Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Return to the Bronome

So I recently found a fellow artist working in France who is also working on an RGB Monome like project. He calls it the Trinome and his webpage is here. LiveInterface There you will find a complete resource for the code and a schematic. However I am currently working on a backpack to control the leds. I will be creating complete PCB's for this project once it is completed. I am unsure as to the direction Julien is taking with his project, however, I wish to push this device to its limits and even integrate even more functionality as a controller. I have always intended on this device being a stand alone controller. But Julien's use of the Monome Protocol (OSC) though USB is also interesting.

Bronome Schematic - Julien's schematic with a partially finished backpack and arduino.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ram Cart Pins

Creative Commons License
Ram Cartridge by Brian Durocher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at brian.durocher@gmail.com.

This project is currently closed development. If you would like to become part of the development team or make derived works e-mail me. Permissions will be given to individuals interested in producing cartridges for their own personal use. Permission will not be given or implied for any commercial use as per the Creative Commons attribution.

Kits will become available upon creation of a working prototype. Currently development is in its infancy. Please be patient as I still need to find suitable parts to replace the discontinued PROM's, and other required components such as a case.

If you are interested in following the discussion about the ram cartridge please visit Yamaha Forums UK

Friday, July 4, 2008

DX7 RAM Cart Teardown

Teardown of a DX7 RAM cart.

2x X2816AP (2k * 8 PROM)
1x 2.2 16 Cap Polar
2x 16pin SIP (Marked RML S12472J
1x Slide Switch

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I have decided to start experimenting with a program called CSound. The programming code has a structure similar to Cobol programing syntax. This should be interesting. Below are some links to get you started as well.

CSound is a powerful synthesis language which can be used to make your own virtual instruments, oscillators, etc. The sonic potential of this program is only limited by your imagination.

Critical Files for using CSound and Cecilia:


OS X Front End:


Windows Front End:


Related Software:

Pd-0.40.3-extended-rc2 Intel

Pd-0.40.3-extended-rc2 PPC





Sunday, June 8, 2008

Crazy Keytar Yetti

Megan Whitmarsh, keytar yeti is really amazing.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

APC 555 Optical Thermin

So I have cooked up an optical thermin for myself based on the 555 timer and some tweeking of good old Mr. Mims Atari Punk Console design. This project is not for the beginner as it uses surface mount parts but it is fun none the less. So all of my hard work has lead me to offer this as a share alike piece of hardware.

Creative Commons License
APC 555 Optical Thermin by Brian Durocher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at brian.durocher@gmail.com.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Chip Tune

Today I was crusing the web and found some great websites.


Hope you get some enjoyment out of these.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Today I downloaded the Fritzing application again to see the progress this application has made in development. It is finally at a usable state for small projects, it is particularly good for the beginner as it accurately reflects the equipment you would be using.


Sunday, March 30, 2008


Sorry about the lack of posting regarding the Bronome, this last leg of university has been hectic to say the least.

However, the LED routine has been smoothed out and here is a current video:

On Friday April 4th, 2008 the Bronome will be on display at Rodman Hall Art Gallery until April 27th.

Monday, March 17, 2008

555 PWM

So I was bored today and started making a 555 PWM for my synth in eagle cad. The final product will use surface mount parts and I will have a breakout board soon.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Musicians Friend

A few days ago I purchased a used Akai MPC500 sampler and decided I would buy the ram module (EXM-128) from Musicians Friend an online music equipment retailer. I have to say this store has gone far beyond my expectations and I would recommend them to anyone looking for musical equipment.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

TEMT6000 Light Sensor Breakout

Today I took some time to develop the TEMT6000 break out board for one of my projects using Eagle Cad. Its a small little board which uses surface mount parts 2x 10k Ohm resistors and 2x TEMT6000 light sensors. This breakout board is for a much larger project involving performance and audio.

The file can be found here:
Breakout PDF

I used PDF format for the actual file as its easy to print at the correct sizes for multiple systems.


Bronome Schematic

I have been working on a schematic for the Bronome in Eagle CAD. It is not completed but right now it accurately reflects the parts I am using. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bronome Brain

I have been working on the Bronome switch system which is based on 74LS164 and 74LS165 shift-in / shift-out registers. I have yet to write the code to handle these things but two such brains have been built. Additionally here are some images of the build of the Bronome.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Enough is Enough, stop stealing our money

When should someone be allowed to steal your money? Should you have to pay for music downloading if you do not download music at all? Personally I do not think so. The song writers in Canada have proposed a $5 fee to be applied to your internet service bill to compensate themselves.

This brings back memories of the tried and failed iPod levy introduced in Canada. And yet again I am left wondering why in this new digital era are music companies and now music writers not adapting. For the last 8 years this group proposes sales have "dropped from $1.3-billion in 1999 to $704-million in 2006." Is this not a clear indication someone needs to change?

Essentially the idea of distribution adding to the cost of music is dead. Being able to download a track or album provides the record companies even greater profits. Additionally consumers are not idiots we know that companies want to give us less while charging us more. No package, no printed material, no shipping, no storage fees from logistics companies, no middle men (if you do it correctly) and you have pure profit, production costs aside of course.

Rather than charge us $5 consider spending all that money you are using to lobby the government and put together an effective business plan. A plan that benefits the customer while making yourself money through downloads eg: iTunes, and other online sites, about 100% of the music I enjoy listening too is not available through these distribution methods, so I am forced to buy a CD and rip it to my iPod. This is far less convenient than purchasing online content (with out DRM) to place on my iPod or my MiniDisk.

The infrastructure argument: this new form of distribution costs us money. Everything costs money, but digital distribution will cost you less money. What major company does not have an internet and intranet network these days. Personally I run a business and maintain my own web server, I am not a major corporation and somehow I manage to fit that into my own budget, and I don't charge my customers $5 more for them to view my web content, write down my prices, or even to send me an e-mail.

"80% of artists make 15000 or less a year"

This last point is particularly frustrating to me, and to most artists in any discipline. I enjoy making art and would love to work as a full time artist, but currently that's not realistic however, I work two other jobs to support myself. I understand that people need to make money but loving what you do is sometimes more important than the money you make. Take for instance Radiohead, they released a pay what you can album. I was ecstatic, free music, perfectly within my budget, but more importantly its someone giving something back. Someone who loves what they do and wants to show that they care, and that we the listener are important.

And finally to complete my point. This flagrant disregard for respecting the rights of Canadian internet users is shameful at best. If this tax actually gets passed whats next taxing people who hum or whistle a melody, do we tax a telephone user if music happens to be playing in the background, or even better maybe we should tax car radio listeners by the kilometer.

And to quote the Calgary Herald "It's not my fault that nine or 10 years after Napster, a proper system hasn't been worked out to compensate songwriters and recording artists."
... second source article (page 2)

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Tonight was the lunar eclipse and I managed to get a decent photograph of it.

As for my other projects, I have been working on the bronome switch array and have two prototype units built. The code needs writing and Little-Scale has been nice enough to lend a hand with some of the missing pieces. With a little more free time on my hands I should have something working. In the next few days.

Bronome set to white Feb 20, 2008.

TEMT6000 Ambient Light Sensor for laser midi interface project.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bronome Prototyping

Today I started to tackle the LED routines. Right now its still really crude as I am borrowing a large section of the code base from other sources. I am not happy with the speed at which it is executing so I am going to rewrite a lot of it and perhaps use assembler. Here is the latest video:

Please excuse the documentation of code, that was more for my record.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Why Bronome?

The Bronome project has been designed to address some of my personal performance audio needs. I saw a need for something more than just a USB interface something which could also act as a hardware midi controller. In that respect the Bronome is a brother to many other projects such as the Monome, Tonori-on, and MidiBox. It borrows concepts and ideas from all to make a unique interface onto its own. Although the initial facade is very much like the minimalist Monome 40h, the differences are in its use of light to convey meaning. Through visual means the interface of the Bronome can mutate or transform into a multitude of utilities, keyboard, sequencer, or display. The configurations are endless.

If you would like to participate in this project either through coding, graphics, ideas or suggestions, send an email to Brian Durocher.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Here is an update of the bronome with a simple animation of the LED lights.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bromome Stage 2 (RGB Monome Derived Interface)

A few more parts arrived from my favorite supplier and I was able to wire everything up and get it working on a very basic level. The next stage will be switch/button implementation and LED reaction to button presses. I am not totally sure if i am going to use the Monome code base or just create my own assembler version. Regardless here is the video.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Amtel 2560 PCB

My 2560 PCBs have arrived from BatchPCB they took about 3 weeks in total. It was fairly quick and cheap, so perfect for what I am doing. I ordered two and soldered one yesterday. However, I distroyed some of the pads on the board while putting the surface mount chip on. :( (Thats what happens when the iron gets too hot I suppose. No worries I am just going to use some 30 awg wire and replace the broken traces with that.

To save on time I am probably going to order this next time.

Monomachine sans BOX

So it finally arrived the long awaited Monomachine from Elektron. After opening the box I was immidiatly impressed with the build quality, rugged brushed aluminum face, sturdy rotary encoders, and nice feeling buttons. This however, is such a small attribute in a much larger sonic arena.

After experimenting with the Monomachine for a few hours I was able to modify kits, navigate the menus smoothly and make rhythm tracks, with basslines sounding like old school MC303's to Dark gritty D'n'B / dub sub-bass. Given some more time with this machine and a good sequencer I should have almost everything I need to make music in this one box.

Ok perhaps thats a little exaggerated but this thing has some awesome power, it does everything from Voice synthesis to percussion sounds, has so many effects and filters up to 64 steps per pattern, 6 internal tracks per pattern with an additional 6 tracks for triggering external midi equipment. Seriously this tiny box has some major staying power.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Tomorrow is only a day away!

Here is a cool link to check out in the mean while.


The wait

For the past 4 days I have been eagerly awaiting my Elektron Monomachine order. It sits at an import facility somewhere in Ontario. They tell me it will ship out next day after it is released. I cannot imaging what the holdup is. Perhaps the Canadian government is afraid of the awesome sonic powers of the Monomachine. Perhaps I could create music capable of destabilizing the world economy. Maybe I should have ordered two.

However once this synthesizer arrives I will have more reasons to finish the BrOnome (pronounced bro-nome). However with a deadline of Feb 2008 it is unlikelly I will have the project completed for the art show this April.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cardboard ADSR and RGB 40h brOnome

Two new projects are in the works, the first is the ADSR (Attack Decay Sustain Release) module for the modular synth I am building to use in performance art. This project was a build from the ADSR on the Music From Outer Space Webpage, by Ray Wilson. If you have not seen this webpage you really do need to check it out.

The second project which has just started as of today is the RGB monome 40h. I am temporarily calling it the brOnome. Some more research needs to be done to determine the correct way to implement the RGB Leds with PWM functionality. Its just a matter of time before this one comes together. My plans are to loosely base this project on the monome 40h. In essence I want to make something that not only functions as a monome but also does a lot more. Something like a [Tonorion / Monome]-megasord.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Important Sites

Here is a link I stumbled across a few weeks back. MIT Open Courseware
Its a link to MIT's open course ware. They have some really interesting open courses. I downloaded a tone of them. Finding the time to do them however remains to be found.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pure Data

As part of my degree I have opted to explore the Program Pure Data. My first patch is nothing special it makes laser sounds and the "Wheel of Fortune" wheel blip sound. Oh that Bob Barker. Of course you have to adjust the sliders and number boxs to get the sound just right.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


So I have spent some more time completing the VCO for my synth. The main problem was finding a replacement for a chip which was poorly labeled in the schematic. TSM101 to be exact. I will post the final circuit once I am sure this whole thing is going to work. It would be a shame to see all that hard work waist away, but until i make a power supply for this board I am unable to test it out. Here are the updated pictures with 100% population of the board. The next stage is to add the mixer for complex wave shapes. I am not overly concerned about that at this point in time. My focus is going to be the power supply however until I find voltage regulators for + / - in all required voltages I am putting that on hold.