I love DIY projects, though I hardly ever finish any one I start; but circuit bending and out of the ordinary electronic instruments fascinate me. We have posted in the past articles about Leo Theremin, Clara Rockmore, 8 bit music and glitch, also a hacking manual with links to workshops to create electronic musical devices.
This time a want to introduce you to a project by Travis Feldman, an educator, inventor, and musician. He creates artful handmade electronic devices, and has been making electronic musical instruments and modifying his own home studio recording gear since 1999. He has taught courses on games, animation art, and literature at the University of Washington, Lewis & Clark College, and the Pembroke Hill School.
Now he has decided to leave his literature teaching life for something much closer to his personal passion: create electronic musical instruments. He is the creator of Molecule Synth.
The Molecule Synth is a unique, utterly new kind of musical instrument. It offers the elemental components of a traditional keyboard synthesizer — a speaker & amp, a sound generator, and a pitch controller — but presents those elements as pieces that you arrange (and rearrange!) in various combinations to create your own musical device. The Molecule Synth is designed to be intuitive to use: each of its hexagonal pieces is color-coded to indicate what that piece is and does, and each piece is marked to show how it connects to other pieces. With these building blocks, you choose how to configure your instrument, and, later, you can move the pieces and configure an entirely new instrument!
Molecule Synth should become what he describes as the addition of Lego + Synths and Physical Electronic… a “wild” synth experience that should enrich if not overpass whichever sounds that come out of traditional keyboards.