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Zoybar: Open-Source Music Hardware Architecture

The open-source movement’s capacity for collaborative innovation on the content and productivity side is a well-established reality, with success stories like Wikipedia, WordPress and Firefox to show for. But open-source initiatives on the creative side are still a relative rarity. Zoybar is out to change that. The open-source music R&D lab invites academic, commercial and hobbyist developers to create music instruments and apps that significantly lower the barrier of entry for music production, making it an accessible, affordable creative endeavor for ordinary people alike.

As production and distribution costs dwindle under Moore’s Law, Zoybar believe innovation, ideas and their application will become the most critical asset in the creative process, with collaboration being key to innovation. True to their manifesto, they offer a free, open-source language for open hardware architecture, providing both physical and virtual platforms for the development of new music instruments. The result is a modular hardware kit that can be combined into different homemade mashup instruments.

From an unusual contra bass to a guitar with a built-in delay pedal, Zoybar is a living testament to the power of community, collaboration and open-source innovation in decentralizing and democratizing the building blocks of an entire industry.

More from founder Ziv Bar Ilan over on Shareable.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.


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