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Author Archive | Shawn Wallace

Build a Hackable Bytebeat Player at the RI Mini Maker Faire

byteseeker

The Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire is this Saturday, featuring dozens of makers alongside the usual music and shenanigans of AS220’s annual Foo Fest. Each year we run a soldering workshop as part of the Faire; this year we’ll be making a hackable bytebeat player from Modern Device, the Byteseeker Junior.

Download the assembly instructions here.

The Byteseeker is an Arduino-variation with a headphone jack, two pots and two buttons based on the Real Bare Bones Board. The code we’ll be using at the Faire is kind of like an iPod Shuffle for Bytebeat “songs.”

What’s Bytebeat you ask? It’s a genre of 8-bit beatmaking that tweezes complex repeating patterns of sound out of one line math expressions. A more in-depth description may be found in this blog post, but here’s a quick video to give you an idea of what the thing sounds like:

Byteseeker Jr. from Shawn Wallace on Vimeo.

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Using the Lots of Pots Board for Raspberry Pi

lop3

Here’s how to use the Lots of Pots Board for the Raspberry Pi. The daughterboard (or shield; what are we calling Raspberry Pi add ons these days?) sits on top of the Raspberry Pi and breaks out the various GPIO pins in a useful and labeled manner. It also has an 8 channel MCP3008 analog to digital converter on board, which is hooked up to the hardware SPI pins on the GPIO header. This tutorial will describe the features of the board and cover how to read analog inputs from the ADC.

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Algorithmic Ballyhoo: Using Processing to Make Hundreds of Unique Posters

MFBlogPost

This post describes a process I like to call algorithmic ballyhoo; using a Processing program to generate many different unique poster designs. We needed a poster for the Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire this year, so I decided to use a Processing sketch to do the work for me. Modern Device will be at the Mini Maker Faire, and will have a new Bytebeat-based kit for the soldering workshop.

poster-final-600p

Algorithmic ballyhoo is nothing but sheer randomness without some sort of seed or design constraint. The Mini Maker Faire is embedded in AS220’s Foo Fest, and Xander Marro is this year’s Foo Fest artist-in-residence. Xander designed the Foo Fest posters (pictured to the right) and I decided to use the same elements in the Mini Maker Faire poster.

Read on for the Processing code. It’s pretty straightforward; the key is to use the processing.pdf library to record a printable version of everything you’re drawing on the screen. Then, just bring it to your local copy shop (or fine art large format printer). Remember that your drawing grid is at 72dpi. In the final PDF all graphics will be drawn as scalable vector art, but any included bitmap images will be drawn at screen resolution, so make sure any included PNGs are at least 4 or 5 times the final size, then shrunk down.


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Free Domestic US Shipping on Weekends

freeshipping

Starting this weekend, any order placed on a Saturday or Sunday (Eastern Time) will be shipped for free. Anything up to 13 oz. will be shipped USPS First Class; more than that will go USPS Priority. Please note that we’re only offering this to Domestic US addresses at this time. We’re trying this out for the Summer and will keep going if it’s popular.