Sunday, July 5, 2015

Do you love Synthesizers by can't afford a $35,000 Modular Moog?

PD is a free and open-source graphical programming language which can be used to make custom audio benders and music synthesizers on really inexpensive computer hardware.

I do a lot of public service work doing environmental activism. But I can also see myself teaching people how they can learn the joys of making electronic music.

I have been playing with PD "Pure Data" for about 1 year now, and I can tell you this for a fact: You can do 85% or more of what you can do with a $35,000 Modular Moog with PD and $350 worth of computer hardware.

Don't get me wrong, I really love the big modular Moogs! I fell in love with them in 45 years ago! I am thrilled they are still making the big modulars. I never imagined that would happen. If I had a big house and lots of money, I would buy one instantly! But they seem to be pricing themselves into obsolescence... If that is what they must charge to stay in business, and if people are buying their stuff at those prices, then great for them!

But you should know that you do not need to spend that much to enjoy making wonderful electronic music.

You can learn all of this yourself by reading online sources. Here is what you need:
  1. Raspberry Pi computer kit (or better), with speakers or headphones for making sound. Budget: $200
  2. An old VGA monitor or an HDMI-capable TV set. (most people already have one)
  3. A cheap keyboard controller. Budget: $85
  4. MIDI controller: $60
  5. PD Pure Data (free!)
  6. Some time to learn it, and your imagination

I would love to get a grant to teach people who maybe have some difficulty-- inner city kids, poor people, ex-prisoners who want a new life, retired folks...  how they can have fun making music on cheap hardware.

If anyone wants to hire me as an instructor for a project like this, just let me know: .

PS: This is NOT a commercial venture. I'm not looking to make any money at this. I only want to share with people the thrill of making electronic music, but for whom even a $2,500 synthesizer is out of reach. I would teach a class like this on a stipend, to cover my costs only.

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

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