We’ve followed open source hardware – and generally hardware that is more open to user customization and modification – on this site since the beginning. As I prepare for a talk on theMeeBlip at Berlin’s Create Art & Technology Conference, though, I think it’s time to do a proper survey of the hardware that’s out there.
The ability to modify music gear is something that’s important to a lot of people as musicians. It means the ability to learn how the technology we use works, and therefore to have a deeper musical and compositional understanding of it. And it can mean the ability to make music hardware more expressive of your sonic imagination and creative ideas. Finally, it adds an additional avenue through which you can share your understanding and use and modification of musical instruments with other people.
There are a few efforts right now to try and get a list of all the open-source hardware, I think that might be impossible at this point – so lists of specific types (like music) sounds like an attainable goal :)