DIY with Deerful: Gameboy Pop, Robot Duets and more
There’s makers all over the world, doing exciting things in many different fields and it’s a blast to be able to celebrate them here. Emma Winston, AKA Deerful, a London based musician, coder and academic is one of these makers. She’s been recording beautiful musical tech oddities for the past couple of years and is a great example of the people all over the world using hacks and ingenuity to produce something fun and unique in their creative and professional fields.
One example of these musical hacks can be found on Peach, Deerful’s recently released debut LP. Emma a found a cool and innovative way to utilize code to get a robotic free-writer to duet with her on the album’s opener. Talking with Glasgow’s Gold Flake Paint, she explained:
I wanted something a little strange to open the album. The lyrics were written using the free-writing technique, then heavily edited for rhyming and scansion afterwards…I’d had the idea of the only voice on the album other than my own being a computerised one, but robots can’t free-write. Since I occasionally build Twitter bots, that was my starting point. I put together a simple program (which you can download here and use yourself) which looks at a live-streamed sample of tweets as they’re posted to Twitter, and, if the word ‘peach,’ ‘rose,’ or ‘tea’ is mentioned, respectively sends the name of a random fruit, flower, or type of tea to my Mac text-to-speech program. My laptop then reads out the item at a pitch within the key of the song, kind of allowing the computer to ‘sing.’
She’s also been uploading great videos to her YouTube channel, retooling popular songs to a gloriously glitchy 8-bit sound with her Game Boy:
Plus, she’s a discovered a skill for getting to a song’s core with these minimalistic circuit synth covers:
Last year, she even created a video game to accompany her chiptune and Ducktails influenced ‘Home‘ EP (released on a USB, of course). Though the USB is sold out, you can play the game here.
If you’d like to follow along with Emma’s music, bot-making, coding, gaming and all the rest — you can find her at deerful.com or on Twitter at @deer_ful.
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
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, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, 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.