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Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking Paperback – Apr 13 2009


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Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking + Make: Analog Synthesizers + Practical Electronics for Inventors, Third Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (April 13 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415998735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415998734
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 17.8 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #98,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Nicolas Collins, an active composer and performer of electronic music, and has worked with John Cage, Alvin Lucier, David Tudor, and many other masters of modern music. Dr. Collins is Professor of Sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has led hacking workshops around the world. He has been Visiting Artistic Director of STEIM (Amsterdam) and a DAAD composer-in-residence in Berlin. Since 1997 he has been editor-in-chief of Leonardo Music Journal.


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the most valuable book that I have in my possession. The basic concepts which Collins brings to light, presented in such an accessible way, I have found no other text. If you read this book front to back you will have new ideas and if along the way you try to some of the projects you will have new skills.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a highly recommended, entertaining read. The instructions are clear and the projects can produce wonderful results.

This book is good if you are anxious to get started on a project and you want to make noise asap. There are about twenty or thirty projects that increase in difficulty, complexity and cost (e.g., more specialized parts, tools, components, etc). The projects can be independent, or can be sort of piggybacked and linked to create a few larger projects by the end if one were to follow the book sequentially (I did not). There are usually suggestions on how to expand each project, and the author always encourages the reader to experiment (though never with a wall socket!).

It is very light on theory, but the goal is noise and creative experimentation, not math. The author makes this clear from the beginning, but also points the reader in the right direction if he / she wants to know more.

The DVD is incredible. Little instruction videos by the author in his workshop; music; videos; art; weirdness. A unique collection almost worth the cost of the book itself.
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By goosers on Oct. 17 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book outlines basics and provides documentation of sound artist work therein providing the practices of making work from the techniques provided. Great for people wanting to get some basic electronics made and work through ideas on their own.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Best musical circuit book ever Aug. 8 2011
By Analog Monster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Quite simply this book is fantastic. It starts off very simply, each project is explained in a way that is easy to understand. There is a logical progression and there is enough information provided that you can start experimenting yourself - I combined and modified some of the designs to make something of my own. The chapters are interspersed with inspirational descriptions of artist's related projects, and the included DVD allows you to see many of these.

This book has given me enough basic skills and inspiration that I have caught the bug. I have been to a few electronics/music workshops over the past couple of years and if the tutor does not recommend this book a fellow student does. I have since honed my skills and I am now running my own business designing and building guitar effects pedals and synthesizer kits. Get this book, you wont regret it
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Now! Sept. 26 2011
By Gary Kalar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you're looking at this book, and reading the reviews, you are the type of person who will be really happy you bought this.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely changed my life Sept. 24 2011
By Mosspassion - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely incredible! So simply articulate to such technical things, and such interesting projects! This is just an all around well written project book. It has updated citations to things like what website to get bulk/cheap parts from and examples (on DVD, as well as other references) from many sonic artists who have tampered in related mad sciences. The different projects are diverse and well prepared.. It's just the greatest thing for a beginning sonic/electronics nerd! Can't say enough about how much I've gotten out of this book.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great basics and not-so-basics for musicians Jan. 11 2011
By Kirin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a musician with an interest in bizarre tone generators this seems like a very cool book and includes circuit-bending and circuit-building advice that I've heard many times from my electronically gifted friends. Mainly, however, I am interested in a little DIY money-saving action and this book is great for that. It's explanations of electrical phenomena is simple and easy to understand, and the sections on speakers and microphone building will pay for the cost of this book ten times over.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Best Book Purchase in the Last Year May 29 2014
By Erik Bell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's like this book was written for me. Fun, simple, incredible experiments and ideas for playing around with home-made electronic sounds. I'd spent a year playing with 555-style oscillators from the Forest Mims playbook to make synthesizers; but Forrest has musical circuits as an afterthought for his more practical electronic projects. I was at a complete standstill, full of ideas, but doing them incorrectly and getting nowhere.
This book has exactly what I need to go up a few levels. And while it's at it, tons of really fun ideas for the sound devices themselves. Put loose change in a speaker cone, hook it up to a nine volt battery, dangle some leads and see what you get! Who knew? And Nicolas writes pretty funny as well; I'd never seen a resistor/capacitor setup compared to a Monty Python sketch before.
I have one complaint about the book. There's too much cool stuff. I finish a chapter, ready to try everything, and then the next chapter has even better ideas. And then I look at all the chapters remaining and wonder where I'll find the time to do it all. I've got an online order for Jameco for which I'm afraid to hit "send" until I re-read it all again. Meanwhile, I've had a blast doing the projects from the first few chapters.


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