Kitteh! Steve’s cats Perrey and Kingsley’s homage to CatSynth
Homebrew Electronics is a series on the Rhizome blog. For these posts, I will be conducting studio visits with artists and inventors who create unique electronic instruments.
Last week, I met with Steven Litt of CrudLabs at his Greenpoint apartment. While a graduate student at NYU’s ITP program, Steve developed a machine known as the CrudBox. Central to his installations and performances, the CrudBox allows users to plug electronic or electromechanic devices into a 16 step, 8 channel step sequencer. While normal sequencers draw from a set bank of sounds, the CrudBox allows one to plug in devices such as turntables or solenoids or power tools, opening up the range of sounds one can sequence.
In his living room, Steve had plugged in seven portable turntables into a CrudBox.
Portable Turntables plugged into a CrudBox
The exterior of this version of the CrudBox was designed by Steve’s friend artist Panayiotis Terzis, who silkscreened all the imagery on the exterior.
Detail of Panayiotis Terzis's silkscreen on the exterior of the CrudBox
The turntables operate off AC voltage, and the CrudBox runs off DC, so Steve had set up a system of high voltage relays so each turntable can be individually activated without any issues. These relay modules allow any wall powered devices to be easily plugged in and sequenced by CrudBox.
Close-up of one of the relays
In order to control a turntable, the switch at the top left hand side of the CrudBox must be pointed toward the turntable one wants to start.
Knob on the top left side of the CrudBox
The sequences are controlled by the bottom row of buttons, and the tempo by the knob. The sequences tell the turntables when ...