I have been keeping an open mind for my project and I’ve found a few things interest me most. One being circular representation of sequencing, as well as simple ways to create organic and new sounds.
Example 1: Orbit by LDM Design
This is a really interesting project because it is all done in the code/design which I find really clever. This is beneficial because the hardware system is already really robust. The placing of the buttons on the perimeter of the circle in the grid is another great design choice, despite the issue of making a circular module in a grid system.
Example 2: Pocket Operators by Teenage Engineering
Teenage Engineering have somewhat of a cult following in the music hardware space. They produced the OP-1 which is one of the most popular modern hardware synths, and it is known for its small form factor with surprisingly powerful sounds. There is a really strong learning curve to that device but once mastered it is pretty intuitive. I wanted to design something more simple and easy to play around with. That’s when I stumbled upon the Pocket Operators they produce. I love the playfulness of the design and how easy it looks to start playing around.
Example 3: Circuit Mono Station by Novation
I really enjoy this device’s design because it has a nice mix of pads to buttons. There is a 4×8 grid of pads with some simple/standard synthesizer controls on top, all in a pretty small form factor.
Example 4: Seaboard Block- Roli
The seaboard block by Roli is also really interesting to me when it comes to creating unique sound because it lets you bend between the pitches of the notes effortlessly. Seeing one of these played well really makes the case for always having that sort of flexibility on the keys but does require quite a bit of practice to master.
Who is it for?
I want my project to be used by anyone looking to create unique sonic textures for use in music production. It has to be intuitive and I don’t want to use a piano as the input. Therefore music skills are not necessarily required. I am definitely a part of the group this is intended for and can help test it myself.
I want to find a new way for musical/sonic expression through the use of analog and digital technologies. I will reverse engineer multiple old devices and use their strengths to bring character & nuance to the digital world. It will be a device lacking a piano or traditional acoustic sound and instead come from electronic devices.
My vision is a novel instrument that creates sound like no other device. It will be a tabletop instrument with a tape recorder and various buttons/parts from other devices.
For my final I built upon some of the work I’ve made this semester. I made a randomized sound looper, that changing uses the alphabet and a 10print operation to display whats currently playing.
When you press a key, a 9 second sound file I created will be triggered. In order to keep the sounds together, they do not play until the looper restarts. This is something I will improve on in further versions as it can be time consuming to always wait 9 seconds to hear changes to what is going on.
I built on my LetterToNum class and object definitions to attach letters to music files I imported.
I made all of the sounds in Presonus Studio One, at 107bpm. There are wurlitzer, drum, guitar, jazz organ, and bass tracks.
The motor I will be mounting is an electrical shutter driver. It has a small motor that takes 5V and opens the shutter mechanism. As long as voltage is supplied it will open.
From the front you can see the mounting space for the shutter. I have two 3/4″ mounting holes to further secure the shutter.
I created the viewfinder based on a rangefinder camera I took apart. This gives about a 35mm view from the beginning of the focal plane.
Below you can see my snap fit design. There is a very small gap between the components and a chamfered edge on the lid. This way it will stay locked but isn’t so hard to get into place.
I modeled the film holder after the original Minolta 16 design.
The two pieces on the side will be glued after and will be used to advance the film.
I measured and added a oled screen hole to display shutter speed and battery life. There are four m3 screw holes to mount this display. There is also a hole for the rotary encoder that will control the shutter speed.
For materials and fasteners, I decided to attach the wooden camera handle I made with my 3d printed camera housing. This is PLA with wood that I’ve carved and stained. First I needed to measure holes for the threads in the handle. I knew I would be going through many iterations of the camera body so glue didn’t make any sense. I have a kit of m3, m4, and m5 screws and bought some threaded inserts at Tinkershere. The screws are m3’s and I drilled a hole in the wood hat would barely fit the insert, and then I hammered it in tight.
I used my Dremel to make the curves more pronounced and pleasing to grip in the palm area. I then smoothed everything as much as i could before moving on to sanding.
I used 80 and 120 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface.
I stained the wood after sanding with red chestnut, which is an oil based penetrating wood stain.
I was really happy with how dark the color of the handle turned out. I did two coats to make sure it kept as much of that as possible.
I used two m3 screws to fasten the handle to the body of the camera.
This is a quick layout of where some of the electronics will be in the final design with the motorized shutter.
For my project enclosure I decided to finally house an old project of mine. My roommate and I created an automatic watering system for plants with a sunken reservoir. This would take water in through one hose and pump it through the output house into the water basin.
I took a trip to the hardware store and I was immediately inspired by the electrical boxes. I thought it would make a great enclosure for our system based on size and mounting holes. I found a plate with an S hook that would be used to attach the box to any plant base.
The look of the electrical boxes isn’t too pleasing so I decided to paint it with one shot. I was told that this would be the best paint for metal. Although the fact that these boxes will be used indoors only I probably could have spray painted it.
After installing the S hook on the outside, I began measuring for a 3d printed piece. This would enclose the large opening but leave room for two hoses.
I modeled and printed the piece.
This is what the enclosure looks like hanging off the side of the planter.