Tag Archives: music

Invent new sounds with Google’s NSynth Super

via Raspberry Pi

Discover new sounds and explore the role of machine learning in music production and sound research with the NSynth Super, an ongoing project from Google’s Magenta research team that you can build at home.

Google Open NSynth Super Testing

Uploaded by AB Open on 2018-04-17.

What is the NSynth Super?

Part of the ongoing Magenta research project within Google, NSynth Super explores the ways in which machine learning tools help artists and musicians be creative.

Google Nsynth Super Raspberry Pi

“Technology has always played a role in creating new types of sounds that inspire musicians — from the sounds of distortion to the electronic sounds of synths,” explains the team behind the NSynth Super. “Today, advances in machine learning and neural networks have opened up new possibilities for sound generation.”

Using TensorFlow, the Magenta team builds tools and interfaces that let  artists and musicians use machine learning in their work. The NSynth Super AI algorithm uses deep neural networking to investigate the character of sounds. It then builds new sounds based on these characteristics instead of simply mixing sounds together.

Using an autoencoder, it extracts 16 defining temporal features from each input. These features are then interpolated linearly to create new embeddings (mathematical representations of each sound). These new embeddings are then decoded into new sounds, which have the acoustic qualities of both inputs.

The team publishes all hardware designs and software that are part of their ongoing research under open-source licences, allowing you to build your own synth.

Build your own NSynth Super

Using these open-source tools, Andrew Black has produced his own NSynth Super, demoed in the video above. Andrew’s list of build materials includes a Raspberry Pi 3, potentiometers, rotary encoders, and the Adafruit 1.3″ OLED display. Magenta also provides Gerber files for you to fabricate your own PCB.

Google Nsynth Super Raspberry Pi

Once fabricated, the PCB includes a table of contents for adding components.

The build isn’t easy — it requires soldering skills or access to someone who can assemble PCBs. Take a look at Andrew’s blog post and the official NSynth GitHub repo to see whether you’re up to the challenge.

Google Nsynth Super Raspberry Pi Google Nsynth Super Raspberry Pi Google Nsynth Super Raspberry Pi

Music and Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi has been widely used for music production and music builds. Be it retrofitting a boombox, distributing music atop Table Mountain, or coding tracks with Sonic Pi, the Pi offers endless opportunities for musicians and music lovers to expand their repertoire of builds and instruments.

If you’d like to try more music-based projects using the Raspberry Pi, you can check out our free resources. And if you’ve used a Raspberry Pi in your own musical project, please share it with us in the comments or via our social network accounts.

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Learn What Did and Didn’t Work In this Prototyping Post-Mortem

via hardware – Hackaday

[Tommy] is a one-man-shop making electronic musical things, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the outstanding prototyping post-mortem he wrote up about his attempt to turn his Four-Step Octaved Sequencer into a viable product. [Tommy] had originally made a hand-soldered one-off whose performance belied its simple innards, and decided to try to turn it into a product. Short version: he says that someday there will be some kind of sequencer product like it available from him, “[B]ut it won’t be this one. This one will go on my shelf as a reminder of how far I’ve come.”

The unit works, looks great, has a simple parts list, and the bill of materials is low in cost. So what’s the problem? What happened is that through prototyping, [Tommy] learned that his design will need many changes before it can be used to create a product, and he wrote up everything he learned during the process. Embedded below is a demo of the prototype that shows off how it works and what it can do, and it helps give context to the lessons [Tommy] shares.

When it comes to discovering practical issues and unexpected, lurking problems, hands-on prototyping can be a great teacher. Another great teacher is experience, and that is an excellent opportunity to bring up [Dan Gelbart] sharing his 40 years of mechanical prototyping experience. In the first few minutes of the first video, [Dan] talks about choices in enclosure design and gives a good idea of what the rest of the series is like. It’s a great follow-up to [Tommy]’s write-up about his prototyping lessons.

pedalSHIELD MEGA is a programmable guitar pedal for your Arduino

via Arduino Blog

If you want to create new guitar sounds without having to redo your pedal wiring every single time, the pedalSHIELD MEGA from ElectroSmash could be just what you’re looking for.

The pedalSHIELD MEGA takes input from a guitar via a standard ¼-inch cable, and uses an Arduino Mega to process the sounds to your liking. This new sound is then output using two PWM pins for a 16-bit resolution.

The device, which is available in kit form or as a PCB, sits on top of the Mega as an amazing looking shield. In addition to a 3PDT true bypass footswitch, a toggle switch, and two pushbuttons, the pedalSHIELD MEGA features an OLED display for visual feedback. Once assembled, all you need to do for an entirely unique sound is program your own effects in the Arduino IDE!

This shield that is placed on top of an Arduino Mega has three parts:

Analog Input Stage: The weak guitar signal is amplified and filtered, making it ready for the Arduino Mega ADC (Analog to Digital Converter).

Arduino Mega Board: It takes the digitalized waveform from the ADC and does all the DSP (Digital Signal Processing) creating effects (distortion, fuzz, volume, delay, etc).

 Output Stage: Once the new effected waveform is created inside the Arduino Mega board, this last stage takes it and using two combined PWMs generates the analog output signal.

You can find more details on the pedalSHIELD MEGA here, and see it in action below!

Control your computer sheet music with the PartitionsDuino

via Arduino Blog

Performing an instrument well is hard enough, but flipping through sheet music while playing can slightly delay things in the best case, or can cause you to lose your concentration altogether. Music displayed on a computer is a similar story; however, Maxime Boudreau has a great solution using an Arduino Nano inside of a 3D-printed pedal assembly.

When set up with software found here, Boudreau’s DIY device allows you to control PDF sheet music on your laptop with the tap of a foot. While designed to work with a macOS app, there’s no reason something similar couldn’t be worked out under Windows or Linux as needed.

Check it out in action below!

qrocodile: the kid-friendly Sonos system

via Raspberry Pi

Chris Campbell’s qrocodile uses a Raspberry Pi, a camera, and QR codes to allow Chris’s children to take full control of the Sonos home sound system. And we love it!

qrocodile

Introducing qrocodile, a kid-friendly system for controlling your Sonos with QR codes. Source code is available at: https://github.com/chrispcampbell/qrocodile Learn more at: http://labonnesoupe.org https://twitter.com/chrscmpbll

Sonos

Sonos is Sonos backwards. It’s also Sonos upside down, and Sonos upside down and backwards. I just learnt that this means Sonos is an ambigram. Hurray for learning!

Sonos (the product, not the ambigram) is a multi-room speaker system controlled by an app. Speakers in different rooms can play different tracks or join forces to play one track for a smooth musical atmosphere throughout your home.

sonos raspberry pi

If you have a Sonos system in your home, I would highly recommend accessing to it from outside your home and set it to play the Imperial March as you walk through the front door. Why wouldn’t you?

qrocodile

One day, Chris’s young children wanted to play an album while eating dinner. By this one request, he was inspired to create qrocodile, a musical jukebox enabling his children to control the songs Sonos plays, and where it plays them, via QR codes.

It all started one night at the dinner table over winter break. The kids wanted to put an album on the turntable (hooked up to the line-in on a Sonos PLAY:5 in the dining room). They’re perfectly capable of putting vinyl on the turntable all by themselves, but using the Sonos app to switch over to play from the line-in is a different story.

The QR codes represent commands (such as Play in the living room, Use the turntable, or Build a song list) and artists (such as my current musical crush Courtney Barnett or the Ramones).

qrocodile raspberry Pi

A camera attached to a Raspberry Pi 3 feeds the Pi the QR code that’s presented, and the Pi runs a script that recognises the code and sends instructions to Sonos accordingly.

Chris used a costum version of the Sonos HTTP API created by Jimmy Shimizu to gain access to Sonos from his Raspberry Pi. To build the QR codes, he wrote a script that utilises the Spotify API via the Spotipy library.

His children are now able to present recognisable album art to the camera in order to play their desired track.

It’s been interesting seeing the kids putting the thing through its paces during their frequent “dance parties”, queuing up their favorite songs and uncovering new ones. I really like that they can use tangible objects to discover music in much the same way I did when I was their age, looking through my parents records, seeing which ones had interesting artwork or reading the song titles on the back, listening and exploring.

Chris has provided all the scripts for the project, along with a tutorial of how to set it up, on his GitHub — have a look if you want to recreate it or learn more about his code. Also check out Chris’ website for more on qrocodile and to see some of his other creations.

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YouTuber creates an organ out of 44 Furbies

via Arduino Blog

If you think Furbies have become extinct, think again, as musical hacker “Look Mum No Computer” has decided to revive a number of them to create his own Furby Organ.

To make this horrifying yet awesome instrument, he placed 44—yes, 44—of these strange creatures on top of an organ frame with a keyboard and several dials, along with a switch labeled ominously as “collective awakening.”

Each individual Furby is controlled by two Arduino Nano boards, and as you might imagine, the whole project took a massive amount of work to wire things together. You can see the incredible results in the first video below, while the second gives a bit more background on the device’s origin.