By Andrew Liszewski
According to Fatboy Slim, everybody needs a 303, but since they’re no longer manufactured and hard to come by, not everyone can find or afford a Roland TB-303 sequencer. There are software-based alternatives, but who doesn’t prefer the hands-on approach when it comes to making music? Researchers at the University of Southampton certainly do, so they created the d-touch sequencer and drum machine which can be simply printed and easily assembled at home.
You’ll still need access to a PC to download, install and run the Audio d-touch software suite, and a mountable webcam so the apps can see your paper timeline laid out. But even someone with basic origami skills can assemble the ‘sample’ cubes, and even if you have no musical capabilities whatsoever, you’ll be creating fresh beats in no time.
At this point the Audio d-touch software is robust enough to let you import samples as WAV files, or record and assign your own sounds or audio bits to a specific cube. And even though you have to register and the software requires an occasional internet connection to send usage reports back to the researchers, the d-touch system is completely free! And technically, even recyclable, once you realize you will never be any real competition for Mr. Slim.