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

Perfomance Tools

is a collection of musical and video instruments designed specifically for live performance. Each device focuses upon a simple concept that is then left to the performer to interpret. These instruments were typically used only once, as this practice encouraged more experimental and disposable designs.


midiRota is a generative music program made in Processing. It draws inspiration from the shoot 'em up” video game genre in which enemies generate dazzling arrays of game-ending projectiles that the player must dodge. In midiRota, "bullets" are created from a central position and then move towards a perimeter ring. Bullets crossing the ring generate a musical note based on the XY coordinates of the intersection. On-screen controls allow the user to tweak bullet-perimeter collisions and timing variables. An accompanying Max patch maps all note information to a selected harmonic scale.

Hacked Pocket Operators

Teenage Engineering’s Pocket Operators are funky, affordable handheld synthesizers. But to the dismay of many, the devices lack ports for MIDI communication. This project resolved this minor design oversight by connecting each button on the device to the output of a Teensy microcontroller. After the modification, digital MIDI signals could be used to automate the instruments.


Photolin is a light-sensitive electronic musical instrument in the form of a violin. The programmable LED bow generates any number of intensities and patterns which the performer attenuates through the bow’s positioning. The body of the Photolin contains two photoresistors which detect the light emanating from the bow and translate it to musical note and volume parameters. On the fretboard, a ribbon sensor detects the player's finger position to determine the pitch of the produced note.

Ribbon Guitar

Ribbon Guitar is an experiment in digitally appropriating the natural gestures of guitar playing for sonic manipulation. The fretboard functions as a four channel ribbon controller. Each string has a signal wire directly soldered to it that allows the string to behave as a sensor. When a string is pressed to the graphite fretboard, an analog voltage representing the position of contact is used to generate note or continuous controller information.


What if Nintendo, but better? Doomtendo is a digitally controlled circuit-bent Nintendo Entertainment System. Relays control connections between points on the graphics chip that when short-circuited create interesting visual effects and artifacts.

Rainbow Drone Cube

The Rainbow Drone Cube is a translucent acrylic cube containing eight RGB LEDs. The red, blue, and green channels of each LED are linked to the frequency of a triangle wave oscillator. The rate, shape, and amplitude of each oscillator is controlled by a 8 x 3 matrix of potentiometers.