Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking [With CD]
"Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking "provides a long-needed, practical, and engaging introduction for students of electronic music, installation and sound-art to the craft of making--as well as creatively cannibalizing--electronic circuits for artistic purposes. Designed for practioners and students of electronic art, it provides a guided tour through t...more
Paperback, 245 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Routledge
(first published 2006)
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A really good beginner's guide to building electronic instruments. Requires no previous knowledge of electrical components. Intentionally steers away from theory and overly-scientific explanations, though there's a resources appendix for those wishing to know more. The stated goal is to get the reader making noises as quickly as possible, and it delivers. Each project builds on the last, and scattered throughout are sidebars about artists & musicians who have used the technology in each chap...more
Probably the greatest book out there for getting started in electronics. Within a week of getting this, I went from knowing literally nothing about electronics to breadboarding oscillator and effect circuits, building a little light theremin, hacking a toy pager to make it go crazy, and much more. Engaging, informative, and written by someone that actually knows how to communicate these concepts to other human beings (which you'll rarely find in the field of electronics!).
There are a lot of fun electronics projects ideas here, most geared towards older electronics that don't have integrated components. I think most of them would result less in musical instruments than noisemakers, but there's an approximately infinite supply of obsolete electronics out there (Goodwill FTW), so if it's something you were looking to get into this book is a great place to start.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in circuit bending, soldering, audio hacks, etc. The author assumes no experience in this area, but it's entertaining if you already have some. The circuits are easy to build (I have built some of these in the past), and produce great results for aspiring (noise) musicians.