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Glitch Music Hack: Chiptunes, Circuit Bending, and a Collaborative Mouse Theremin #MusicMonday

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evlover.fm has a great post up about Glitch Music Hack – a hackathon that was focused on circuit bending and chip tunes. Sounds like it was a great event!

Did you torment a younger sibling with a broken Teddy Ruxpin growling, “I want to be your friend,” again and again, as its cassette tape unraveled and its cheap electronics melted? Did the cheesy sound effects of your toys and the gritty music of early video games get you fired up to play? Some of us never grew out of loving the unpredictable and beautiful sounds of broken, bent toys and video games sounds, so we gathered last Saturday at Spotify’s NYC offices to hack together glitchy music projects! Fun was had. Things were made.

Glitch Music Hack, part of the Monthly Music Hackathon NYC series, was an all-day hackathon focusing on two different but related new music traditions: circuit bending and chiptunes.

For those unfamiliar with the terms, Wikipedia defines circuit bending as “the creative, chance-based customization of the circuits within electronic devices […] to create new musical or visual instruments.”

Meanwhile, “a chiptune, also known as chip music or 8-bit music, is synthesized electronic music produced by the sound chips of vintage computers, video game consoles, and arcade machines, as well as with other methods such as emulation.”

Before the hacking commenced, we began with an hour of performances, demos, and workshops by fascinating practitioners of both art forms.

N0izmkr (a.k.a. Nicole Carroll) led with a short set on a homemade electronic instrument, which sounded like listening up close to an insect walking on tin foil and to a brass ensemble across a wide valley.

Electronic alt-rock trio Glitch Cake gave a beautiful performance of a pop song on live instruments and various machines, replete with projection mapping on singer Kat Tingum’s face! Claire Kwong then gave a short demo of the projection mapping system.

Read more about the event here!


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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