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Photos + Videos © Making Sound Machines.

Making Sound Machines are a duo of makers from Düsseldorf, Germany. We build kits, modules and DIY projects, and use the projects we’ve built to make music.

Making Sound Machines

Processing real-world acoustic sounds through modules and guitar pedals – lush verbs, booming delays, cruchy distortion, modal and granular synthesis. Using loads of DIY stuff plus modules from Mutable Instruments, 4ms, Befaco, Dreadbox, Music Thing Modular,, Doboz, Future Sound Systems and more, while creating our own circuits and designs to enhance the palette. Music and Modules made with love.

Last year’s New Years Resolution: carve out the time to use all that lovely gear and record an album! So here it is – made with a beautiful old piano and lots of DIY Eurorack Modular.

Check out the album on Spotify or get it on iTunes.

A heartfelt thankyou to Befaco, Mutable Instruments, Dreadbox, Thonk Synth, Music Thing Modular, TINRS This Is Not Rocket Science, Ginkosynthese, Frequency Central, Doboz, VPME and Gieskes, for all the inspiring builds and great instruments. Thank you Oscillosaurus for making all the beautiful faceplates. Without your dedication to the community this would be nothing. Thank you Simone for the awesome Bass Clarinet on Track 1. Have an awesome start into the new year!

This weekend we went to see Look Mum No Computer play live, and he had built a custom circuitbending instrument specially for the gig – an old cash register, hacked and modified with a Teensy Arduino to play MIDI! We had brought him one of our Tausend dB piezo preamp modules, and to our amazement he have us the cash register!

Here’s a little beat we made with it – the cash register mangling an arpeggio on the Arturia Beatstep Pro, sequencing Mutable Instruments Plaits and a Befaco evenVCO with Crush Delay and 4ms Dual Looping Delay on top. On drums are Peaks and Patching Panda Hatz, triggered by a little secret eurorack project of our own. Thank you so much Sam – we love this thing!

Check out this lovely tubular bells patch made with piezo contact mics and modular synth! The sound of the brass and aluminum tubes is picked up underneath with our TausenddB eurorack piezo preamp, run through Mutable Instruments awesome Clouds as well as 4MS amazing Dual Looping Delay. The result is this mesmerizing soundscape, a little reminiscent of Pierre Schaeffer’s Music Concrète piece Psyche Rock as sampled in Futurama.

This setup is part of our hands-on audio installation called Space Explorers in collaboration with friends and visual artists WARPED TYPE. It had its debut at Reading Fringe Festival and we’re happy to announce we’ll return in 2020! If you want to dive in yourself, check out Music Thing Modular’s DIY module Mikrophonie, with Kits available at Thonk, and LeafAudio ‘s fantastic Microphonic Soundbox from Exploding Shed whose ideas this expands upon.

The bass is strong with this one! The sound of the wooden baseplate is picked up with a piezo contact mic and amplified in the modular synthesizer via our TausenddB piezo preamp, then run through Mutable Instruments brilliant module rings – thank you Chris / Learning Modular for the inspiration! The Arturia Beatstep Pro sequencer is advanced a step each time you knock on wood, giving rings a different pitch. The spring board mounted at the top adds a subtle sonic texture, that is enhanced with a TC Electronic Hall of Fame guitar pedal.

If you want to try this yourself, check out Mutable Instruments and Tom Whitwell ‘s lovely Eurorack module Ears, or the Music Thing Modular Mikrophonie DIY kit available at Thonk. This setup is part of Space Explorers, an audio installation for the public to play at Reading FringeFestival and in collaboration with visualists WARPED TYPE, returning to the festival in July 2020.

Getting ready for New Years Eve! This year we’ll meet up with Stijn and Priscilla a.k.a. the brilliant TINRS in Amsterdam and together we’ll patch some dance tracks on their eurorack modular! While TINRS already earned their synth chops as the masterminds behind the Tuesday sequencer, the Edgecutter envelope and the new FenixIV, we’re still teaching our secret pattern generator some new rave moves. Will it groove at 145bpm? Here it’s patched into Tesseract Nutella running Vermonagear DRM1 sounds and compressed by our TausenddB piezo preamp. We hope you’ll have a great start into 2020 and see you next year for more modular madness!

As the year 2019 nears its end, and the days get shorter, it’s time for some much-needed warmth and reflection. It’s also the perfect time to teach our secret pattern generator for eurorack modular synth some much-needed dance moves! After all, the nights get longer! We programmed in a map of techno and house patterns and hooked up Mutable Instruments Peaks for the kick, the incredible Future Sound Systems Portland on snare, and ran the hihat section into Edges through Patching Panda Punch for the lovely 8Bit bleeps. The free-running arpeggio is made with an Arturia Keystep, Frames with that sweet Oscillosaurs panel is on macro duty and the verb on top is the Milkyway. Can’t wait to meet up with TINRS for NYE and give this a whirl!

Something new we’ve been tinkering with – Enrica turned the Servo Motor Recorder for Eurorack into a working prototype! The module allows you to route control voltage from your modular synth to four servos, recording four streams of CV into loops and replaying them to the motors. Incoming signal is offset by the four knobs on top. It’s super exciting to see a DIY idea evolve from an Arduino, a breadboard and crazy spaghetti wiring into a neat working instrument! The LFO used in this video is a DIY Mutable Instruments Tides.

We don’t know exactly how it happenend, but happily quacking along are two Mutable Instruments Plaits and a Peaks, filtered through System 80 Jove and a Look Mum No Computer Safety Valve, sequenced by a Befaco Muxlicer and VPME Euclidean Cirlces. The fat bassdrum is the Befaco Kickall we built at Superbooth, and the verb is Music Thing Spring Reverb. Bleeps are Dreadbox Erebus!

Last night’s modular experiment – this one turned into a super cute piano tune! We ran the VPME Euclidean Circles into Mutable Instruments Peaks and the fantastic Tesseract Nutella, with a little crush from Look Mum No Computer Safety Valve and a little Music Thing Modular Spring Reverb. And you can catch a glimpse of the lovely Polaroids This Is Not Rocket Science took for their Fenix IV release at Superbooth!

Selfpatched pedals with our piezo preamp – we were blown away by the broken bladerunner style mangled reverb from this patch! The awesome UFO shaped instrument is a chinese tonguedrum, picked up underneath with two piezos through our Tausend dB DIY 8 Channel preamp for eurorack modular synth. The sound is run through two EHX stereo Memory Man delays, with a hefty smack of modulation applied and a Crayon overdrive patched between left and right channels. The result ist going through a TC electronic Hall of Fame.

Crazy bassline experiment with Mutable Instruments Rings and a Motor! In this patch, Enrica records control voltage from the Befaco Muxlicer into our prototype Servo Motor Recorder for Eurorack. The CV running the motor is fed into Mutable Instruments Rings’ V/Oct, while the gear attached to the servo is picked up with a piezo, amplified with our Tausend dB preamp and patched into Rings’ audio in.

Here’s my childhood Glockenspiel all blown out by the blooming Eventide-style mangled verb from this patch! The Glockenspiel is picked up underneath with two piezos through our Tausend dB DIY 8 Channel preamp for eurorack modular. The sound is run through two Electro Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe with Hazarai, and two Crayon overdrive guitar pedals. The verb is a TC electronic Hall of Fame.

Our phone’s been hacked! Today, we built this neat little contraption from our old 80’s phone. We converted the rotary dial to trigger our Eurorack Synth, with a little help from Mutable Instruments’ breadboard friends. Here, we’re triggering Gijs Gieskes awesome VUPerc via the MXMXMX Temps Utile.

Here’s part two of our little 80’s telephone hack! This time, we turned the handset of our old rotary dial phone into a deliciously lo-fi speaker for our eurorack synth. We used Mutable Instruments’ breadboard friends to hook it all up to our modular. The sequence is made with Music Thing Modular’s Turing Machine, patched into a Befaco evenVCO.

This was inspired by the Teenage Engineering modular, seeing that all their pot caps are LEGO Technic axles. Enrica went on and prototyped this awesome litte LEGO Technic to Eurorack adpater. It takes CV in, and records or plays it back directly to a servo motor. In this clip Enrica is stepping through the LFO shapes of the Mutable Instruments module tester.

Here’s using a motor as a sound source, driving a motor with Gijs Gieskes’ VC122, then picking it up with an Inductorjack and running it through Mutable Instruments’ Rings. The motor again is controlled with a LFO from the Mutable Module Tester.

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