Brendan Byrne 

is a designer and makerspace specialist from Brooklyn. He currently manages StudioLab at Princeton University.

Community Organizing
Workshops & Talks
Destiny Clock
Kiwi Electronics
Games & Controllers
Performance Tools
Graphic Design

Destiny Clock

is modular system for generating musical compositions through the use of binary signals. This constraint challenges composers to program their songs rather than write or perform them. The most interesting work created with Destiny Clock often uses a root frequency that is then subdivided into a series of overlapping harmonic patterns.

Full-Scale Version

This iteration uses 3.5mm patch cable connections and a modified Eurorack standard. It is constructed of translucent and matte-black acrylic as well as stainless steel mounting braces. The interface module features two options for input: note selection through the use of tunable potentiometers and a graphically represented keyboard with each section indicating a note. The system is composed of 24 modules with a total of 437 LEDs and 370 patch points.

Portable Version

The portable version of Destiny Clock uses surface-mount pin headers as connection points between modules. Due to space restrictions, modules consist solely of their constituent inputs and outputs. Some modules run using everyday logic chips like the 4051 Multiplexer or the 4015 Shift Register. Others use an ATMEGA328P with custom firmware written in Arduino. The device is enclosed in translucent acrylic case.

First Prototype

This early system includes a barebones square wave signal generator, frequency divider, shift register, and multiplexer. It uses banana jacks as patch points. The interface module uses a Teensy that has been programmed to output MIDI note information whenever an input signal is detected. The potentiometers are used as general CC controllers.

Video Synthesizer

The prototype Destiny Clock was used to experiment with generating visual output. The resulting image is composed of a series of rectangular color strips. The height, color, and position of each strip are determined by the current states of twelve binary operators. The frequency division module is utilized extensively to create repeating harmonic patterns.