In today’s episode of Mad scientists making music using mad science methods: ducks! Yes, ducks. Also – MPCs. If you ever wondered about the missing link between water fowl and grooveboxes, you have the answer – it’s MIDI and Arduino! Confused? Let artist/techie Benn Jordan clear that up for you…
Of ducks and beats
In a spur of bizarre ingenuity, the kind that either lands you in CERN or in jail, Benn Jordan took to the nearby duck pond with a diabolical plan. Food trays made of conductive aluminium and filled with prime duck feed were brought. They were hooked to an Arduino and the Arduino was hooked to an MPC. Custom code was deployed and ducks were let loose. The rest… is beatmaking history:
Since everyone is cropping this and sharing it as their own, I may as well upload the uncropped version 😅 pic.twitter.com/5ZssT8VNLB
— Benn Jordan (@bennjordan) October 21, 2021
The technical details of this whole scientific debacle elude me, but then again, I lack the capacity to properly comprehend them. Which may or may not be a good thing, considering I own three cats (that seem kind of bored lately) and a non-insignificant amount of MIDI-compatible equipment.
While I respect the animals’ right to not being bothered (unless it’s for urgent matters regarding cuddles and nutrition), the temptation to make them my cyber-MIDI feline slaves may be too great to bear. Which would be bothersome and equally pointless, because chances are that whatever bright idea I’ve ever had in terms of sound design, Richard Devine has probably done it decades ago. For better or worse, I think everyone reading this can relate…
Benn Jordan is a prolific one, though – an electronic musician wearing many hats and pseudonyms, a vlogger, and a former boxer turned duck music guru. Tune in to his extraordinary exploits here.