Overhead view of the whole setup
Arduino wired up for interpreting MIDI codes and output signals to the surface transducer
Arduino processing MIDI code and generating a signal, seen on the scope. Transducer on right conducting sound through bubblewrap and glass.
We like analog things. We feel that they are under appreciated these days, and we wanted to show off some of what they can do.
What it does
It distorts sound by passing it through physical objects.
How we built it
We put contact microphones on stuff, and then we put a surface transducer on the stuff.
Then we wrote an Arduino-based synthesizer that works off a MIDI signal from a keyboard we found at the thrift store.
The synth was all the work.
Challenges we ran into
The Arduino wouldn't read the MIDI signal, possibly due to an incorrect circuit diagram we were referencing. Somehow it sorted itself out in the end.
The Arduino's clock rate was pretty slow for the kinds of signals we were trying to generate. So we can only synthesize square waves. When we attempted fancier waveforms we ran into the sample rate cap and the signals got all nasty.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Making a synthesizer.
Having what we feel is a genuinely interesting idea of listening to what happens when sound passes through stuff and using that to make audio filters out of anything.
What we learned
We learned a lot about analog signals, and gained intuition for how they're generated. Use of oscilloscopes for troubleshooting circuit and signals problems.
What's next for Analog Squared
Really we just need naps. We'll see how we feel about it after some naps.
But before we get to those naps, we're excited to share Analog Squared with you! Come on by the hardware area near tables 21 and 22 to check in out!