I'm the guy who came up with the Stribe and started this website. My real name is Josh Boughey, and I live near Boston, MA. I'm also known as Phineus, which is my "stage name" for the electronic music I create, and my nickname on various web forums.
I've been writing and playing music for about 20 years, starting in high school with the clarinet and recorder. Later on I did the indie rock thing and am now fading away with dignity, I hope. And I've been playing around with electronics
on and off as long as I can remember, mostly ON these last 5 or 6 years... lots of kits, tube gear off ebay, fixing amps, building f/x stomp boxes, learning from the web and books and a couple of similarly afflicted friends. I breathlessly interned a few times at studios and electronics shops but feel most comfortable working on stuff in my own shop. My day jobs typically involve computers and programming; currently I'm a web developer for a non-profit.
I'd been wanting to build something blinky for a while, and was looking into an analog step sequencer project when I came across Brian Crabtree's monome 40h
. I became obsessed with this "box of buttons" and my obsession paid off with an introduction to a whole new world of music-making tools, tools that allowed me to apply my programming skills to my favorite hobbies: electronics and music.
Brian Crabtree's monome 40h
Brian Crabtree's amazing website, monome.org
, is filled with information about the guts of the monome 40h. The monome 40h itself is a sort of lesson in electronics and product manufacture and computer science all wrapped up in a beautiful little box. I started looking into the firmware, the circuits, reading data-sheets for the various parts, and realized I might be able to figure out how to build something similar myself. I began to research membrane touch technology and LED matrix drivers, posted questions on a few forums like the Arduino and Wiring sites, and within a couple of furious months I suddenly had something that actually worked!
Not exactly sure what to do next, I thought through my options. I supposed I could figure some angle and try to make a million dollars like Donald Trump - but that sounded like a lot of boring business-type work and besides, who has the time? I realized that mostly I just want to share my excitement, and my ideas, and I'm curious to see what other people can do with the technology.
Ultimately, I decided to open up the project to the DIY community, in the spirit of innovation and availability of information, and in homage to the projects that inspired and informed my own learning and discovery.
So here it is, my work-in-progress, the Stribe. Hope you like it!