DADAmachines – create music from anything

We often talk of pieces of software or hardware that aim to “blend analogue and digital worlds”. The more we transition our music making skills to the digital dominion, the more we miss the immediateness and the “real” feel of analogue knobs, percussions, strings, the physical touch of keys and the feedback our senses get from “real” instruments and objects.

Maybe it’s the way we evolved: we have been programmed by millions of years of evolution to be “fulfilled” and “satisfied” by tactile and physical sensation – thus the digital world still remains “cold” or “complex feeling” for music makers.

Enter Dadamachines – “a plug & play MIDI-controller and accessories kit that allows anyone to build awesome music machines using the real world as their instrument.”

The concept here is to create a MIDI controller (called the automat) that instead of triggering notes directly, triggers and moves and acts a set of motors, so these motors tap, bang, press, push, rotate and move anything you attach to them, thus creating sounds from real objects you have around you.


You connect your computer or iPad or iPhone to the automat input – you can even use step sequencers or anything like piano rolls or MIDI pedalboards to trigger the notes – and the automat will transform your MIDI nodes into electrical signals and direct them any of the 12 outputs attached to it.

Those electrical signals then will make the physical “enablers” act the way you want.
This enables the composer to create, literally, a full orchestra of automated, synchronised percussions with “home-made”, analog sounds.

See it in action!

Basically, it’s a world of DYI percussion made possible by this little device and its fancy, clever world of accessories.

With a smart move, DADAmachines creators (from Berlin) decided to open the platform so any 3rd party can build their own mechanical connected devices to expand the creative possibility of the set.

DADAmachines project was hugely successful in both indiegogo and kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns and is now in prototyping phase.

It won’t be easy to produce such specialised little connectors in large numbers.

The automat controller will retail for €449, with optional extensions varying in price. Not cheap, but cool!

Here’s the list of the first, übercool devices by DADAmachines:


Do you like the idea? Express your feelings in the comments below!

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