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Independent project documentation

I found inspiration for making a synth in the things made by Tim Kaiser and the aesthetics of noise music. Tim Kaiser builds these beautiful looking custom made effects pedals, synth boxes, and modified and completely original instruments, many of them housed and adorned in old and forgotten materials of older ages and generations. I was excited by the idea that anyone could make these things. I wanted to make something like this that I could call my own and be used as an instrument. The aesthetics of noise music also emphasizes the DIY approach to making sounds. Would you rather spend tons of money on professionally made electronic equipment, or build it yourself for much less and learn much more in the process?

And it's also about that Radiohead adage, that "anyone can play the guitar." Anyone can twist some knobs, or connect pedals to make a feedback loop, and in the process have fun with sound. Musicians and artists are commonly mythologized as the only people that have a right to make music or create art, when that's not really the case. I think John Cage and the early pioneers of sound art and experimental music were on to something when they dispelled that myth and attempted to close the gap between listener and performer.

Here is a short, badly recorded example of the sounds created by the synth box, in this case wired so that three signal generator circuits generating sine and triangle waveforms are routed into the same output to modulate each other:
Download file

In the process, I've short circuited entire systems, snapped plenty of wires, and cursed at myself countless times. I've also learned that coffee does not help you solder, but a few beers will steady your hand and make the process all that more enjoyable. Just plan out what you're going to do before you start drinking! I've learned about the characteristics of sine, triangle, and square waveforms, and how they act when interacting with each other, and how to power multiple circuits with the same power source, and how to read circuit diagrams to figure out what resistors on the circuits would be good points to alter (in effect circuit bend) in order to get even more out modifiable sounds of a signal generator. I'm now studying circuit theory and planning on making my own diagrams and boards in the future, to give an idea of where I've been taken in this line of inquirrrrry. There's a very interesting world contained in these ridiculous looking cities of copper lines, resistors, capacitors, transistors, and so on.

On another note, I read this the other day about Russian experimental composer Arseny Mikhailovich Avraamov:

His most famous work was Simfoniya gudkov (Гудкова? ?имфони?, "Symphony of factory sirens"). This piece involved choirs, factory sirens, cannons, foghorns, artillery guns, machine guns, hydro-airplanes, steam whistle machine, and conducted by a team of conductors using flags and pistols. It was performed only once in 1923 in the city of Baku.

If I had loads of money or some ridiculous grant and the physics knowledge of how sound waves travel from planes, I would create a composition made for fifty planes to fly in exact locations and at certain speeds and engine settings in the sky to create the most beautiful, droning ambient composition in the world. "Music for aeroplanes." That's all!

Comments

Hello Diane, I'm trying to post all my projects, including my last one, but can't figure it out how to do it.