The controller is built from modifying 3 off the shelf controllers
(M-Audio Trigger Finger, Belkin Nostromo n52 gamepad and the old Mixman Dm2)
into a custom made, laser etched box with a cold-war soviet space station theme
(hence the name Def-con, also Definable-controller because of its flexibility in programming).
The computer still sees the thing as 3 seperate and unmodified devices.
I built this at the behest of my good friend Devin Becker. He and I talk endlessly about the lack of decent, affordable devices on the market
for audio and video. Devin was also helpful in the idea stage of the Kromatron.
The DEFCON is an example of what we like to call 'nukepunk' technology and is built to look like a soviet nuke launch console from the early cold war.
The Corina Larks, Extra Mild, Luxatronic Humidaphone
The 'Luxatron' is a secret technology home built acidbox
inside an antique cigar box.
This thing makes some amazingly squelchy
noises and, like the Breadman, also contains a proprietary optical system.
The cigar box was a gift from my grandfather. He knows that I make wonderfully weird devices and shove them into
boxes of a familial and historical nature. I am pretty sure he wanted to see what I could come up with.
At this time I was starting to experiment with photocells -- a type of light sensor that behaves like a
variable resistor. They're fun, albeit not very precise or stable.
Inside the box are two seperate circuits, connected ONLY by the photons emitted by one. An arduino powers a
sequential series of white LEDs, and an 'optical theremin' receives the photons and makes weird noises.
The Breadman is an almost complete MIDI controlled
analog synthesizer with a unique feature involving a new optical method of control (can't tell you all how it works yet)
The 1000 Year Egg
A strange, new creation: an imaginary 1000 year egg inspired by a found object
from one of my (real) ancestors. I could try to describe it, but I think the best thing is to watch the video.
The sound of the egg is an acquired taste, of course, but what do you expect from 1000-year-old alien music?
This brings up an interesting point, though: packaging can impact how you feel emotionally about an object,
even if it's an object you yourself created or modified. --[cdm]--
The 1000 Year Egg was one of those serendipitous processes: as I was assembling a white noise generator kit,
I was also going through my late grandmother's possesions and discovered some antique German paper easter eggs.
I intuitiously saw that the circuit board would fit into the egg and knew it belonged inside. But presented with an
extremely fragile package for the electronics, I also knew it would need to be a wireless device. Then I had to figure out
how to get the electronics, a battery, AND a transmitter of some sorts into the egg.
The Komegatone is a modded PAiA fatman synthesizer
kit fit into and old magnatone suitcase found around the house.
The case belonged to my late grandmother and it was used to store her oil paints for many years.
I used a Helix Epilog laser cutter to cut and etch the faceplate of this synth as well as the leather of the case.
This piece was inspired by a pursuit of technoligical interests and strong family ties. It is one of a series of creations that
span the gap between my future and the past of my family. Every time I create sounds with this synth I think about my grandmother
and her creative pursuits
The +1 Kromatron
On first glance, it looks like a Keytar. Look closer, though, and there aren't any keys!
The +1 Kromatron is a dynamic MIDI controller built specifically to interface with modern audio performance
software such as Ableton Live. It has 4 knobs, 2 faders, a two-axis joystick, and 8 buttons. The device is 100% configurable
and can change settings while the user is playing it. It holds 128 performance presets that
can be activated by a simple MIDI patch change or program change signal.
One moment the user can be playing a piano sound, the next the user can be scheduling audio
loops or controlling effects parameters. There is really no limit to what the user can set this device to do.
This controller has built in LEDs that correspond to each input. In other words, if the
user turns a knob, an associated LED gets brighter, or if the user pushes a button, the button lights up.
The Kromatron was built in response to a tangible lack of performance oriented MIDI controllers available to
electronic musicians circa 2006. It was an attempt to bring the focus of a performer away from their laptop or
music gear and back to the audience.