Browsing articles in "Instruments"
Jan 1, 2019

Rhythm Wish

Although this idea/piece is a couple of years old now, I realized I’ve not written about it in any detail (although I have talked about it on several occasions). So this is that. But more than that, I want to talk about what this idea isn’t, and how gloriously isn’t it is.

This is story of how a complicated idea became simpler and simpler until nothing else was left but its core.

Continue reading »

Jan 29, 2017

Friends. Objects. Lights. Feet.


Over the years I have had many wonderful discussions with people whom I have never met. Either through emails, forums, or even chatrooms I have talked about all manner of things with people scattered around the world. Sometimes these virtual friendships manifest in the physical world and a thing is born. An art thing. This is one of those times.

Continue reading »

Nov 16, 2016

Black Box project


The Black Box project is a project that involves Pierre Alexandre Tremblay on bass/electronics, Patrick Saint-Denis on robotics/electronics, Sylvain Pohu on guitar/electronics, and myself on drums/electronics. It’s a four-way collaboration that has gone through two residencies (in Montreal and Huddersfield), to work out the finer details of putting a large-scale show together.

It looks and sounds something like this:

Continue reading »

Jun 16, 2015

Cut Glove – new gamepad-based software

Tag cloud datafile Here is the new piece of software based around an Xbox 360 controller that I’ve been working on for about a year. It is called Cut Glove and it’s a live-sampling and processing patch that contains mappings based on video game mechanisms and metaphors.

This is what it looks like:


Some of the core ideas in the patch are based on sampling and processing modules I developed in The Party Van, another piece of software I’ve written. However, in Cut Glove I rebuilt everything completely from scratch, with tons of new features, more options, better overall sound, etc…. At the core of Cut Glove is karma~, a Max external I recently put out which can you read about in detail here.

Before I go into detail about what Cut Glove does, and more importantly, how the mappings are implemented, here is the first of three Cut Glove performance videos in this blog post:

You can click here to download Cut Glove(v01), the required externals, and instruction manual.

The rest of this blog post will go into detail about the background, development, and technical implementation of Cut Glove.

Continue reading »

May 13, 2015


Tag cloud datafile Here it is. Finally…

I am incredibly proud to present karma~, a dynamically lengthed, varispeed record/playback looper external for Max.


And here is a tutorial video showing some of what karma~ can do:

karma~, has been in somewhat active development since September 2014, when I first contacted raja to see if he would be interested in writing the C code for it. Thankfully, he was interested and able to. From that point we’ve exchanged hundreds of emails discussing the feature set, implementation, and bug fixery. I am eternally grateful for his programming wizardry and endless patience with me.

If you want to skip the trip down memory lane, you can click here to download karma~ 1.0 for Mac/Win.

Continue reading »

Jul 21, 2014

New Instrument – Grassi Box

I’ve been working on a relay-based hardware repatching instrument for quite a while. The idea being that I could use my computer (running Max) to control a bunch of my weird (ciat-lonbarde) hardware synths.

I recruited Dan Wilson of Circitfied to build the transistor/relay system that works on top of the Arduino teensy core.

Here is a video using attack-based random repatching of an Old Mr. Grassi using my drumset.

And here is a video using prepared/bowed guitar to drive analysis-based resynthesis of a Fourses and Fyrall:

To read more about the Grassi Box click here.

Apr 20, 2014

The Party is back


After over a year, I’m finally putting out a version of The Party Van, a free software system/instrument/environment that I built in Max. It’s also officially out of beta now and the version numbers will reflect that. It has gone from v09 to v1.0. It’s been about three years since I started working in Max again and started building what eventually became The Party Van. The software has changed radically since the last release, and has been ready to release for some months now. It was just a matter of making the time to finish updating the manual with all the new features/sections/etc….

I have to thank all the guys on the monome forum for keeping me still plugged into getting the software public-ready and specifically to Thorsten and Morgan for helping me finish the manual.

You can download and find out more about The Party Van by clicking here.

And here are a couple of videos made using The Party Van.

Aug 16, 2013


So back in March I got some funding from my school to bring one of my favorite instrument makers to the UK.

Peter Blasser has been making crazy amazing instruments for years now, and I’ve been using them from the point they were first available as kits (the original Fourses/Fyrall).

Peter has started a new company focusing on digital/embedded instruments, the first of which is the Shnth. I can attest to it’s kickass-ness.

Check out all the links to learn more about it, but this post is mainly about two videos. The first is an excerpt from a performance Peter and I did. The second is an amazing documentary (by Angela Guyton) about the workshop itself.

Jun 24, 2012

Trio with PA Tremblay & Sam Andreae

Had a gig the other night with two of my favorite performers (Pierre Alexandre Tremblay (we just finished recording a followup album) and Sam Andreae.

You can see The Party Van in action on my side, with some more Max/MSP goodness coming from PA. Sam? He kicks it oldschool with some ciat-lonbarde digs, some general DIY grunginess, and with a new school twist, an Arduino.

Jun 6, 2012

New Instrument – The Specty

Finally finished the Specty, the more compact and portable version of my Specto instrument. It looks and sounds like this:

For more info including build pictures and all of that click here.

May 17, 2012

I Rock the Party that Rocks the Party

So as you may know from some of my previous posts I’ve been doing lots of Max/MSP programming, moving my previously hardware-centric performance setup into the laptop.

I recently put out the v05 version of my Party Van software, and it is looking/sounding great if I don’t say so myself.

Here’s a performance video using solo snare + electronics:

Continue reading »

Feb 11, 2012

The Chocolate Grinder

The Chocolate Grinder is a software emulation of a skipping/glitchy CD player.

It sounds like this:

And looks like this:

Continue reading »

Dec 23, 2011

The Party Has Begun (Max/MSP+Monome)

So a few months ago I experienced a big paradigm shift. I had been a lofi/hardware guy for many years, but when planning my next big change in hardware, I decided it would be easier to just built it in Max/MSP instead. So I started doing that.

I made this post back in September with the first module of what would become the setup I’m working on at the moment.

Well I’ve been hard at work since then!

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.



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 :