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With André Lima and Rodolfo Ribas



Technical colaboration: Joel Grigolo and Lucas Zawacki from Matehackers Hackerspace

New technologies are definitely transforming our lives and the way we interact with people in different environments. Specially in the last fifteen years,  in terms of scientific research for the development of new technologies for musical expression (  and artistic performance, researchers and musicians from all over the world have shared their knowledge and recent work on new performing interface design.

Inspired on that new possibilities, this project emerged from the scratch having in mind the challenge of creating a solution for a band to rehearsal at home without noise. One alternative was the idea of transmitting sound via FM radio waves instead of having loud speakers, with something similar to the idea of the ubiquitous music

It was the birth of the project that would become a multimedia artistic performance entitled Gambiarrádio, presented for the first time at Escola Caseira de Invenções (Home-made School for Invention), part of the educational project of the 9th edition of Mercosul Biennial (, in 2013. In 2014, inside the prize winning Projeto Casa Grande (, in partnership with the maker group Matehackers Hackerspace (, we have established the GR, which got a new dimension with insertion of a tiny low-cost affordable computer, \textit{Raspberry Pi}. Today new challenges arises as master degree project: turning GR into a multipurpose tool.

Gambiarádio was initially a set of different tools to transmit sound from an audio mixer via FM radio waves. The idea was to enable live performances that are audible only to the listeners. This is done by plugging only electric and electronic instruments into the audio mixer and spreading its signals wirelessly. The idea originated from a trio of amateur musicians  who wanted to play music just for fun without worrying about if they were disturbing the neighbors. 

After they started to use the FM transmitter they called the rehearsals/performances Silent Gigs. After performing the Silent Gigs for one year, they understood that it had the potential to be a platform for musicians to improvise in long jams without bothering anyone, giving the public the power to decide if they wanted  to listen to the sound or not. In that way, they gave birth to Gambirrádio: a democratic tool for live experimental music performances. Therefore, what was first simply a home solution for the trio became a platform for long improvised gigs in which random musicians could play together and exchange instruments, even without knowing each other.

The actual Gambiarrádio system is based on a Raspberry Pi (a low cost minicomputer created at Cambridge University as part of an educational project) programed to transmit audio by FM radio waves, and follows the free software philosophy. First versions were divided in too many parts, including external mixer and amplifier, so they weren't portable. The goal now is to achieve a modular and portable structure, with a base module composed by the battery and subsequent modules assembled by demand (This modular logic for the equipment was proposed by Joel Grigolo, from Matehackers Hackerspace, which keep being partner in this project). 

Text extracted from the origina article publicated in 2015 SBCM Proceedings:



Exemplo da qualidade da transmissão do dispositivo Gambiarrádio Educacional, no atual estágio do protótipo como parte da pesquisa Gambiarrádio Educacional: um dispositivo livre para transmissão de áudio via ondas de rádio FM no contexto da educação, que está sendo desenvolvida no Mestrado Profissional em Informática na Educação, no IFRS - Campus Porto Alegre.

Áudio de improvisação musical de Estêvão da Fontoura (baixo) e Rodolfo Ribas (guitarra) gravado pelo aplicativo de Rádio FM de um smartphone recebendo o sinal enviado pelo protótipo de Gambiarrádio Educacional.

Jam com Gambiarrádio - 17.02.17 - Estêvão da Fontoura (baixo) e Rodolfo Ribas (guitarra)
00:00 / 00:00
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