What inspired you to do this?
A friend showed me a video of a mechanical drum machine and asked if I thought I could build one ?
Foolishly I said yes !
How long did it take to make it?
I started the project 4 years ago but only working on it at occasional weekends and evenings.
I also took a year off in the middle to convert an old disused in ground swimming pool into my studio
How long have you been doing things like this?
I have always enjoyed making things even as a child, but this is a whole new field to me and was started from scratch 4 years ago
How much did this cost to do?
Will my wife be able to read this !!!
No seriously I have no idea of the actual cost as most of the stuff was second hand or scrap, although if I worked out how much I have spent on solenoids, relays, boards, connectors, cables and everything else that goes into build musical robots, I would say I have spent somewhere around £2k on the robots to date and probably another £6K on building the studio and gear ?
Have you done other things like this?
No this is a first for me, although now I've started I seem unable to stop !
What did you wish you knew before you started this?
The amount of trial and error that would be involved.
You are generally working in uncharted waters building things like this and no one has written a book yet telling you the right and wrong way to do things.
Are there plans available to make this? Do you sell this?
There are no plans available but I have considered writing some form of useful information archive for anyone that would like to attempt similar things.
I have also designed a unique single solenoid string plucker and dampener unit that can be 3d printed and might make this design available to others.
I have just finished building a robotic vibraphone (vibraphones are big) and now I am probably going to focus on building some small self contained flight case instruments that can be used to take into schools etc to try and encourage kids to get into building stuff ?
Tools I used to build TotemRecall included: Mig Welder, grinder, drills, Soldering iron, a good bench vice, table saw, chop saw and numerous hand tools.
Finding information is quite difficult for this sort of thing, but I did find myself watching videos on Youtube to try and see how some others had gone about doing things.
There weren't that many of us doing this sort of thing when I started 4 years ago although it seems to be getting more popular now. There are some really nice people out there that will welcome and encourage you with open arms, and believe me you'll need encouragement !
Notable mentions for me are the fantastic "Hackoustic" collective in London, and the brilliant "Moritz Simon Geist" who constantly astonishes me with his creativity !