Jul 272011

Fire House Detroit Pyrophone

We were excited to learn that a recently-purchased DecaBox MIDI to DMX converter was used as part of Gregory Holm’s Fire House Detroit Project.

One of their technicians phoned for advice a few days ago, and the conversation went something like this:

“We’re planning to use your box in a pyrophone.”

“A what?”

“You know, we’re driving a whole bunch of propane flame effects from a MIDI sequencer, and your box is the interface. It’s like a xylophone, but with fire.”

Here’s a ‘backstage’ picture taken from inside the firehouse, which shows the DecaBox, some MIDI equipment and the various gas manifolds and valves used:

DecaBox MIDI to DMX Converter Drives Propane Flame Effects

What a neat project! Here are a couple articles published by the local news.  I’ve not seen any video clips yet, but hopefully something will appear over the next few weeks.

Kind words from Ron the technician:

I was involved in a project called Firehouse Detroit as a MIDI tech. My task was to set up a basic midi keyboard to control The Incredible Pyrophone, which is essentially a propane torch-powered pipe organ. We used the Decabox to convert MIDI information into DMX signals, which were used to open valves and fire the Pyrophone. The user interface on the decabox could not be simpler, I was able to integrate the box into the setup without referencing the user manual once.

When I encountered a problem and had to call the manufacturer for help, they were very helpful and offered several ideas. The problem was solved and John from Response-Box called the following morning to check up – a rare thing these days. I will definitely be working with Response-Box again and will be keeping an eye on their product development.

-Ron Zakrin
Artist, Composer, and Pyrophonist!

If you’ve done something cool with your DecaBox, we’d love to hear about it.  Use the ‘contact’ link at the top of this page for telephone and email information.  And be sure to join our mailing list (top right corner, no spam!) to hear about new firmware personalities and product development.



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