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Drawdio: A Pencil that Lets You Draw Music

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Turn an Everyday Object into a Musical Instrument
Make almost anything into a "Theremin"

The Basic Idea
Just tape the Drawdio circuit to something! The rest is details:
Drawdio circuit has two "attachments" to the world. If you attach them to the right thing, you get something fun. The trick is that the thing should usually conduct at least *some* electricity. That usually means it should either contain metal or water. The good news is that you can always add water or oil to anything that doesn't already have it (so ANYTHING will work). So if you want to use a t-shirt, just add water or oil to the cloth. Most natural elements of the world already have some water: people, animals, dirt, plants, most food, etc., etc. My favorite way to hook up Drawdio is to hook one side up to a person and the other side up to an object (then the person touches the object with their hand... or touches someone else who touches the object...). This is how the pencil, paintbrush, sink, and almost everything else I like to do are set up. But it doesn't have to be overtly hooked up to the person. For example, in the pencil, the person connects to the circuit just by holding the pencil. Finally, hooking up 2 seperate humans to the circuit is also great fun. So go explore and try everything. If you invent something new, comment about it, post your idea to the forum, or email me.


I call this jacket "ok2touch." Tape one side of the Drawdio circuit to your skin, and the other side to the jacket (maybe cut a small hold near the shoulder of the jacket for the tape to go through). Then use oil or water to moisten a "line" down the jacket sleeve (if you use water make sure it doesn't go all the way through the material to your skin, or else wear a raincoat underneath). Then play your sleeve by touching it, or better yet, clap hands with someone while they play your sleeve.

Tape one side of Drawdio to a tree leaf. Then touch another tree leaf (either on the same tree, or if it's planted in the ground, touch a differnt tree leaf to see what happens).


Take one side of the drawdio circuit and copper tape it right through the bristles of the brush. Then cover that strip of copper tape up with a piece of nonconducting tape (like electrical tape). Connect the other side of Drawdio to your hand (or to the paintbrush where your hand will be holding).


Jean-Baptiste LaBrune remixed Drawdio by soldering all the circuit components together without any circuit board in the shape of a robot. See more pictures of Drawdio-Bot


See Marc de Vinck's (on Makezine's blog) awesome instructions on how to build unruly.

Make your own pencil with your own style.
Here's Leah Buechley's pencil

Edwindertien's Polycarb Bulb pencil

Okay you get the idea, now go remix and make it any way you want

contact Jay Silver:

Last updated: 11/16/2008

I am currently a seeker at MIT's Media Lab in the Life Long Kindergarten group

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