As the title suggests, I had a play with Korg’s littleBits and I failed at using an Arduino Kit. I will also touch on the maker movement and makerspaces such as TechSpaces. I will also admit many more fails throughout this post, one of which I am not proud of. Actually, i’m going to admit it right now.
In the picture above, you will see the chain power>oscillator>filter>keyboard>speaker. I got it wrong! It turns out the oscillator goes after the keyboard (a trigger). I was wondering why my group’s sound was minimal compared to other groups. After realising, I made the correcting, although, that doesn’t mean my mistake was bad. It still made very strange sounds, which I guess could be a success if that was the goal. I assumed it was like software synthesisers I use, as it usually starts with selecting the oscillator in the plugin. Although, I now realise it is actually the same, as the keyboard or MIDI input comes before the oscillator. I keep saying oscillator, so I will say what it is. An oscillator basically converts direct current (DC) into an alternating current (AC) which then allows the speaker to output the sound.
There are different types of oscillator shapes, such as the sine, saw, square and triangle. There are a heap of extra ones that some software synthesisers have available, however, the Korg littleBits oscillator was limited to saw and square.
In my lecture, we also learnt about the maker movement. You can go to a makerspace and work on projects, meet people with great technical skills, or people with great ideas. This is great if you have an amazing idea that you will never be able to realise without the help of people who specialise in making what you need. Makerspaces make innovation possible, allowing entrepreneurs to take creation into their own hands.
Check out this YouTube video to get an idea about a makerspace called TechShop.
Failing at Using an Arduino Kit
In the final hour of my lecture we had a choice to work at various stations so instinctively I went with what I had no knowledge about so I could actually learn something. My choice, along with other students, was the hardest choice as the only musical thing we could have done with it was an alarm. We decided to try and make a fan, which actually never ended up working, although, it was fun digging through the parts and hoping that it would work in the end. We were certain the fan would work anyway if we just connected it straight to the power supply, but… where’s the fun in that!