Build-It Noise Band

by frogNY build-it May 10, 2013

We've wanted to form a noise band for a long time, but no one ever has the time. So instead we decided to build a Noise Band!

In designing the band, we were very inspired by Rube Goldberg machines as well as Claude Shannon's "The Ultimate Machine", which is a machine whose only function is to turn itself off.

Aside from the littleBits, we limited ourselves to materials we had lying around the frogNY studio to reinforce the DIY aesthetic. Punk Rock! Noise!


Bits used: bend sensor, dc motor , fork, inverter, led, power , pulse, slide dimmer, usb power, vibration motor, wire

Difficulty: Intermediate

Tags: MoMa Challenge

Credits: Adam Wrigley, Brandy Bora, Ron Rosenman, XY Feng



  1. 1

    3x frog drum machine: the circuit is 3 identical modules wired in series. Each module consists of a Pulse wired to a Vibration Motor, wired to an LED. By varying the duration of each pulse, you can generate some nice non-repeating poly-rhythms

  2. 2

    2x octopus drummers: each of the 2 drumsticks is made from a pair of Fellowes Comb Binders into which we've wedged a utensil. The drumstick is held to the top of the paper towel roll by a binder clip and rubber band. Attached to the motor is a folded paper star mounted to a plastic disc. As the star spins, it knocks into the drumstick, creating the rhythm. By varying the number of points of the star, you can vary the tempo.

  3. 3

    1x master crab: the heart of the circuit is a pair of motors split by a bend sensor and an inverter. attached to each motor is a metal wire that crosses the path of the bend sensor. the first wire bends the sensor causing the first motor to stop spinning and the second motor to start spinning. This is accomplished via an inverter in series. When the second motor spins, it's wire eventually knocks into the first wire and pushes it up, which unbends the sensor, causing the second motor to stop, and the first to start again. etc.


Adam Wrigley, Brandy Bora, Ron Rosenman, XY Feng

Bits used (25)

Other Materials Used (14)

  • 8.5"x11" paper 2
  • Binder Clips 2
  • Fellowes Comb Binding 4
  • Foam core 1
  • Metal Wire 1
  • Paper Cups 2
  • Paper Towel Rolls 2
  • Plastic Cups 3
  • Plastic Discs 2
  • Post-It Notes 5
  • Rubber Bands 10
  • Salad Fork 1
  • Tape 1
  • Teaspoon 1

Tools (2)

  • Exacto Knife
  • Sharpie
  • creeperinthegarden about 13 hours ago

    when I was little, I LOVED rube Goldberg and still do! :) awesome project

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