Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking provides a long-needed, practical, and engaging introduction to the craft of making – as well as creatively cannibalizing – electronic circuits for artistic purposes. With a sense of adventure and no prior knowledge, the reader can subvert the intentions designed into devices such as radios and toys to discover a new sonic world. You will also learn how to make contact microphones, pickups for electromagnetic fields, oscillators, distortion boxes, mixers, and unusual signal processors cheaply and quickly. At a time when computers dominate music production, this book offers a rare glimpse into the core technology of early live electronic music, as well as more recent developments at the hands of emerging artists.
This revised and expanded third edition has been updated throughout to reflect recent developments in technology and DIY approaches. New to this edition are chapters contributed by a diverse group of practitioners, addressing the latest developments in technology and creative trends, as well as an extensive companion website that provides media examples, tutorials, and further reading. This edition features:
With a hands-on, experimental spirit, Nicolas Collins demystifies the process of crafting your own instruments and enables musicians, composers, artists, and anyone interested in music technology to draw on the creative potential of hardware hacking.
Praise for the Second Edition
"Nicolas Collins wants to tear apart your CD player."
"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 followhis 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."
"Nic Collins has provided an informative and gently structured doorway through whichanyone 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 littleexperience, a motivated reader can emerge with invaluable circuit building, hacking andbending skills, while also gaining an enhanced understanding of what goes on inside theboxes 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."
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, MAKEMagazine and makezine.com
"There are times in the history of any art form when its true visionaries set down inwords, the blueprint behind an entire generation of genius. Collins has done just thatwith 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
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™: 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!