It was a great day today. We played with Arduino kits, made christmas lights and melodies like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Super Mario and Imperial March:
The session with Arduinos introduced the basics of how to make circuits with a breadboard, connecting LEDs and buzzers, and how to code in the Arduino IDE. With this we could connect the computer with physical circuits and sensors.
Amusing as it was to learn how to make things with Arduino, we discovered that there exists even funnier toys! The rest of the day we played with Synth kits by Korg and littleBits. This let us put together simple synthesizer modules and make lots of different sounds. Everyone made their own prototype with a large variety of solutions and sonic possibilities.
It was really fun to play with Oscillators, Filters, mini keyboards, delays and sequencers. We also noticed the tiny randomizer held a great potential for doing magical things. We tried various setups. The combination of sequencer and random noise maker could build up to a beat making system. Further, we tried combining two oscillators with the keyboard and sequencer to make cool synthesizer sounds and arpeggiators, and it was possible to make spooky sounds by combining a lot of delay effects. It got quite noisy though in the portal when everyone was trying out different sounds with their instruments.
Afterwards, we got to jam with our instruments both in groups and all together. This was also the first time using LOLA to play music together in the portal. It was however not a test of playing traditional music, as this was a much more free-form synthesizer jam. Perhaps tomorrow’s instrument prototypes will reveal more of the advantages of using LOLA for music.