We’d heard great things about the dadamachines toolkit and when we saw it in action early last year at Music Hackspace in London we were blown away. Their Kickstarter has just launched and is rapidly taking the music world by storm - get in there quick if you want to get one early. The kit was used in the winning hack at Music Tech Fest in Berlin, and has incredible potential for all kinds of music-making.
The automat toolkit is a plug and play MIDI-controller and accessories kit that allows anyone to build amazing music machines.
dadamachines’ Johannes Lohbihler - pic Terry Tyldesley
The beautiful and user-friendly design means it can be used by people with any level of music skills. We saw an impressive demo of it in action, with a varied selection of music-making devices ranging from motors powering hammers to hit xylophones, through to vibrating motors that rattled Lego or boxes. It’s amazing technology, and also great fun!
The core of the toolkit is the automat, an arduino-compatible plug-and-play MIDI-controller with 12 DC outputs. The automat can be used with your favourite music software or hardware. The toolkit includes the automat and a series of solenoid beaters that plug in to 12 outputs allowing you to tap, ping and knock on anything.
The Berlin-based toolkit inventor, Johannes Lohbihler, is a Creative Technologist and DJ who became expert at making automated instruments for theatre and wanted to distil that down into an easy-to-use plug and play toolkit, centred around a control unit that could be activated by almost anything with MIDI out.
He told us, “The dadamachines toolkit lets you compose the sounds of the world around you into a unique sound creation, whether you are a professional producer or curious noisemaker, you can use the modular DADA system to use your environment to create.”
Johannes grew up in Bavaria, hailing from a line of seven generations of carpenters. Growing up among the Weilheim music scene that included acts such as the Notwist, Lali Puna and Acid Pauli - Johannes was interested in music from early on. He started DJing and found inspiration to bring together electronic music production and analog tools - combining his background as a craftsman and passion for music. During his Masters studies in interaction design, Johannes began developing a simple plug-and-play kit that made music machines accessible to everyone – that project became dadamachines.
Hackoustic in London are putting on a dadamachines showcase on 12th April at Machines Room, and Johannes will be bringing along his automat toolkit for everyone to play on and tinker with. People are being encouraged to bring along physical sound making objects for the kit to interact with or any MIDI-sending interfaces to control the kit with. Johannes will be there to answer any technical questions you might have.
The automat toolkit - M is available exclusively on Kickstarter for €399. Additionally, each toolkit comes with adapters and elements helping the users to get started easily.
Check our blog about the early dadamachines here.
Early dadamachines demo - pic Terry Tyldesley
dadamachines Tech Specs
- USB Midi
- DIN Midi-In & Thru (Out option)
- 12 DC Outputs (12-24V max. 1.3A)
- External power supply 12-24V
- Arduino shields & extension port
- Simple learn mode >1 button click
- Advanced learn mode
- Anodized aluminum panel
- Powder coated steel shell
- Dimensions - 110 x 110 x 26mm