These are the guts of the Samplotron, the electronics that we’ll be wiring in to the sculpture being built in Jackson. This is 64 puck lights with their original circuitry yanked and replaced with custom boards. The mass of cables dangling below that are the 64 RJ11 cables that feed into the router that talks to a laptop that listens to the buttons, controls the button lights, and controls the music in response to button presses. In this video, it’s just running a basic step sequencer with some drum sounds, but we’ve got a bunch of other apps we’ll be running on it when we deploy at Figment Jackson.
I’m very excited to also announce that Itchy Clips will be helping to sponsor PlayHaus. Being the brainchild of Music producers Stewart Walker and Michel Morin, Itchy Clips promotes new forms of electronic music. Distributing, “Scratch Packs” which contain “building blocks of music for live performances and studio productions” they hope to modularize music construction to promote recombination and sampling in more unique forms. We thought they would be a perfect fit to experiment with the idea of laying these packs onto a physical interface.
Besides being 10 year veterans of the electronic music industry (playing on labels like Tresor, Mille Plateaux, and Minus) they continue to tour the world as producers and artists from San Francisco to Tokyo, while mainly residing in Berlin. In addition to creating Itchy Clips, both Stewart and Michel tinker with building their own hardware and equipment for their own production and performances. We love what they do and we hope to be able to inspire them equally with some of our thinking for how music could be explored.
Now almost every major computer-audio controller has a light-up grid of unlabeled buttons, but when the Monome was released in 2006 it was unheard of. It looked insane, bizzare.
Last week, just after our Soldering Party, Mathilde Berchon from Making Society, wrote a really nice article on our project and some of the things we are trying to achieve with it. She is in town from Paris covering the Maker culture of San Francisco (yeah!!!). Tim Jones, the mastermind behind a majority of the electronics and how to make blinky things blink at the right time, answered a fortitude of questions for her and reveals the motivation and inspiration behind his efforts for Playhaus.
Hi there and welcome to the site for the Playhaus Project!
This is where we will be keeping all up-to-date information and research about the Playhaus Project. We are very excited about the work we are doing on our first installation of the Samplotron, which will be shown at Figment in Jackson, MS on May 14th and 15th.
We’d love to hear any of your thoughts about our work, so please feel free to leave us any comments, kudos, or other worthwhile suggestions. We hope you enjoy the contribution we are making to this community and we hope you keep checking back with us to follow our progress.