Browsing articles in "DIY"
Sep 11, 2011

Back on that (digital) horse!

As you may or may not know, I’m a bit of a hardware nut. Specifically lo-fi hardware. Most of my music and setup has revolved around lo-fi/DIY hardware for years now.

I used to use a laptop, along with analog/lo-fi hardware before that but have since stopped using a laptop (in performance) altogether. I just love the feel/sound of gritty electronics.

Continue reading »

Aug 9, 2011

Sidrassi-Tom v3 Finished

Sidrassi Tom Guts

So I’ve been working with what I call the Sidrassi-Tom for just over two years now. It’s gone through several revisions over the years including how the electronics/contactmics are setup, to switching a new drum, to most recently incorporating a whole new circuit and speakers.

Here is the dedicated page with info/pictures/video on the current (and older version of the Sidrassi-Tom).

I ran into several snags along the way, but in the end I’m very happy with the build.

Continue reading »

May 24, 2011

Towards the Beat of a Different Drummer: A Journey into the Loss of Fidelity in Drums and Electronics

I wrote a paper on my evolving drum+electronics setup entitled “Towards the Beat of a Different Drummer : A Journey into the Loss of Fidelity in Drums and Electronics”. It was accepted in the end, but as a poster length paper, meaning that I had to cut the eight page paper down to four pages. There were lots of pictures/diagrams so after removing that and trimming some footnotes, I only needed to cut out a paragraph or two to make it fit.

Here is the full length paper version of the paper:


The published version, as mentioned, is a bit shorter and is available as part of the ICMC2011 published proceedings.

Mar 23, 2011

STEIM Workshop


I recently spent a week and a half at STEIM and it was amazing. This is the blog I posted for their project blog.


I’ve known about STEIM, in one way or another, for almost 10 years now. While living in Miami (currently in the UK), it existed as a faraway place where amazing, almost magical, things happened.
After moving to the UK I always had, in the back of my head, a thought that I would go and see it in person. After starting my MA (in Electroacoustic Composition at the University of Manchester) I decided to apply for an orientation workshop.
Now backing it up a bit. Zoom and enhance. Zoom and enhance.

Continue reading »

Jan 23, 2010

The Party Bus Finished

Party Bus

Finally finished building this little box. It’s a Where’s The Party At 8-bit Bendable Sampler and a buffered 4 to 1 mixer, all in one. It took months to finish, mainly due to problems discovered during my poorly functioning first build. I had to solve clock bleed, a noisy mixer, and other tasty details.

Click here to find out more about The Party Bus.

May 24, 2009

Electric Whisks Finished

Electric Whisk

Finally finished another new instrument. This one isn’t a self-standing ‘instrument’ per se, but more an instrument to play other instruments with.

It’s basically a regular whisk, just made from scratch so that every prong of the whisk is isolated, and connected to an alligator clip on the other end of the cable, so that I can make connections by striking surfaces, or touching the whisks together, or grabbing them with my hands etc…

They are particularly useful with my Ciat-Lonbarde Kitten-Nettiks, but they can be used with any electronic device that can be driven by making/braking connections (nearly everything).

For more pictures and detailed info click here.

Mar 16, 2009

Sidrassi-Tom Finished

Sidrassi Tom

After over a month of planning, and building I finished this new instrument. What this does is let me play the Sidrassi from my floor-tom, by mounting four piezo pickups inside the tom itself. I’ve already used the Sidrassi as part of my drum setup in a recording context, this only makes it easier to do live. The first performance with the Sidrassi-Tom will likely be in May, at my next solo gig.

For more pictures and detailed info click here.

Jan 31, 2009

Speaking At GEM Days Festival


I was invited to speak at the Max/MSP symposium by PA Tremblay after sharing a stage with him in December. I did a power-point presentation on my “lo-fi meets hi-fi” setup of Ciat-Lonbarde electronics (Rollz-5 and Cocolase specifically) and Max/MSP.

It was my first time doing a PowerPoint presentation, and all in all I felt it went extremely well.

Aug 28, 2008

Whammy Pedal True-bypass Guide

whammy top

I decided to give up on trying to buy an original WH-1 Whammy Pedal and instead buy a current WH-4 Whammy Pedal. The sounds were great, but the bypass, as many of you have experienced, wasn’t. I figured there has to be a way to modify it for true-bypass. Four hours later, through blood-shot eyes, I had a completed mod in front of me.

After that I decided to write up a full walk-through so others can do the same.

Check it out here.




Rodrigo Constanzo
-makes music and art
-lives in Porto/Manchester
-is a crazy person

Learn from me (for free!)

I am offering free lessons / conversations / consultations / mentoring / time / support to creative people, locally or remotely.
Want in on this?!

Read my PhD Thesis!

Composition, Performance,
and Making Things,
sitting in a tree :