43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Cool-looking "Buddha Machine"


Buddha Machine home page

I've been hearing about the $25 Buddha Machine for a while (I recall Leo mentioning it once) and was tempted enough to go ahead and order my own today over on Forced Exposure (probably not least because of the amazing exploded drawing they use as a logo).

From the FAQ (which comes from a Pop Matters review):

The Buddha Machine is a little plastic box that plays music.

Specifically, FM3 constructed nine drones, varying from two seconds to 42 seconds, which repeat endlessly in the listener’s ear until the “track” is switched to the next drone (or the two AA batteries run out).

Sean notes that the manufacturers will also let you download uncompressed versions of the 9 included drones for free, so you could presumably emulate some of the functionality on your iPod. Friendly.

Anybody out there got one of these? How you enjoying it?

Patrick B.'s picture

I bought one of the...

I bought one of the Buddha Machines a while ago. It's a really simple idea, but surprisingly, it doesn't get tiresome even after the novelty wears off. The crackly, mono speaker gives the loops a charming warmth, and adds a little randomness to the sound that makes the repetition more interesting. Also, because it's so easy to move, you can experiment with putting it in different rooms or spaces at different volumes, changing how you perceive the sound. I think making it a physical object was a really smart choice - it brings the machine a lot closer to Erik Satie's idea of "furniture music" than your average ambient music. The music itself is, of course, very good (I think #5 is my favorite).

As a footnote, a while ago I was looking for a ringtone that wouldn't completely embarrass me if it went off in a public situation, and so I put a couple of the fm3 loops on my phone -- my phone speaker is also mono and (very) lo-fi, so it seemed like a natural choice, although I did have to normalize the files in Audacity since my speaker isn't quite as powerful. Unfortunately it turns out my phone is flaky about playing mp3 ringtones (sometimes only the first second or two actually plays), but when I could get them to play they sounded really nice. Someone with a newer model might be able to make this work.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »