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Heavy Metal MIDI by Author and Punisher

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Tristan Shone A.K.A. Author and Punisher is a musician and mechanical engineer who makes heavy metal MIDI controllers, really heavy metal !

He has created a range of unique MIDI controllers he calls "dub machines" using his electronic and mechanical engineering expertise.  Tristan studied for a Master of Fine Arts at the University of San Diego and originally had a career as a mechanical engineer.  He programs his mechanical devices using Arduino. 

Here is his Big Knob controller and it's really, really big!

Big Knob expression port knob controller.

This simple device is a heavy-duty CNC machined black anodized knob for use with your expression port on any midi/usb keyboard controller. Simply plug into your expression port and immediately have a 0-128 mappable control knob. Currently there are 10 spring loaded detente positions and a hard stop for quantized physical snapping, however by removing the 1″ chromed steel ball bearing and spring, you can create a smooth position knob controller.

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by Author and Punisher

Another unique MIDI device is the Rack and Pinion 

This device is a 2 level, 6 key sound controller with continuous pitch control for each key. Each key is velocity sensitive and contains its own linear encoder for extremely high resolution control. The keys are made from ebony and the slide from delrin providing very smooth control against the teflon coated linear rails. The brain of the Rack & Pinion is the Arduino Duemilanove. Currently the device is programmed to output USB/MIDI to Ableton Live, but can easily be configured to output OSC commands to communicate with Pd, MAX, Reaktor, etc.

by Author and Punisher

But maybe our favorite is Rails.  And yes , it's a MIDI controller! 

Overall, the Rails device is intended to be the "sequencer" or metronome of the performance but lacking a machine-like precision or click. Instead the user can continuously move between the limits in his/her own rhythmic or arrhythmic manner changing sounds at each point and fluctuating in a more human and emotional manner. Performances with the Dub/Drone Machines are intended to follow the players mood in a somewhat unintentional improvisation in a way that a midi timed sequence cannot. 2 ports on the back (3 total with the USB) provide sustain and channel switching but are completely reprogrammable to allow them to be any type of switch or expression control.The brain of the Rails is the Arduino Duemilanove. Currently the device is programmed to output USB/MIDI to Ableton Live, but can easily be configured to output OSC commands to communicate with Pd, MAX, Reaktor, etc.

by Author and Punisher


Check out this video by Noisey that details Tristan Shone's journey to explore the heavier side of MIDI controllers,

Author and Punisher is performing at MoogFest in May.   

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