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Category archive for: Qi Hardware

Qi’s mission is to promote and encourage the development of sharing hardware. Qi Hardware is copyleft hardware, which makes it possible for anybody, small or large companies as well as individuals, to build hardware out of standard high-performance components. Their products include the MilkyMist video synthesizer and Ben Nanonote. Fabricatorz support the Qi Hardware project with graphics, community building, and sales of products.

Milkymist Gets Rowdy and Jazzy In Warsaw

I spent the past week in Warsaw with some friends and the M1. I arrived on Wet Monday, an Easter tradition where Polish “boys awake girls by pouring a bucket of water on their head and striking them about the legs with long thin twigs”. Apparently the tradition continues out into the streets where boys splash girls they have crushes on, but I didn’t see anything of the sort. Probably because it was way too cold, but also because Warsaw has a tendency to take itself way too serious. (I was told plenty of flirtatious water fights would be happening in the smaller, more “traditional” towns outside the city.) Fortunately I was able to recoup the fantasy that evening when I did some (visual) splashing of my own with the Milkymist alongside Movie Star Junkies, an impressive blues/punk band from Torino, Italy.

Full disclosure: I’ve never vj’d previous to this show. But this goes to show how simple the M1 is to use: I just plugged it in, aimed the live-feed video camera at the band, toggled between its preset psychedelic patches, and Boom! an epic visual performance. Everything went so well that I got invited to perform again the next night at a different venue. Despite the change in setting and sound–from underground (literally in a basement) punk show to jazz/funk fusion jam band in a swanky loungey bar–it was just as easy to adapt and compliment the music due to the M1’s smorgasbord of visual options. Check out the videos, see for yourself:

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Wise Futures and Shared Hardware, Part II

Milkymist One

If I were to write an allegory of the computer manufacturing industry in “Greater China”, I might be tempted to call it Pingguo and Shanzhai.

Pingguo(蘋果)is the nickname by which Apple Computer is known in China. Its partner Foxconn (a Taiwanese company by the way) is the largest electronic component manufacturer in the world and the largest private employer in the PRC. Foxconn is the pinnacle of industrial scale electronics manufacturing in the Pearl River Delta (and, indeed, the world); and Apple would not be the Apple of today without Foxconn, and China.

Shanzhai(山寨)are the noble bandits of our little allegory: small-scale black market manufacturers who skirt regulations and quality control to produce affordable, relatively low yield, but surprisingly diverse electronics. (I should point out that these innovations were enabled by another Taiwanese company, Mediatek, which sells development kits that many Shanzhai products, such as mobile phones, are built on top of.)

Pinguo and Shanzhai are the well-known protagonists in the technological and social drama of the computer manufacturing industry that straddles the Taiwan Strait. But neither Pinguo nor Shanzhai tell the story of the kind of technology that I want in my life, or that I want to base my business on.

For me the real inspirational story is that of Qi Hardware. Qi Hardware is innovation built not at the cost of billions of dollars and legions of anonymous workers (Pingguo), nor at the cost of questionable legal and safety practices (Shanzhai). Rather, Qi Hardware is a collective dedicated to sharing knowledge, experience and technology, and represents the kind of wise future[1] I am looking to achieve.

Adam Wang

In discussing Qi Hardware I am constantly looking for a language to describe this new style of innovation. I am reluctant to call it ‘open’ hardware for reasons I have already explained; and calling it ‘copyleft’ hardware (in contrast to ‘copyright’) puts too much emphasis on the legal underpinning.

I finally settled on the term ‘shared’ hardware to describe what I feel captures the spirit of the movement. By sharing, Qi Hardware aim to lower barriers to innovation, as well as to profit and pump out genuinely cool technology!

Let’s keep telling this story.


[1] wise futures – I came by this term by listening to public talks by Rob van Kranenburg and Adam Greenfield in Taipei in February of this year. You can read Part I here.

The first photo in this post is of the Milkymist One, which I shot in my studio a couple of weeks ago. The second photo is of Adam Wang, when I visited him in Taipei, where he tests and assembles the Milkymist.

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New Milkymist Action Shots

There isn’t much video out there that does the Milkymist justice, an unfortunate circumstance because it really is an impressive little machine. In an attempt to remedy this Barry and I recently shot some video with the hopes of mirroring the representation of the Milkymist with it’s actual ability. We (actually, I, since I’m the one responsible for the editing) fell well short of this mark. But despite the poor editing (I haven’t edited video since the VHS days!) and poor image quality (who knew high-quality video required so many damn GB’s?), you’ll get to see how non-intimidating the set-up is and how fast this little guy can get a party started.

The drum clips are meant to demonstrate the Milkymist’s integration with electronic instruments and external sound, both of which stimulate the visuals when plugged directly into the Milkymist or intercepted via the onboard microphone. And the club shots, well, those are testament to the Milkymist’s party credibility. We actually smuggled the Milkymist into that particular party at a warehouse-like venue in San Francisco’s Mission District, then set it up guerrilla-style and proceeded to project on the walls and dance floor despite the fact that there was already a house VJ. I was actually surprised how well our slapdash performance compared. During the short 15 minutes we were there the crowd turned away from the DJ and VJ projection on the far wall and towards each other in the middle of the room where we were projecting. The dancing and interaction intensified, and at one point one of the VJ’s assistants came over all starry-eyed and intrigued.

I have to say, I was a bit skeptical about the Milkymist until I saw it in action. It has some incredible psychedelic and dynamic capabilities that will only continue to expand. Keep your eyes peeled, kids.

Footage here: and more to come.

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Wise Futures and Shared Hardware, Part I

Christopher Adams at TELDAP 2012

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Academia Sinica in Taipei to address an audience of the Culturemondo forum on Smart Cultures, held alongside TELDAP and convened by Ilya Li. Ilya had asked me to prepare some remarks about open hardware culture, particularly as it relates to recent developments in Taiwan and China.

The Fabricatorz are often asked about “free and open” hardware. Jon shared his views on open hardware manufacturing during a talk he gave in Miami last December. It is not an idle topic for us, as we believe that investing in our own hardware platforms is just as important to the future of our business as is the software we create.

Copying hardware is hard to do —rms

Can Hardware be Free?

The term ‘open’ hardware is used by way of analogy to free and open source software. The freedoms of ‘free’ software comprise the right to use, study, duplicate and improve that software. These freedoms as they relate to hardware apply not to the physical device itself, but rather to its design; for it is only the hardware design that can be truly studied, duplicated, and, most important, improved.

However, a process which begins with a free hardware design and ends with a finished product requires a non-trivial provision of capital, resources, skill, and time. This plain fact leads the founder of the free software movment, Richard Stallman, to conclude that “freedom to copy hardware is not as important, because copying hardware is hard to do.”

People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware—Alan Kay

I think the logic of that assessment is backward. The difficulty that hardware presents to our freedoms makes the issue more important, not less. It is the reason that we at Fabricatorz are investing time, money and talent to find solutions to the hardware dilemma. Recall the famous words of Alan Kay: “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.”

Is Richard Stallman serious about software? I know we are.

Credits (images remixed by me on an M1):

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Open Hardware Manufacturing (from China)

I recently spoke at TTI Vanguard’s NEXTGEN conference in Miami. Totally great experience to talk to some very high level folks about the work we are doing as Fabricatorz on the Qi Hardware and Milkymist Video Synthesizer project. Here are my slides. The first set I did on my laptop, and the second set I *performed* using the Milkymist! In 2012, I will try to use the Milkymist for any performances (no more presentations!).

I should note that the presentation title reflects popular interest in some of my topics, and not the specific words I would choose to represent what we are working on. In particular, we are staying away from using the words FREE, OPEN, COPYLEFT now in favor of Sharing, hence Sharism. Also, the word Hardware is a bit problematic because of what it conjures up for computer nerds as this an already manufactured piece of hardware, like the 400K iphones foxconn is churning out a day. We take it to mean more like the glass or metal that is part of a final product. To consider the Milkymist or our projects FROM CHINA is not completely accurate. While I spend a lot of time in China, the Milkymist in particular is manufactured mostly in Taiwan.

Oh well, words are words are words! Check out the slides below and please share. They are (shared by) me, aka: Fabricatorz.

Open Hardware Manufacturing (from China)

(Click here for the SVG presentation or the SVG with outlines)

Milkymist One Video Synthesizer

(Click here for the SVG presentation or the SVG with outlines)

Ask me about the event the next time you see me; I have some great stories to tell since this event was supposed to be mostly private during the conference.

In a more public showing, Yi from Qi Hardware is presenting about the Milkymist tonite (中文 at Xinchejian, the Shanghai-based hackerspace we held the first Sharism Presents Shanghai.

Don’t forget to Buy a Milkymist One for yourself or your friendz :)

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New Year – New Gear: Milkymist Video Synthesizer Makes 2012 Awesome

Season’s greetings friendz.

As you know the folks here at Fabricatorz have been collaborating with an international crew to develop and manufacture the Milkymist one. We’ve launching our new Milkymist website complete with a tutorial section. In addition to adding .jpeg support and more documentation, we’ve had users tell us how they used the Milkymist in a professional and educational atmosphere.

Recently architect Naihan Li has used the Milkymist to “perform” a presentation.

Free technology is beautiful. So get your own Milkymist today.

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Thoughts on Technology and Steve Jobs

A note from a close friend of Fabricatorz:

Great interview with Steve Jobs from back around 1995. A bit long, but an interesting read. I agree with much of what he says. He basically predicted, correctly, I think, that the main beneficiaries of the Web will be companies selling things. And also that no amount of technology can help education.

“The desktop computer industry is dead.”

“The Web is not going to change the world, certainly not in the next 10 years. It’s going to augment the world.”

“The problem is I’m older now, I’m 40 years old, and this stuff doesn’t change the world. It really doesn’t. I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much – if at all.”

“People are thinking less than they used to. It’s primarily because of television. People are reading less and they’re certainly thinking less. So, I don’t see most people using the Web to get more information. We’re already in information overload. No matter how much information the Web can dish out, most people get far more information than they can assimilate anyway.”

“I used to think that technology could help education. […] No amount of technology will make a dent.”

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Fabricatorz and Friendz In The Newz: Fine Art to Milkymist One MIDI Control (video)

Our friend Robin Peckham announces the launch of Saamlung, a new gallery and project office for Hong Kong. The forthcoming exhibitions will represent a survey of Post-Internet art as well as curatorial exhibitions alternating between project-based solo presentations and thematic group shows.

Nadim Abbas, I Would Prefer Not To, 2009, Digital photograph (C-print), 42 x 64 cm

The Saamlung model is research-driven and focuses on placing work within the exciting collections currently restructuring global visual culture to tell the story of a cosmopolitan present.

Get to Saamlung in person for the grand opening in February 2012.


Robin Peckham announces the launch of Saamlung, a new gallery and project office for Hong Kong.
26/F Two Chinachem Plaza
68 Connaught Rd. C.
(135-137 Des Voeux Rd. C.)
Central, Hong Kong

Pre-opening projects include:

João Vasco Paiva, “Palimpseptic,” 18 November – 5 December
Opening Friday 18 November, 19:00-21:00

Charles LaBelle, “Guilty,” 9 December – 7 January
Opening Friday 9 December, 19:00-21:00

For more information on the projects, please visit their website:

Our Friend Werner Almesberger states “You haven’t really seen what the Milkymist One (M1) really can do if you haven’t used it with some MIDI controls.”

Here’s Werner’s step-by-step instructions on how to make the Qi Hardware video synthesizer Milkymist One really pop. Get your very own Milkymist One here!

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VJing Made So Simple Anyone Can Do It With The Milkymist One

The Qi Hardware project is proud to announce the Milkymist One video

Milkymist One video Synthesizer

A total power consumption of 5 watts and latency of 60 milliseconds
are the highlights of the new high-performance video synthesizer.
Without additional computer, Milkymist One takes line-in audio to
create real-time music visualizations. Ideal for musicians and DJs,
restaurant and bar owners, people organizing parties or interested in
visual art. The included camera feeds live video into the synthesis.

Milkymist One is the second product launched by Qi Hardware after the
Ben NanoNote in March 2010. While the NanoNote was built around a
MIPS-architecture SoC, Milkymist One takes copyleft freedoms one step
further by being the first free computing architecture built around
the GPL licensed 32-bit Milkymist SoC.

Visual artists benefit by being able to program their patches,
including connectivity and control of DMX lights, lasers and MIDI
instruments, all directly and in real-time from the Milkymist One
synthesizer. Network connectivity allows the inclusion of live Twitter
feeds. Free software programmers benefit by having the first fully
programmable graphics accelerator at their disposal, opening the world
of reusable and portable Verilog to free software developers.

Milkymist SoC is a new generation of collaboratively developed IC
designs, founded in 2007 by Sebastien Bourdeauducq. It aims to be an
ARM competitor with new sharism business model, allowing for greater
development speed and better customization and optimization in
embedded products.

Milkymist One is available from Sharism Ltd. now, and sells for 499
USD plus shipping from Taipei.

[1] Milkymist One shop:
[2] Media Gallery:

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Qi Hardware’s August News and Milkymist Logo Updates

Released today is the monthly Qi Hardware’s news where you’ll see a veritable explosion of developments.

Beyond the fun news of the homebrew CMOS project making the world’s smallest Nyan Cat, Fabricatorz Christopher Adams provided some design tweaks to the upcoming Milkymist One product launch:

Milkymist Logo Concept

The changes are included in the upcoming Milkymist One RC3 hardware with the new logo laser etched onto the top of the case, seen below.

Milkymist Engraved Logo

And then you can also see it propagated to the box design:

M1 Box Artwork

You can also see on the latest news the full spread of the slides I developed for FISL12 in Brazil:

Qi Hardware Milkymist Slides by REJON

This just scratches the surface of the last month of news from the Qi Hardware Project. Please read about the other developments and join the copyleft hardware revolution!

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Qi Hardware Introduces the Milkymist One @ FISL in Brazil

Watch me give the first complete Milkymist One presentation of the year, and check out this slide deck and feel that the Fabricatorz worked on for the upcoming Milkymist One, video synthesizer. Christopher came up with logotype with the Orbitron font, and I pulled together the general messaging, color palette and slide deck you will start seeing more and more as we move toward the Milkymist One RC3 launch. Its coming very soon!

(Download presentation)

(Use your keyboard arrows or click on the image to advance the slides.)

Also, I converted the original Fabricatorz update to the Qi Hardware look and feel, and Nanonote products, which needs to be distributed across sites, products and media:

(Download presentation)

We really are seeking feedback on these slide decks. What make sense? What looks good, bad, and how do you receive the messaging? Qi Hardware is Copyleft Hardware.

UPDATE: Qi Hardware and Nanonote use the Dustismo font. Added links to the SVG files for presentation. If you want to see the magic, then open the files to see the magic.

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Fabricatorz Presentations at FISL12

milkymist one greenish

I will be speaking about Fabricatorz projects at FISL12 in Brazil. Come find me if you will be there! Let’s talk projects!

Here are the summaries of my talks from the FISL12 schedule:

Open Educational Resources Roundtable, AcaWiki: The Wikipedia of Academic Research
Thursday, June 30, 2011 @ 3 PM
Recursos Educacionais Abertos – REA
41-A fisl 1, 351 lugares

Qi Hardware Introduces: The Milkymist One Video Synthesizer
Saturday, July 2, 2011 @ 1 PM
40-T fisl 0, 536 lugares

Building Open Clip Art Library and Open Font Library with Aiki Framework
Saturday, July 2, 2011 @ 5 PM
41-A fisl 1, 351 lugares

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Qi Hardware Releases First Batch of 6LoWPAN Wireless Devices

Today we’re proud to say that we have really big news coming out today from our Qi Hardware project! Two completely patent-free, copyleft hardware wireless devices have been made and are available for sale now!

Please meet the Ben WPAN. Its offspring are the ATBEN, a wireless device that fits into the Ben Nanonote’s microSD slot, and the ATUSB, an implementation that fits in a standard computer’s USB slot. These devices can now all communicate wirelessly now!

From the Ben WPAN page:

Ben WPAN is a project to create an innovative patent-free wireless personal area network (WPAN) that is copyleft hardware. The primary protocol is 6LoWPAN, pronounced “SLoWPAN”. The project lead is Werner Almesberger and it involves using the UBB, new testing software, and the Ben Nanonote to produce a next generation wireless personal area network.

We are extremely excited because this adds a crucial capability to our open hardware stack. That means that future products like the Milkymist and Nanonote lines will be able to communicate. Also, this allows for more people to join the development process, and to give us another innovative product.

For all those interested in 6LoWPAN uses, think Sensor Networks, Factory Automation, and short range connectivity.

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Milkymist One video synthesizer shown at 6th Libre Graphics Meeting in Montreal

Montreal, May 13, 2011- More than 200 active developers, artists, and attendees of the 6th Libre Graphics Meeting 2011 in Montreal were able to see the Milkymist One video synthesizer ( live for the first time, to entertain and surprise them between talks and during breaks. Real-time video synthesis with audio and video input had been available before in proprietary packages combining multiple devices and costing several thousand USD. Milkymist One combines this into a small form factor, and uses only free software and free hardware acceleration.

“The Milkymist One is the future of live performance and is the real freedom box, available now. Without a truly open hardware architecture, developers working on free and open software are going to be locked out from the future of development,” said Jon Phillips, Fabricatorz Founder and Qi Hardware Co-founder. “I am extremely proud to use the Milkymist One live at the event, and explain why its so important for the future of Libre Graphics.”

Phillips is giving a final keynote presentation at LGM2011 where he is presenting the future of Libre Graphics, moving from developers on desktop systems they control, to network services outward towards embedded hardware for making graphics.

Later that night, Milkymist One will be featured during the Libre Graphics Meeting 2011 closing ceremony in Montreal at an event called Geepsters.

The Milkymist project is an informal organization of people and companies who develop, manufacture and sell a comprehensive open source solutions ( for the live synthesis of interactive visual effects for video performance artists, clubs and musicians. The project goes great lengths to apply the open source principles at every level possible, and is best known for the Milkymist system-on-chip (SoC) which is among the first commercialized system-on-chip designs with free HDL source code. Several Milkymist technologies have been reused in applications unrelated to video synthesis, such as NASA’s Communication Navigation and Networking Reconfigurable Testbed (CoNNeCT).

Milkymist One is currently available in limited quantities to early adopters, and will be available later this summer for general use, at a target price of 499 USD.

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Laoban Soundsystem Infinite Baffle Press

laoban with its face off
Laoban Soundsystem Infinite Baffle with its face off

Over on my personal blog,I posted some comments about the Laoban Infinite Baffle:

The latest soundsystem, Laoban Infinite Baffle, that Matt Hope and myself have built, is now on display as part of Kunsthalle Kowloon organized, and Fabricatorz supported, Border Show 2011. There have already been write-ups by CNN and The New York Times, some in print, with more coming soon. Thanks to all who came out to the opening and supported the show. Next up is that we want to ship this work to other art spaces, shows and events around the world. It would take about a month to ship anywhere in the world, and you have a great news-getter for live events in front of your favorite gallery, space, or show. Contact us.

Matt Hope, Robin Peckham, Venus Lau and I worked super hard last week to make the Laoban Soundsystem Infinite Baffle reali-D (that’s the 2.0.11 realidad for kind readers of this reBlog).

laoban with its face off
Robin and Matt Framed

Also, Robin sent us some PDFs of discussion about the pieces from press outlets CNNGo review, CNNGo Chinese, SCMP Preview, and NYT Preview.

laoban plain and simple
Infinite Baffle Bare, Picture by Matt Hope

There will be more, surely :)

UPDATE: Here are some interview questions about the system via Matt:

1. Where did you get the inspiration for your artpiece and how does it echoes the theme of Border Crossing?

The inspiration for The Infinite baffle came from the idea that a standard shipping container could be transformed into a simple acoustical device by blocking the open mouth with a wall of speakers. Within the field of audio engineering the ‘Infinite baffle’ is a form of speaker cabinet design in which the driver unit is completely enclosed- cut off from the surrounding space, this differs from the ‘open baffle’ or ‘bass reflex’ ( speaker boxes with holes and vents whereby tuned air is allowed to pass more easily). The primary purpose of ALL speaker boxes is to separate the in phase and out of phase sound waves with some kind of barrier or enclosure- essentially a wall. The innards of the shipping container that usually house consumer goods is transformed into pressurised audio container. . . quarter of a wave length of out phase with the surrounding output. . .

2. What is (are) the challenge(s) of turning a cargo container into a giant speaker?

The first challenge was to research and establish the exact ISO dimensions of a standard shipping container, these parameters are regulated by an international body that all countries are supposed to adhere in order for global trade to function. The Infinite baffle must fit inside any standard container regardless of it place or manufacture. Upon installation a temporary seal or gland will be applied to join the two structures in order to separate the in phase and out of phase sound waves. Incidentally the length of the container will tune the output , the infinite baffle will have an acoustic cut-off frequency of 57 hertz. Thus the volumetric capacity of the container will determine its sonic range. . . The audio fidelity of this device will not be hi fi, large metal boxes do not make the ideal acoustic space. Shipping containers were designed to keep out the elements and thieves, prior to containerisation in 1968 nearly one 3rd of all goods were ‘lifted’ . lost or stolen in transit

Here are some answers to the same interviewer I put together, so mix up the two answers :)

1. Where did you get the inspiration for your artpiece and how does it echoes the theme of Border Crossing?

Matt Hope ( and I ( did previous work using a trash compactor as a temporary space to make events, but also to serve as an instant readymade:

We have many battle plans ready, both individually and together, and we have done several projects with shipping containers. So we responded to the creative constraints of the shipping container
context Robin and Venus provided and combined that with our interest in manufacturing in China and making sound systems. The last big system we made is the Laoban Soundsystem used as part of Get It Louder in Beijing:

You can’t get much more literal about shipping than a shipping container, right? hahaha.

There is also something humorous about border shows to us. When we were in grad school at UC San Diego there always seemed to be tension between the wealthy San Diego side of the border and the poor, seemingly dangerous side of the border, Tijuana. The tension between the border in Hong Kong and Shenzhen is way less than the paranoid one-way valve of the USA/Mexico border in San Diego. Hong Kong and Shenzhen are optimized for business and the Chinese government is allowing an increase in economic and human throughput whereas with the USA/Mexico border, the US is building crazy electrified fences and keeping big guns on people who try to illegally cross. Its an interesting comparison to do see the social activist art work being created by Ruben Ortiz and others in San Diego/Tijuana versus the more economic/shipping-minded themes in this show, although you could make some similar claims if you wanted to go there.

So, the main front of the container is a piece Matt designed up and we had fabricated in the south of china. It will be delivered on-site and we will attach it to the front of the speaker for use next week. No
shipping containers will be hurt with our project. Rather, the shipping container is being augmented and put into the service of sound production rather than using its normal function of shipping goods across the border.

3. How different will the experience be when your soundsystem is fabricated in a cargo container?

Well, its actually attached to the entrance of the container. Its really empty. So, we are converting the shipping container into what is normally considered a speaker box, which has a function in tuning
the bass and providing a resonance chamber for the sound. The front baffle we are manufacturing has 40 speakers, and the empty space will resonate from that sound. The doors are movable so we can shape where the sound will project out of the front entrance of the container.

We originally wanted to build the entire sound system into the shipping container and make it so the sides are removable. We can do that project later and with more money. In some ways, its better that
we are not changing the shipping container at all, which the entire container holding a traditional soundsystem, would do. This is just bolt-on, turn-on.

The interesting thing for Matt and I is that we haven’t actually seen the fabricated piece other than mediated pictures and renderings. So, always when you build a new system, its a new experience to hear how it *really* sounds and make sure it all fits together.

Matt in particular has a lot of experience manufacturing things in China, so we are pretty confident it will work well and make some thunderous bass.

2. What is(are) the challenge(s) of turning a cargo container into a giant speaker?

Matt can speak more to this, but now when we make sound systems, we design them with computer software and Autocad, then have a manufacturer make them in Guangdong. The speaker makers have a lot of experience with this type of production. For this project, we are having a metal fabricator make the front of the speaker with all the parts ready for assembly. They will deliver to the shipping container and we will complete the installation and test it all out.

It always takes a lot of work making sure everything fits in really well, coordinating the fabrication and then getting Matt and I to Hong Kong to complete the project.

Its just a lot of coordination, not to mention getting lots of people to the event and music to play through it. We really want to ship it to other cities around the world. If you have a space, email us!

3. What will be played during the show and why?

We treat these projects as vessels for sound. Matt and I will DJ on them, and we have some other guests from the PRD lined up to give them a go. Art shows are always different from throwing parties because often people want to talk more, have some drinks, swoop in and out. However, Matt and I like to throw parties and see what can unfold. The other side of that is hiring DJs who are often in it for the check and not the love. We always want people who love to play and have a go on the system to get a chance on it.

Also, in line with our Laoban Soundsystem project, all the plans will be given away on our site and we will capture as much as we can about the event. We want to do more events with this system all over the planet.

For this event, we will treat the earlier time in the night as art event and transition to more fun later on.

We have been calling this project the Laoban Container or Laoban Infinite Baffle. If you are a DJ or make music, come check out the show and plugin to our new soundsystem!

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Laoban Soundsystem to be Exhibited at “The Border Show” in Hong Kong

The Fabricatorz are on the road this week, kicking off 2011 the right way. Founder, Jon Phillips will be teaming up with Matt Hope to bring the Laoban Soundsystem to The Border Show. The exhibition, organized by The Society for Experimental Cultural Production, features recent art concerning border mechanisms of the Pearl River Delta:

Taking place inside a set of shipping containers placed amid the hulking post-industrial buildings of the New Territories halfway between the urban cores of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, this exhibition proposes a new relationship between these two cities and the wider region by approaching the ontology of the border crossing.

The event kicks off on January 8 (running through the 28th of the month). Laoban will be providing the musical backdrop for the entire opening evening!

In the coming weeks, Laoban Soundsystem will be releasing new plans, photos, and even more media through it’s homepage. For more details on The Border Show, check out the event page, and look check this space again soon for recaps and photos from Hong Kong!

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Get It Louder 2010 Beijing Presents, Laoban Soundsystem Get It Harder Thursday Sept 23 Beijing

laoban soundsystem top cabinet

So you want to make it louder? More hardcore? Come get hard, low and deep with the Laoban Soundsystem crew at Sanlitun SoHo on Thursday, September 23 from 9 PM onward in the basement of the mall behind the Get It Louder Pavilion. Bringing the bass is Aussie Little Wu (Dave Thompson) cutting minimal techo, TommyBoy from UK cranking old school jungle, Rez and Marula tripping the drum and bass switch from the Spanish Corelabs and Get It Louder curator Jiancui mixing it up from an iPad. Also, echoing Mall Rats and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Laoban Soundsystem founders Matt Hope (UK/Beijing) and Jon Phillips (SF/Beijing) will chop n screw up dancehall, drum and bass and dirty southern hip hop through the 6000 watts of pure sound through the aptly titled, Laoban Soundsystem 2.0. Communing at the new Chinese commodified temple where money ain’t a thing, hustling visual imagery without spending a dime, and expanding conversation with a pure sound and video experience that exemplifies the sound clash heard from Kingston, you don’t want to miss this realideal. Invite your friends, spread the news, and let’s get it louder!

If you want to get harder, visit:


Little Wu (Little Five), aka David Thompson

Hailing from the shores of Australia, Little Five has been globetrotting for the last seven years stopping off in Europe, America and now China. Weaving together sounds from all sides of the table, his sets are full of energy and excitement a journey to the dark side.

Expect Techno, Tribal, Tech House.

We are just going to keep tacking on more friends as they come together here!


Fabricatorz: This Week – Laoban Soundsystem at Get It Louder

The Fabricatorz are charging through a week filled with sets of hotly-anticipated projects and collaborative efforts. Just today, Fabricatorz Founding Developer Jon Phillips led the way in the Announcing Laoban Soundsystem 2.0 and it’s associated debut at Get It Louder in Beijing (beginning at 7:00pm, this Sunday, September 19). Christopher Adams, who has been hard at work on Get It Louder organization, will be present at the event, alongside Jon.

Also just Released,, the latest in an exciting lineup of new pages developed under Fabricatorz Developer Bassel Safadi, and his Aiki Framework. Visitors to Laoban Soundsystem’s new homepage will find details of Laoban-powered events, as well as official documentation and steps to take to replicate these 6000-watt beasts.

Speaking of Aiki Framework, Bassel continues behind-the-scenes plowing, as the platform encroaches ever nearer it’s 0.5 Release. Enthusiasts can stay tuned in to Fabricatorz and expect a new iteration in the very near future!

Another Aiki-Powered Project, The Open Clip Art Library, is fast moving up it’s Release Schedule and adding new features, to boot. Fabricatorz Developer Brad Phillips has inserted a new ‘Community Status Updates’ Section, at the base of the home page sidebar, in which the latest updates from the Open Clip Art Library StatusNet Page are featured.

Check this space again soon, for more on Get It Louder, Sharism, and other projects and events in the Fabricatorz Universe!

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Fabricatorz: This Week (September 5 – September 11) Aiki 0.4, Laoban Soundsystem Site, and Upcoming Events

September brings a slew of new projects and events for the Fabricatorz Team, and week has us off to quite a productive start!

Kicking things off, Matt Hope and Jon Phillips’ qi-hardware-based Laoban Soundsystem has been grabbing headlines. Last Saturday (September 4, 2010), the copyleft Soundsystem headlined it’s first event, a massive outdoor jam: In Bass We Trust, in Beijing. Another event, the Opening of Get It Louder, will be Loaban-driven on September 19, 2010. Also look for the Soundsystem at the Sharism Forum on October 22. Laoban’s home page also recently went live, making it another in a series of sites now relying on Fabricatorz Developer Bassel Safadi’s Aiki Framework. Be sure and bookmark these pages to keep up to speed on this increasingly prevalent platform!

Speaking of Aiki Framework, alongside Open Clip Art 2.5, Bassel announced it’s evolution: Version 0.4. Features and user interface adjustments remain a focus on this ever-efficient web platform. Users can also expect key SQL bug fixes in this new Release.

The Open Clip Art Library 2.5 arrival brought with it several key directives, including a new Activities Section on the home page, designed by Fabricatorz Developer Brad Phillips. Be sure and check out the latest Themed Clip Art Package while soaking in the latest OCAL implementation.

Additionally, Jon has contributed artwork to Congresswoman Woolsey’s Art of Politics fundraiser, which takes place this Saturday, September 11, 2010.

Check this space again soon for more on these projects and upcoming announcements!

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Laoban Soundsystem 2.0 Debut at In Bass We Trust in Beijing


That’s right! Its finally time to kickoff some real Laoban Soundsystem. You don’t understand how much blood, sweat, tears, relationships and more have gone into make this thing realidad. Its with the highest level of happiness I can say we get to use the biggest, best soundsystem Matt and myself have ever produced, at the next In Bass We Trust in Beijing on Saturday, September 4th at 2kolegas at 10 PM. Laoban DJ Nick Bell is opening the night and Yang Tao as well will be doing visuals. Also, friend JCICI from Guangzhou is the headliner. Don’t miss this event! It is the first, and we are powering it!

Please make sure to live update from there on your mobile and take loads of photos and video with the tag #laoban2010.

After this event, get ready for some big announcements about Laoban Soundsystem and Sharism at Get It Louder in China this fall!