Welcome


Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking provides a long-needed, practical, and engaging introduction to the craft of making—as well as creatively cannibalizing—electronic circuits for artistic purposes. With a sense of adventure and no prior knowledge, the reader can subvert the intentions designed into devices such as radios and toys to discover a new sonic world. You will also learn how to make contact microphones, pickups for electromagnetic fields, oscillators, distortion boxes, mixers, and unusual signal processors cheaply and quickly. At a time when computers dominate music production, this book offers a rare glimpse into the core technology of early live electronic music, as well as more recent developments at the hands of emerging artists.

This revised and expanded third edition has been updated throughout to reflect recent developments in technology and DIY approaches. New to this edition are chapters contributed by a diverse group of practitioners, addressing the latest developments in technology and creative trends, as well as an extensive companion website that provides media examples, tutorials, and further reading. This edition features:

  • Over 50 new hands-on projects.
  • New chapters and features on topics including soft circuitry, video hacking, neural networks, radio transmitters, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, data hacking, printing your own circuit boards, and the international DIY community

With a hands-on, experimental spirit, Nicolas Collins demystifies the process of crafting your own instruments and enables musicians, composers, artists, and anyone interested in music technology to draw on the creative potential of hardware hacking.

This companion website to Handmade Electronic Music contains video tutorials, video clips, audio tracks, resource files, and additional chapters with deeper dives into technical concepts and hardware hacking scenes around the world.

Nicolas Collins


Nicolas Collins, an active composer and performer, has worked with John Cage, Alvin Lucier, David Tudor, and many other masters of modern music. Dr. Collins is a professor in the Department of Sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Research Fellow at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, Belgium. He has led hacking workshops around the world. He has been Visiting Artistic Director of STEIM (Amsterdam), a DAAD composer-in-residence in Berlin, and a long-time Editor-in-Chief of Leonardo Music Journal.

Book Information Complimentary Exam Copy

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