Buddha Machine

buddha machine

buddha machines

The Buddha Machine is a small musical loop player released by FM3, a China-based music duo. The name and idea derived from a popular Chinese music player that intones repeating loops of Buddhist chanting. The Buddha Machine continuously plays one of 9 ambient sound loops (drones) that range in length from 5 to 40 seconds. Resembling a small transistor radio, the device has a volume control that doubles as an on/off switch; a headphone jack; a 4.5V AC adapter jack; and a switch that, when moved, selects the next of 9 ambient loops. In 2008, the second edition (version 2.0) was released commercially; it replaces the original nine loops with nine new ones (totaling approximately 300 seconds of sound), and includes a new control that allows the user to alter the pitch of the sound.

In 2009, FM3 Productions Ltd released an iPhone app that has similar functionality to the real device. It has the option to select from version 1.0 or version 2.0 of the device and a single button that selects the loop to play. Also that year, Throbbing Gristle & Industrial Records released their version of the Buddha Machine, ‘Gristleism,’ with more loops and almost twice the frequency range of the Buddha Machine. In 2010, FM3 released the third generation Buddha Machine, titled Chan Fang. The music is divided into four loops which were composed and performed on the Gu Qin, an ancient Chinese classical instrument.

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