Skip navigation

hello internets,

this blog is officially dead. new posts regarding CFO will go to our shiny new blog here:

so please redirect your RSS readers, and see you on the other blog!

[which has good news on new workshop in june and participation in IMAC conference in may]


CFO MFRU 2010 edition

new edition has bugs fixed from 1st version, larger screen (16×2 characters) and i’ve added an op amp with bass boost and distortion feature, design by blushing boy, AKA david cuartielles. taken from his smapler board.

a few extra design goodies have been added, like walkman-like volume control, and a pixel ghost for extra prototyping.

i am only making 25 pcs. some will be sold at piksel, some at MFRU. pre-order yours today!

thanks to david gauthier for helping out with the more tricky parts of eagle CAD.

due to recent family expansion (yes, i have a wonderful daughter now!) this project has been standing still for quite some time. hey, but no more: CFO has been accepted to both MFRU and piksel festival! also i am currently building a large installation for NOTCH10 in beijing, which will feature 200 networked synth insects (yes!), built on the CFO circuit.

time to watch this space again!

hi all,

time has come to put this bugger in to production — at least a small batch — i am thinking 25 or 50 pcs first depending on the demand. i will probably set up a kickstarter project to get initial funding, but if you are interested in a CFO, please comment on this blog already now. it’s nice to have encouragement for those boring searches through part catalogues and web shops. 🙂

i need to find cheap parts to make this work — any help to bring the final price down would be greatly appreciated!

my main concern are these:

  • cheap atmega 328s
  • small batch PCB production
  • LCD displays (2×16 characters or even 4×16 would be awesome, preferably red text on black)

come on internets! help me!

gæoudjiparl – the århus warrior – dropped by mikrogalleriet the other day. he was quite exited about the music monster (CFO) and so, it is now part of his temporary music school at the roskilde museum of comtemporary art

so go there. and get a private noise lecture by mr. goodiepal himself:

more info:

suddenly i got struck by reality. not being a student work full time on this project anymore, time really flies fast! so sorry for the long silence. i’ve been busy with life stuff: getting money, food etc.

but hey! CFO still lives (it just smells funny?) with two workshops done (one at NOTCH09 in beijing, china — more on this soon), and a lot of positive feedback from participants and all you guys out there on the interweb, i feel very confident that this platform can go places.

so without further ado: a small resume of the robodays workshop which has been lying around in my drafts for ages:

playing through a homemade filter-amp

we had such a nice time at robo days this year around, developing the platform, and jamming CHEAP, FAT and OPEN style!

i was really happily suprised to see how musical it turned out, and how diverse sounds the little platform could produce in its early stage. to document the sounds this little beast can create, i have create a bandcamp site for CFO, so go and have a listen. 3 CFOs got to jam along with a saxophone and some drum machines (606 and 727, plus a bizarre and very cool bass drum synth), and there is also a little bit of ableton live beats/chords in there. but most sounds are made by the platform.

jamming together went very smooth, once we got the IR sync working with MIDI from ableton, via processing and arduino. very nice. and fun!

i’ve been invited to do a workshop with the platform at this years robo days in odense. the workshop will be quite open, and will focus on developing the platform further in the direction that the workshop participants might have in relation to electronic music and the platform. there are still a few free spaces for the workshop, so contact me if you are interested.

the workshop will be on in the odense public library this friday the 11th from 10-18 and on saturday the 12th from 10-14. the library of odense, has kindly offered us use of their studio, to record the results of the experiments.

also, throughout thursday the 10th the platform will be on display in the library. come by, and try it out! later thurday evening, at a special robodays dinner event, i will perform with my chip tune band la belle indifference, on the platform and gameboys running LSDJ.

i am really looking forward to seeing what will happen during this workshop!

i need a better name for the synth…. cheap, fat and open has served me well for the project, as it was a good and catchy way to describe my own design brief… but it’s not so great for an instrument / platform… so, internet, what do you think? any ideas? please comment them here.

here are some candidates:

  • little fatty
  • the frankensynth
  • stylobit
  • anything italian related to cheap, fat and open (it is, after all, arduino based)
  • please add to the list

with the exhibition up and running, the exams over (yay: i passed) and after a lot of sleep, i found some time to upload some videos of the platform in action. thanks a lot to vorg for recording this!

below is a clip from the CIID exam, where i explain the current musical functionalities of the platform.

the next clip is from the exibition. me and ninja are experimenting a bit with the more abstract rhytmic possibilities that the platform offers.

and as always: go to my flickr stream to see more pictures.

sorry for posting this a day late, but things have been hectic lately… if you are in copenhagen or the neighbourhood, come by our final exhibition. i have assembled two synths, and you can play them.

below is my official exhibition txt:

CHEAP, FAT and OPEN is an open source platform for musical exploration, composition and performance.

The platform is CHEAP, and OPEN – welcoming you to experiment.

A combination of the old and new: the raw 8bit / chip tune approach combined with wireless connectivity, state of the art open source hardware, and expandability – gives us that FAT sound.

It is portable, allowing you to make music on the go.

The platform is a performance instrument, giving a full 1½ octave keyboard control in compact packaging, through a classic stylophone interface. It is also a sequencer, allowing you to program rhythms and melodies, and play them back in sync with other platforms and instruments.

This is NOT a finished product. It works as is, but inside the platform rests an atmega328 processor, which can be programmed in the Arduino environment. This means that the platform can be modified, expanded, and tweaked to meet your exact needs.

CHEAP, FAT and OPEN is designed for geeky musicians, the chip tune community, the makers, the circuit benders, the interaction designers and the musical programmers, and anyone else who wishes to experiment with sequenced / networked / low-level musical exploration.

This project is based on knowledge and inspiration from many different communities. I hope that by bridging these different creative communities, we can create something beautiful together.

pics and video will be posted soon!