All posts by Geoffrey

Special Circuit Bending eSymposium this Sunday

Sunday, April 6

12 PM – 4 PM, FREE

Hacking upstairs in Electronics, open jam session downstairs in the Lounge.

Hosted by Patrick McCarthy of the circuit-bending act Roth Mobot.

Bring something to hack, something to drink, and whatever tools you think you’ll need. PS:One has an excellent assortment of tools but they are finite. Components are available, but please donate some cash to help cover whatever you use.

Radio WFMT will be on location recording a documentary about the eSymposium.

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Circuit Bending eSymposium Saturday 2/16 at 12 pm

Speak-n-spell + RockBand guitar. Seen at

This Saturday, join Patrick McCarthy and Chicago area circuit benders for a fun approach to learning electronics.

For Beginners:
Merging music, art, and electronics, Circuit-bending is a hands-on, gratifying way to hack circuits by which you can transform a sound-emitting toy into an alien musical instrument. All you need is a battery-powered electronic toy and a few basic tools. Make sure the device you bring has lights or sound, and can be triggered easily. A sound effects box or a toy piano are good choices, a game that must be played is not. Do not bring anything that uses AC voltage.

If you’re an experienced circuit bender and want to show off your work, please attend and bring your instruments!

There is no fee for this event.

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Monday is DIY Music Night: Mashups with Adam Dzak

This Monday join us for a special edition of DIY music night featuring Mashup artist Adam Dzak. Adam will be showing off his work in progress, a MIDI controller based on The Maven, an Ableton Live controller custom-built for world-renowned DJ Sasha. Adam will talk about his inspiration for the project and his (ongoing) journey toward completing it. More importantly, Adam will demonstrate his own creative process, and you’re invited to use the equipment and make your own Mashup.

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Saturday the 18th: Chicago Primitive Skills: Sharpening

This weekend we welcome Chicago Primitive Skills for a general workshop on tool sharpening. It will cover tool, steel types, angles and edge types and sharpening with water stones, oil stones, hones and strops.

This will be a limited hands-on presentation, so if you have tools that need sharpened and you have sharpening stones, hones and strops, please bring them with you. If you are bringing tools please RSVP.

Where: Pumping Station: One

When: Saturday, February 18th, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Space will be limited so please RSVP at their Meetup page.


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Contact Mic Workshop With CMKT 4, January 14th at 3 pm

Join the members of the circuit-bent rock band CMKT4 for a workshop on building your very own EconoMIC Bottle Cap Contact Microphone (from Creme DeMentia). CMKT4 will show you how to solder up a piezo-electric pickup and house it sturdily in a recycled bottle-cap housing of their own design! Stick around for a set from the band as the tool-handle dip on your freshly built contact microphone dries.

Additional take-home kits and other surprises will be available, come build a mic and see and hear some of the circuit-bent instruments you’ve read about on up close. Bring your own instruments and objects to amplify!

The workshop is $15 for PS1 members, $20 for non-members; additional kits will be on sale for $10, and we’ll have fully assembled mics in several varieties for sale as well. We’ll have some other fun goodies also. Interested onlookers are encouraged to donate if they don’t want to build a kit.

CMKT 4 are Austin Cliffe, Zach Adams, and Jeff Cox. The circuit-bent /rock trio has made it their mission to leave no hackerspace behind on their way to their next Maker Faire; they want to bring new devices, sounds, and ideas to your town. They are constantly working to make new and interesting devices and music.

Facebook page for this event:


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This Saturday: DIY Jam Session at Nothin’ Less Cafe

weird string instrument

You! Over there bangin’ yer pots and pans, glitching toy circuits, playing that weird looking pipe thing! No, don’t stop! We want you to join us this Saturday, July 23rd for an open jam session. It’ll be at Nothin’ Less Cafe, located at 2642 N. Milwaukee Avenue (right next to the Logan Theatre), from 11 am to 7 pm. We’ll have some instruments set up, but feel free to bring your own mutant trombones or circuit-bent toys (or that thing from the picture above). If you want to bring a traditional instrument, that’s okay too. You don’t have to be a “musician,” just be ready to make noise. It’s free and open to the public, so come out and invite your friends. It’s part of the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival going on all weekend, so there’ll be plenty of things to see and do in the area.

(Picture licensed Creative Commons BY-NC-SA, by SWARM Sounds on Flickr.)

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