Musical Electronics Library

Auckland, New Zealand

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MEL Summer Hours

MEL and the Audio Foundation will be closed from the 20th December till late January. Until the 20th December MEL boxes can be returned to the Audio Foundation during their opening hours Tuesday-Saturday 12-4pm.

Thanks to everyone who helped to make the MEL project happen! That means all volunteers, builders, anyone who’s donated anything, gig patrons, staff at the Audio Foundation and AUT, and general well-wishers. Merry christmas! See you all in 2015.

here is laurie spiegel playing synth for your holiday enjoyment

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MEL is now open

Thanks to everyone who came along on Sunday to see the MEL Orchestra perform, and take out memberships to MEL, which is now open! We were overwhelmed by your enthusiasm and generosity. Thanks!
MEL is open on Saturdays from 12-4pm, when a volunteer will be present to assist patrons and issue items from the collection. Items can be returned to Audio Foundation staff during gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12-4pm.
You can view the online catalogue here.
MEL Orchestra photo by Joon Yang.
MEL orchestra 16 November 2014

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MEL will now launch on the 16th November 2014, as part of the Audio Foundation Nowhere Festival.

The MEL collection will be displayed at the Old Folks Ass. Hall, Gundry St, Newton, Auckland from 1:30 on the afternoon of the 16th. At 2pm there will be a performance by the MEL Orchestra, where members of the MEL volunteer team perform improvised raw electronic sounds using items from the MEL collection.

Come along and check out the library, it’s a real library now, with catalog numbers and everything!!

big push

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Arduino Synths

Kim Newall at Colab has been investigating sound synthesis using the Arduino microcontroller. Chances are if you are even slightly a nerd you will have encountered the Arduino, a very popular single-board microcontroller that heaps of people use to make robots, art, and, etc. I personally haven’t used one yet but Kim has been showing me some stuff that seems like it could be real useful for MEL. Like we can maybe make a big run of boards and program them to do different things, and house them in the VHS cases just like the other MEL stuff. It would be a good thing to do a workshop on — people could build the boards and then learn how to program their own effects and synths. Also maybe we could have an SD card slot on the MEL collection arduino things, so members could borrow them and pop in their own firmware on an SD card.

So, this is all new to me and therefore interesting and exciting. Here are some relevant links:

Arduino Synth Page

SID chip emulation with the Arduino

Mozzi: sound synthesis library for Arduino

Here’s a thing that someone made using the Mozzi library:

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Circuit Scribe: Draw electronic circuits where the drawings work electronically, you see?

Conductive silver pens have been around for ages, but this Circuit Scribe project, they claim it’s easier to draw with, and they made magnetised components to go with it. So you can draw a circuit and stick components onto the traces magnetically. Seems like a good idea for teaching kids the principles of basic electronics. Also maybe you could make your own magnetic components, or just stick them on there some other way. And then make pretty pictures that have sound and flashing lights. Good for an exhibition at the Audio Foundation?

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MEL Fundraiser Show 2

MEL not magic

The title pretty much says it all: there’s gonna be another-packed-to-the-brim-with-awesomeness fundraiser for the MEL library project down at the Audio Foundation this Saturday (the 12th) ten bucks on the door and it gets you sets from Invisible Threads, the mighty Olympus, and The Biscuits. And of course it all goes toward this awesome project so what more excuses to you need? Come on down!

Show starts at 7pm so you can still catch Peter Jefferies later at the Kings Arms. “We Have Got Light, We Have Got Power, You Can Even Take A Shower! MELectricity.”

MEL on Video

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MEL has video now. You can watch samples of the devices being built, used at live shows and other related MELploitation at

First up is Ducklingmonster’s cutting bedroom floor take on Suspiria/Goblin…

Sound: Casio MT45 through MEL ROBOCOP distortion and CORO flanger pedals. Visuals: found slides, lady fingers, bedroom wall. Shot on cell phone deep on Solstice night.

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Look at this freak box

Illucia is an open source project.
It’s a hardware controller that is used to control interactions between any software that sends or receives OSC data. This could be video games, music software, anything. Think about that! You could use Ms Pacman to write your Carmen Sandiego fan-fiction!

All the details (including how to build the hardware) are online here:

software is here