Meet the Maker: Maria Molinero, creator of Beesynth

Winner of our #MakeMusic Instagram contest

April 14, 2015

maria1

 

María Molinero

@merycurtis

 

Maria is a really cool person. We randomly found her on Instagram while checking out the #littleBits feed and we followed her because she posts really nice pictures of her Synth Kit. Little did we know that we stumbled upon a super talented designer. Maria is studying graphic and interactive design, and for her final project she developed the Beesynth, a custom audio/visual synth that uses littleBits!

 

My name is Maria, I’m a graphic/interactive designer based in Madrid, Spain.

 

My maker superpower is fiddling with buttons, even when I don’t quite know what they do. Quite interesting things come out sometimes! I’m also good at seeing trouble come. Oh! And i’m especially good at watching full series seasons while I have to work. Once I managed to watch 4 full seasons of Doctor Who and still got the job done.

 

 

I am inspired by photography and music, but what really inspires me is being with people who are passionate about what they do, whatever it is.

 

The most exciting project I have worked on by now is Beesynth. It was the final project for my degree in graphic design, (I just showcased it last Wednesday), which I managed to complete in about a month and a half.

 

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It is the first time I mixed code, UX design, animated visual FX, music and branding in just one project.

 

Beesynth is basically an app and a synth you can build at home. The app has 3 modes. Two of them are more focused for children to learn music. The first mode (rookie) makes visuals with colors corresponding to each note, so kids can learn music theory remembering the color. This is possible thanks to a study made by Neil Harbisson where he correlated sound and color wavelengths.

 

Rookie from Maria Molinero on Vimeo.

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The second mode is for older kids. There is a canvas, divided in 9 squares, where you can drag and drop 3 percussion instruments (bassdrum, snare, hihat) to create simple rhythms to play along (think of the smart drums from garageband).

The third mode was designed for adults, musicians and programmer hybrids in mind. This mode is based in processing, and is open source, so people could upload their sketches to adapt it to their needs. It comes with a pre-installed oscilloscope screen that I coded.

Each mode would have an info button that would show the possibilities of connecting different bits as well as a recommended setups.

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This is what I managed to do within a month and a half, so it’s all in a kind of rudimentary state. Now I’m trying to find a programmer that would help me finish the app thing, because I only learned pretty basic stuff at the moment. Anyway, the first prototype already works, I’ve got the visuals for the first screen that can be triggered from a keyboard in processing, and also the third screen of the app, the oscilloscope one.

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I have used littleBits to make my own custom synth with visuals that react to the sounds you make. And also to annoy my neighbors a lot.

 

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I am going to use littleBits to make a whole lot more of projects which combine lights and music. I love LEDs!

 

littleBits has taught me that everything is safer with magnets. And that even a person like me, who can easily screw it up with voltages and has a natural tendency to burn things (not on purpose) can learn and create great electronic stuff. At least that’s what I’m trying to do.

 

My dream bit is the MIDI bit. While I was tinkering with my synth project I dreamed of it, and finally it came out! Now, I think something like a vocoder would be cool. Maybe I could figure something out with the mic bit I just got.

 

 

Beesynth from Maria Molinero on Vimeo.