from a truly tiny
By Brian McNamara
Moof Tronic players
get the lead out.
I was playing around with a Picaxe microcontroller one day, trying to make
a little keyboard. I wanted to build an absolutely minimal hardware frame that
I could put together quickly without a circuit board.
The result was the Moof Tronic — a small electronic
instrument built on a 24-pin IC socket. To play 8
different notes ( 1 octave in the key of C) against a
fast-modulation drone, you touch a stylus to 8 legs
of the socket. It also has a small antenna that you
can touch to add an effect to the note being played.
The 8-pin Picaxe microcontroller that runs the
software and generates the sounds sits in one end
of the socket and has a small speaker mounted on
top. A programming port allows you to easily debug
and test new sound-making programs.
Brian McNamara lives in a small town near Canberra, Australia.
By day he works at a university designing and repairing equipment for a biological research facility; by night he designs,
hacks, and bends kids’ toys and musical instruments.
Photography by Brian McNamara
70 Make: Volume 15