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Handmade Electronic Music


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Table of Contents

Foreword to First Edition (David Behrman)


PART I: STARTING 1. Getting Started: Tools and Material Needed 2. The Seven Basic Rules of Hacking: General Advice PART II: LISTENING 3. The Victorian Synthesizer: Twitching Loudspeakers 4. In/Out: Speaker as Microphone, Microphone as Speaker, the Symmetry of it All 5. How to Solder: an Essential Skill 6. Circuit Sniffing: Eavesdropping on Hidden Magnetic Music 7. How to Make a Contact Mike: Using Piezo Disks to Pick up Tiny Sounds 8. Turn Your Wall into a Speaker: Resonating Objects with Transducers, Motors and More 9. Paper Speakers (Jess Rowland) 10. Tape Heads: Play Your Credit 11. Electret Microphones: Binaural on a Budget 12. Laying of Hands: transforming a Radio into a Synthesizer by Making Your Skin Part of the Circuit PART III: BUILDING 13. My First Oscillator (TM): Six Oscillators on a Chip, Guaranteed to Work 14. Solder Up! From Breadboard to Circuit Board 15. Getting Messy: Modulation, Feedback, Instability and Crickets 16. Soft Circuitry: An Introduction to E-Textile Interfaces (Lara and Sarah Grant) 17. On/Off (More Fun With Photo Resistors): Gating, Tremolo, Panning and More 18. Mixers and Matrices: Very Simple, Very Cheap, Very Clean Ways of Configuring Lots of Circuits 19. Boost and Distort: A Simple Circuit that Goes from Clean Preamp to Total Distortion 20. Analog to Digital Conversion, Sort of: Modulating Other Audio with Your Circuits, Pitch Tracking, and a Sequencer 21. Beyond Bending: Triggering, Sequencing and Modulating Circuit Bent Toys (Alex Inglizian) 22. Video Hacking (LoVid (Tali Hinkis, Kyle Lapidus) and Jon Satrom) 23. An Introduction to Op Amps 24. A Little Hacker's Amp 25. The Mumma-Tudor Ring Modulator (Michael Johnsen and You Nakai) 26. Paper Circuits (Peter Blasser) 27. Rule the Airwaves: Build a Radio Transmitter (Brett Balogh) 28. A Grab Bag of Samples: A Voltage Controlled Radio Receiver (Holger Heckeroth) 29. A Lo-Fi Sampler and Looper (Holger Heckeroth) 30. The Bissell Function Block: A Lag Processor (Peter Speer) 31. Sounds from Neural Networks (Wolfgang Spahn) PART IV: COMPUTING 32. Sharing Traces: Designing and Fabricating Your Own Printed Circuit Boards with Fritzing (Eduardo Rosario) 33. Microcontroller Sound (Joseph Kramer) 34. Small Sound: Pure Data on the Raspberry Pi (Robb Drinkwater) 35. Data Hacking: The Foundations of Glitch Art (Nick Briz) PART V: CONNECTING 36. Handmade Sound Communities (Lisa Kori and David Novak) 37. Hello World! COMPANION WEBSITE CONTENTS 1. Project Support Sharing Traces -- Designing and Fabricating Your Own Printed Circuit Boards (Eduardo Rosario) Microcontroller Sound (Joseph Kramer): Data files and additional projects for chapter 33 Paper Circuits (Peter Blasser): Circuit board artwork for Rungling circuit in chapter 26 Sounds from Neural Networks (Wolfgang Spahn): Circuit board artwork for Confetti Neuron circuit in chapter 31 2. Technical Bootcamp Ohm's Law for Dummies: How to Understand Resistors Switches: How to Understand Different Switches, and Make Your Own Jack, Batt and Pack: Powering and Packaging Your Circuits Power Supplies: Carbon Footprints from AA to EEE 3. Circuit Bending Tickle the Clock: Finding the Clock Circuit in Toys Hack the Clock: Changing the Clock Speed for Cool New Noises Video Music/Music Video: Translating Video Signals into Sound, Hacking Cameras, and Extracting Sounds from Remote Controls Beyond the Pot: Photoresistors, Pressure Pads and Other Ways to Play Your Toy LCD Art: Making Animated Modern Daguerreotypes and Alternate Video Projectors 4. Culture and History Do It With Others: Hardware Hacking in South America (Florencia Curci, Alma Laprida and Sebastian Rey) Hacer con Otrxs: Hardware Hacking en Sudamerica (Florencia Curci, Alma Laprida and Sebastian Rey) (Original Spanish version of Do It With Others) Bleep Listening (Ezra Teboul) A History of Japanese Hacking and DIY Music (ADACHI Tomomi) DIY ( )(Original Japanese version of A History of Japanese Hacking and DIY Music) (ADACHI Tomomi) Livening Things Up: Australian Hand-Built Electronic Instruments (Caleb Kelly and Pia van Gelder) Gambioluthiery: Hacking and DIY in Brazil (Giuliano Obici) A Brief Personal History of dorkbot-nyc (Douglas Repetto) The Contact Microphone: A Cultural Object (Daniela Fantechi) David Tudor (You Nakai and Michael Johnsen) Pixel Artists (LoVid and Jon Satrom) Circuit Board as Design (Eduardo Rosario) Circuit Bending (Nicolas Collins) Visual Music (Nicolas Collins) The Future Was Then (Nicolas Collins) 5. Tutorials 6. Gallery of Artist's Work

About the Author

Nicolas Collins, an active composer and performer, has worked with John Cage, Alvin Lucier, David Tudor, and many other masters of modern music. Dr. Collins is a professor in the Department of Sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Research Fellow at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, Belgium. He has led hacking workshops around the world. He has been Visiting Artistic Director of STEIM (Amsterdam), a DAAD composer-in-residence in Berlin, and a long-time Editor-in-Chief of Leonardo Music Journal.


Praise for the Second Edition

"Nicolas Collins wants to tear apart your CD player."

WIRED magazine

"Nic Collins' book passes the torch of home-brew electronics to the next generation of musical experimentalists. Providing practical and fun recipes for sonic adventures, it simultaneously introduces the reader to the past and present field of electronic sound art."

Chris Brown, Mills College Center for Contemporary Music

"This is a terrific, unique, and much needed book; I wish I had it fifteen years ago."

Dan Trueman, Princeton Laptop Orchestra, Princeton University

"The most radical music book I've read so far this year. This jargon-free text offers a fresh alternative to the usual instruments prized by the music business."

Christopher Delaurenti, The Stranger, Seattle

"With wit, wisdom and enviable clarity, Nicolas Collins guides the would-be hardwarehacker through the possibilities and pitfalls of playing with electricity. Those who follow his guidance assiduously will not only be able to make noise that is both personal andinstilled with the virtue of self-discovery; they will also gain an education and mostimportant of all, stay alive."

David Toop

"Nic Collins has provided an informative and gently structured doorway through which anyone can enter the limitless world of possibilities to be discovered in a raw, hands-on approach to sculpting original, electronic arts hardware. Even starting with little experience, a motivated reader can emerge with invaluable circuit building, hacking and bending skills, while also gaining an enhanced understanding of what goes on inside the boxes and behind the panels of artist-invented, electronic music devices."

David Rosenboom, Composer-Performer, Richard Seaver Distinguished Chair in Music and Dean, The Herb Alpert School of Music, California Institute of the Arts

"A friendly portal into the seemingly arcane art form of circuit bending and building, rich with insights into the history and spirit of experimental electronic music. Chockfull of projects, ideas, and inspirations . . . enough to keep your neighborhood circuitbender out of trouble for years to come."

Mark Trayle

Praise for the First Edition "Here we have, at last, an electronics book that caters to people who have ideas first, and electronics second. Collins offers a splendidly integrative look into the history of'sound art,' basic electronics, and junk revisioning." Meara O'Reilly, MAKE magazine and makezine.com "There are times in the history of any art form when its true visionaries set down in words, the blueprint behind an entire generation of genius. Collins has done just that with Handmade Electronic Music, an essential manifesto of know-how, trade secrets, andaesthetic accomplishment leaping off from Cage and Tudor and landing in today'sclassroom." Thom Holmes, author of Electronic and Experimental Music

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