Open Audio Communities: Sharing the knowledge

With Astrid Bin, Johannes Taelman, Olivier Gillet and Tom Whitwell. Moderated by Tony Nwachukwu.

A lot has been written and spoken about open source software and its role within the music making ecosystem. But what exactly is open source hardware and what kind of benefits does it bring to music makers? The panel members are all part of ‘open audio communities’ - hardware manufacturers who have eschewed the traditional proprietary approach to product development, and instead chosen to build products that are sharable and customizable. How does this work in practice for the communities and the developers?

Speaking with key developers and research communities, the session will highlight the various benefits this open approach can have, both in terms of the development and evolution of the music tools themselves, as well as the knock on effects on jobs, teaching and training opportunities. The panel will be made up of some of Europe’s key movers in open source hardware, including Music Thing Modular, Augmented Instruments Lab and Axoloti. The session will examine some of the results this sharable technology has achieved, as well as thoughts around hackable instruments - how communities subvert the original intention of specific instruments.