From tk of midibox.org: "...Most of you guys are using Arduino based hardware, therefore I'm not sure if you are interested in an alternative approach, which is based on the MIDIbox hardware platform and MIOS. As the name implies, the focus is on MIDI communication instead of OSC via USB, accordingly this solution covers different usecases.
"The main difference to your current approach is the autarkic firmware, which doesn't require a computer to process the sensors, handle the LEDs, and to communicate with other MIDI devices. This might make it less flexible for experimental stuff, on the other hand I can easily add a LCD, buttons, more LEDs, rotary encoders, etc... - everything which is provided by MIOS - and control my MIDI synths directly..."
Who says you only get what you pay for? This donation-ware download from d-lusion is a hidden treasure for those in search of simple drum programming and great sounds on no budget. It's been around for a while but I came across it again recently and fell in love all over again with drum programming. Also check RubberDuck, a re-imagined TB-303, and the MJ Studio MP3 mixing tool. Don't forget to throw a few beans in d-lusion's Donation bucket for providing all this great stuff for free!
From the d-lusion site:
"Based on the concept of the legendary Roland drum synthesizers TR-909, TR-808 and TR-606 whose throbbing bassdrums and crashing hihats sent generations of dance-music enthusiasts into extasy, Drumstation combines cool old drum machine features with cutting-edge software synthesis technology. Drumstation is a drum software synthesizer and features 8 channels of drums (either samples or synthesized drum sounds), programmable via an easy-to-use step sequencer, effects (realtime reverb, delay, flanger, filter, distortion) for each channel, loops could be sliced and stretched.
"All this in the year 1998!
This free downloadable version also contains - beside the standalone software synthesizer - a complete set of free drum samples and effects to get you started (Roland TR-606, TR-808, TR-909, Real Drums, Sound Effects, DR-101, DPM-48, and additional Yamaha/etc. sampled sounds)."
"Input device from a matrix of IR beams set in a square. Fed into a Macintosh through a create HID interface. Processed with custom software written in Objective C and Quartz composer and fed to an MU10."
Mike Cook, in the UK, made a device similar to my Sound Square project (ca 1993), but smaller, and he went much farther with the software. Interestingly, he built it around the same time period (1994). At the time, a grid of sensors seemed like such a powerful meme to me that I assumed this type of music tech would be everywhere in no time. The fact that it HASN'T seemed to progress very far in 15 yrs was what put me on the path that eventually led to the Stribe. Well, 15 years later it seems Mike has dusted off his project as well! He has a great website and a page dedicated to the how-to of it all. Yay Mike!! Can't wait to see what comes next!