Sunday, 13 May 2012

Making things more playable!

In between kid wrangling, lawn cutting and all those other things that happen, I found some time this weekend to do a spot of tinkering. I've been feeling the need to make BLARP my cmos modular a bit more playable. So I've made a start by building a small keyboard....Yeah thats right a whole 6 keys!! I salvaged the buttons of a circuit board out of an old cd player (one of those old Yamaha "Natural Sound" ones..a good deck in its day!) I've had a couple of jams setting up the keyboard to control/trigger the envelope generators on BLARP. It's cool but it's made me realise I need more stuff to be able to have more on the list of stuff to build is more envelope generators as well as more repeats of simple things like oscillators and logic gate stuff; NOR NAND XOR etc. Here's a picture of me testing it playing along with some stuff I'd tracked in Sunvox on my Jornada 720.

I've also done a very silly job that I've been meaning to do for ages. All the pot's on BLARP are these small trimpots that you can adjust using a small flathead screwdriver....this means every blarp session for me start with me rummaging around trying to find a small screwdriver. I had a couple of tiny 2" long ones and they were really good as you could leave them propped into a trimpot meaning you could move your hand away but quickly move it back to make changes.....anyway I finally cracked and in 10 minutes made half a dozen mini screwdrivers out of some bits of spring steel (salvaged from the inserts in old windscreen wiper blades!!!..good for making Kalimba prongs too!) and some polymorph. Polymorph is a great plastic that melts when you place it in just about boiling water but is reaaly solid and strong when cooled.

I hope after a bit more building I'll put a video together of a BLARP live jam!

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