. But before you get too excited, I want to make sure you realize that there are still many issues that need to be resolved here.

As of right now, thumbuki seems to render properly on Mac Firefox and Safari. On Mac Opera, picture subtitles are most definitely off. Fixing this is going to be a high priority. The other big issue for now is that I have not seen how this page renders on PC or Linux. Good news is that I do have an old PC and an Ubuntu boot CD lying around somewhere. These issues will be fixed for maximum cross platform/browser compatibility in the near future. I’m sure there are bugs hiding in all the nooks and crannies of my html. So I’ll need to validate my code as week. I’ll get some time this weekend to do this.

One last thing… Special thanks to my good friend PAgent of PAgent’s Progress for pimping my blog last night. u r teh r0x0r!! Your free oven mit is in the mail.