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. 

Sound Tools

Predictably Loud

The following musical and video instruments were designed specifically for live performance. They focus on core concepts with expressive controls. 


midiRota is a generative music program made in Processing. It was inspired by 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 generated from a central position and propel towards a perimeter ring. When the perimeter ring is crossed, a musical note is generated based on the XY coordinates of the intersection. On-screen controls allow for the user to tweak bullet/perimeter collisions and timing variables. An accompanying Max patch maps all note information to fit a selected harmonic scale. 

NWS Gestural Controllers

The New World Symphony partnered with Parsons MFA Design and Tech to produce a performance featuring visualizations generated from the movements of their musicians. This was accomplished through the use of a wireless accelerometer feeding real-time data to software created using openFrameworks.

Hacked Pocket Operators

Teenage Engineering’s Pocket Operators are funky, affordable handheld synthesizers. However, the devices lack the protocol for MIDI communication. This project was an attempt to resolve that problem by connecting each button on the synthesizers to the output of a Teensy microcontroller. After the modification, digital signals could be used to automate the instruments.


Photolin is a light sensitive electronic musical instrument in the form of a violin. The most distinctive feature of the instrument is its programmable LED bow. The body of the Photolin contains two photoresistors which detect the light emanating from the bow and translate it to note and velocity parameters. On the fretboard, a ribbon sensor detects the player's finger position to determine the pitch of the note produced.

Ribbon Guitar

Ribbon Guitar is an experiment in digitally appropriating the natural gestures of guitar playing for sonic manipulation. The fretboard acts as a four channel ribbon controller. The frets were removed to accommodate four graphite strips. Wire connected to an analog input on a USB controller was soldered directly to each string. When a string is pressed to a graphite strip, an analog voltage representing the position of contact can be digitally interpreted. 


Doomtendo is an automated circuit-bent Nintendo Entertainment System. Relays control connections between bend points located on the system's printed circuit board.

Rainbow Drone Cube

The Rainbow Drone Cube is a translucent cube containing eight RGB LEDs. The three colors in each LED are linked to the frequency of a triangle wave oscillator. The rate at which these oscillators operate is controlled by a 3x8 matrix of potentiometers.