MSP @Outsound New Music Summit’s “Touch The Gear” (Sun 21 Jul, @CMC, SF, 7-10pm)

Outsound New Music Summit’s Touch the Gear is a free, hands-on, family-friendly event that lets the public roam among 20-25 musicians & inventors with their various different configurations of sonic “gear” – a wonderful public music science fair for homebrew instrument builders working in any combination of acoustic, analog electronic, or software media.

Touch the Gear 2011 (Photo:,

Everything from oscillators to planks of wood with strings attached. Everyone gets to ask questions, make sound and experience how these set-ups work.

One of the best things about Outsound New Music Summit’s Touch the Gear is that you never know what and whom you’ll find there. For example, it was at a Touch the Gear that I first met collaborator Todd Lerew and saw his amazing flame-activated Quartz Cantabile:

Todd Lerew's Quartz Cantabile

And that was just one of many astonishing inventions and kits…

A bit of a junglee patch...

My “gear” for this year’s Touch the Gear will be virtual and consist purely of software — so if you have a taste for junglee MSP patches — or you want to see some of the most unique music and sound-generating devices and electronic kits that the Bay Area has to offer — come have a look!

I’m very glad that this year we’ll have good representation from the NoiseBridge hackerspace, home of NoiseHacks, circuit-bending, 3D printing, mega TOR-nodes, kombucha, X-Ray lasers, robots, and more.

Partial list of musicians:

— Douglas Benner: custom home-brew modular analog synth environment

Amanda Chaudhary (अमांडा चौधरी): iPad & iPhone instruments

Matt Davignon: CD DJ & Tape Machines

— Bryan Day: Magnetoselqier, Tapewarp 4, & Shuffleboard

— Dr. Martin DeVideo: Electron P-Funk Dynamic Phase Confabulator, Modified Casio SK-5 w patch bay, & 2MD Transvibrating Symphonic MultiWarble

Philip Everett: Processed auto-harp

— Bill Hsu: Audio/Visual Laptop

Ari Lacenski: Superpeggio! & Firefox Synth

— Joe Lasqo: Max/MSP patches/instruments

— Cheryl E. Leonard: Invented acoustic instruments constructed from found natural materials

Fernando López-Lezcano: El Dinosaurio, a homebrew analog synth environment from the Jurassic, newly resuscitated with an external MIDI-controller brain transplant.

Doug Lynner, aka Synthesizerman: “The Mystery Serge,” a 1975 Serge Modular Synthesizer, & some Cyndustries modules

— Bob Marsh: AriSynths & FX pedals

— Tom Nunn: Painted Skatchboxes & a new Crustacean-like Space Plate

— Johny Radio: Sinusoidal oscillators constructed with DC motors

David Samas: Dendrophone, plant rattles, buzz roarer, & bowed rocks

Lindsey Walker: Loops & effects

— Nick Wang: Custom home-brew modular analog synth environment

Address, transit, Outsound New Music Summit schedule, & details: at this web page (scroll down slightly for Touch The Gear)

Look forward to see you there!


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