Monday, September 7, 2009

Book Review: Homemade Electronic Music

For Father's Day (a commercial-driven psuedo-holiday in June, for those of you outside of the US) my wife, who is patient, kind, and keenly in-tune with the nerdy man she married, got me the book "Homemade Electronic Music," written by Nicolas Collins. I've always been intrigued by kits and simple circuits and have been breathing in the occasional solder fumes since I was ten years old, so the book is a great fit for me, and I've really enjoyed looking through it, reading the occasional project, and building mental parts lists.

If you took my advice and picked up the Get LoFi Fuzz Kit, this book is the next obvious step. It is aimed at beginners, with a fair number of pages dedicated to building your soldering skills, but quickly ramps up to simple, but intriguing circuits, built either on breadboard or generic circuit boards. Unlike a project-driven manual, "Homemade Electronic Music" encourages experimentation and seems to be written with the expectation that you will take what you've learned and keep adapting it, modifying your projects to make them your own, and coming up with sounds and ideas that are unique to your own needs and workflow.

I know, my praise for this book is being laid on a little thick, but it really is a great little book, written with a relaxed, conversational tone, and as a gateway into circuit-bending and design, I don't think you're going to be able to find a better book. I haven't set up an Amazon affiliate account, so it doesn't do me any good to provide links to them, but if you want to get your own copy you can find it here.

I've had the book for a few months, but aside from some electromagnetic eavesdropping with a telephone coil, as described in one of the early chapters, I haven't had a chance to really tackle any of its projects. Once I finally get a parts list together, I hope to start spending more time with it, so you might be seeing some new samples here on Patch A Day.

1 comment:

Lewis.72 said...

I have that book myself and totally agree with you. I bought it after reading a review for it on amazon written by Cody Ranaldo and figured if Lee's kid likes it, I'll probably dig it as well.-)