Do you ever find yourself tapping away on your desk with pens? Banging different parts to play out that wicked drum solo in your head? Well, a German Kickstarter campaign called dadamachines is aiming to take that to the next level by combining digital and acoustic instruments.
The dadamachine is essentially a ready-made programmable controller. You plug in your favourite MIDI instrument, like a keyboard, and then attach all kinds of noisemaking doohickeys to be controlled all at once. There are motorized mallets, mini jackhammer-like pistons, and springing surfaces that you attach to any surface or fill with any noise-making object. Then, by plugging everything into the dadamachine you can play each object with the press of a button.
It’s a clever way to use digital controls for real-world music making, and it seems that people are taking notice! The dadamachine Kickstarter campaign only launched at the end of March but has nearly quintupled its €20,000 goal already, with the close date at the end of April still several weeks away. A basic automat toolkit is available for an early bird €299 pledge, but there are plenty of other options. Bigger tool kits with more doodads or more stripped down, build-it-yourself control boards can also be purchased to match your needs – all the options are available on the Kickstarter page!
Dadamachine creator Johannes Lohbihler also kept the community in mind when designing the device. The controller uses an open-source software, meaning that users can tweak the programming to match their needs. Plus the dadamachine uses universal DC outlets to power the music-making tools, so users can easily create their own noisemakers. The project originally spawned from Lohbihler’s masters studies in product and interaction design, but the German dadamachine looks ready to be the next neat music maker!