Brendan Byrne

is a designer from Brooklyn. His electronic musical instruments and video game controller designs have been exhibited at the Game Science Center, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, and SF MoMA, and featured on Adafruit and Hackaday. Brendan is the Artistic/Technical Manager of StudioLab for the Council on Science and Technology at Princeton University. 

Destiny Clock

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Destiny Clock is modular programmable system for generating musical compositions. Signals are strictly on/off messages. Patches use a combination of generator and processor modules before passing signals. The interface module constructs and transmits a MIDI message to a hardware or software synthesizer.

Full-Scale Version

This version 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 where each point represents 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 system is enclosed in translucent acrylic case.


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. Image output 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 visually harmonic patterns.