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Turn Almost Anything into a "Theremin"
April 17, 2010 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Drawdio: A Pencil that Lets You Draw Music
posted by brundlefly (29 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 

HOLYFUCKTHATISTHECOOLESTDAMNTHINGI'VESEENINAWEEKIAMGOINGTORADIOSHACKTOBYTHENECESSARYTOOLSRIGHTNOWNOI'MNOTKIDDINGHOLYFUCK!
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 9:15 AM on April 17, 2010


Huh, I have one of those in a box in the closet. I'll go dig it out.
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 AM on April 17, 2010


Ain't seen nothing yet - also Arduino powered.

Previously Arduino, that is.
posted by warbaby at 9:24 AM on April 17, 2010


You too can take any number of objects that you could bang on or tap to make all kinds of different and unique sounds and make the same 7 amplified mosquito noises!
posted by cashman at 9:43 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


see Picture Pages (Youtube link)... About 2 minutes in. That's where I saw this concept before...
posted by priested at 9:55 AM on April 17, 2010


Mortimer Icobod Marker!
posted by sourwookie at 10:01 AM on April 17, 2010


Such a buzzkill, cashman. This looks way too fun to just keep in the hobbyist realm. It'd be cool if they took this to a toy company to have sold in stores; I wonder if they've tried to secure a patent on it yet. One way or the other, this has some serious fad-toy potential. If kids can get excited about battery-operated hamsters and Elmo torture dolls, a pencil that lets them draw a working electronic instrument on a piece of notebook paper is going to be HUGE. Mark my words, people will be murdering each other at Wal-Mart to get a Drawdio on Black Friday.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:06 AM on April 17, 2010


see Picture Pages (Youtube link)... About 2 minutes in. That's where I saw this concept before...

Considering that Cosby was doing page J-5 in that clip, I'm surprised these guys never tried using it as a sample.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:14 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


THAT IS COMPLETELY INSANE
posted by desjardins at 10:15 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


If kids can get excited about battery-operated hamsters and Elmo torture dolls, a pencil that lets them draw a working electronic instrument on a piece of notebook paper is going to be HUGE.

I know a guy who makes these- in fact he teaches classes on making them. His 6 year old daughter apparently LOVES it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:25 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


So simple. I wish I had thought of it myself. Graphite can be used as a resistive strip, and you can use the body's capacitance to complete the circuit. This can be extended quite a bit. They only vary pitch here, but any parameter of any synthesis technique could be controlled by the position of a pencil on a line.
posted by idiopath at 10:30 AM on April 17, 2010


Drawdio: A Pencil that Lets You Draw Music Noises
ftfy
posted by tybeet at 11:28 AM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


warbaby: this isn't atmel/arduino powered, it's a very simple timer circuit, no micros or anything
posted by neustile at 11:30 AM on April 17, 2010


yeah, I thought that was a bit small for an arduino, that looks a whole lot like that hack where you use a "digital" chip as a simple analog square wave generator.
posted by idiopath at 11:36 AM on April 17, 2010


I built one of these when I was 10 with my trusty Radio Shack electronics kit. Good times.
posted by signalnine at 11:54 AM on April 17, 2010


Ferb, I know what we're gonna do today.
posted by weston at 12:21 PM on April 17, 2010


Similar,* but with considerably fewer/cheaper parts.

*well, similar in that it makes noise. And involves drawing.
posted by lekvar at 12:39 PM on April 17, 2010


My mistake. I had seen a multi-channel version using an Arduino, but now I can't find a link to it. IIRC, it had selectable waveforms/timbre. Alas, it has vanished beyond the reach of my feeble googlefu.

The Milwaukee guitar is a derail (though I really like the slack sound of it.)
posted by warbaby at 12:46 PM on April 17, 2010


Drawesome!
posted by defenestration at 1:02 PM on April 17, 2010


Peedio?
posted by Casimir at 3:33 PM on April 17, 2010


Awesome and ridiculous, with the potential to be unbelievably annoying. Sold.
posted by doublehappy at 3:39 PM on April 17, 2010


DrawRonnieJamesDio, a pencil that lets you draw a rainbow in the daaaaaahk
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:53 PM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I remember making something like this with a little circuit board kit when I was a little kid. I think it had a handful of simple components, a breadboard, and instructions for a several different toys, but the noise-making-pencil is the only one that sticks in my head.
posted by lucidium at 4:31 PM on April 17, 2010


I wonder if it is possible to combine this gadget with peeing to produce the 1812 Overture.

The cannons being simulated by a few well timed farts of course.
posted by digsrus at 4:31 PM on April 17, 2010


> Peedio?

I know the inventor of Drawdio, and I can confirm that he indeed has experimented and made some concerted efforts at a functional peedio. It is still an open research question.
posted by yourcelf at 6:57 PM on April 17, 2010


This is clever and awesome and probably a lot of fun and it's making the most obnoxious squeaking noise argh argh argh
posted by magnificent frigatebird at 10:52 PM on April 17, 2010


The noise is not more or less obnoxious than any other theremin.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 5:27 AM on April 18, 2010


I like this peedio idea! I guess that makes me a ...

Oh. No, not gonna go there.
posted by kcds at 7:24 AM on April 18, 2010


It's like I took a little holiday into being a kid again - the wonder at conductors n other scientific nerd things.
posted by honey-barbara at 5:01 AM on April 19, 2010


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