Electronic Musical Instrument Design

Spring, 2014 • Assignments

Assignment is due on specified date

April 9 (actually, April 8 at 11:59 pm)

Written reports and team evaluation
Refer to the reports in the course pack to see models.
What they should include: design goals, parts used, circuit modifications, and functionality of the Max patch and Reason rack. Problems encountered and how they were solved (or not); what you would do differently; what you might do if you were to continue to work on the project.
Also include (this will be kept confidential) a summary of which team members, including yourself, did which tasks, and how well they fulfilled their roles. Also include whether you think there were skills underrepresented in your group.

All reports must be written individually, but you may share materials, e.g., photos, screen dumps, diagrams.

March 24

Read: NIME articles: Bardos, Cook, Dannenberg, Funk, Melo, Allen

Sunday, March 9, 11 pm: First project proposal due by email.

Mar 10

Mid-term exam is due at class time.

Read in course pack: Wiimote article

Mar 5

Read in course pack: "The Wind Cries MIDI"
Read in course pack: "The griDJ MIDI grid system"
Read in course pack: “The Laser Harp
Read online: http://www.tufts.edu/programs/mma/emid/projectreportsS07/drumpantsfein.doc
Read online: http://www.tufts.edu/programs/mma/emid/projectreportsS05/SchwinnophoneWolinski.doc
Watch these videos:


Mar 3

: Go through the Gesture/sensor list posted here and think of sensors for each movement. Fill in the list and e-mail it to the instructor before 9 pm, Sunday March 2.

: Do Max Tutorials: Basics>Encapsulation, Remote Messaging, Timing, Controlling Data Flow; Data>List Processing (it's long!)
Lab: do a more complex Max patch

Read: Tips for Max by Phil Acimovic

Feb 26

Read: article on variable resistors
Read: Electronics Club article on switches: http://electronicsclub.info/switches.htm
Read: Article on Sharp IR sensors: http://www.acroname.com/robotics/info/articles/sharp/sharp.html
Read: Analog Devices paper on capacitive sensing
Read: Sparkfun catalog on softpots: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8607 and https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8678

Feb 24

Additional assignment!
Create an original Max patch using the MPD or Oxygen keyboard, linked to Reason. Remap notes and controllers as you like in Max.

Additional readings:
Read: sensorsandcircuits.pdf, everybody read through page 10, engineers read to page 24
Read: PowerPoint presentation by Roberto Aimi, sensors4music2008.ppt.htm

Do Max Tutorials (launch Max, look under Help menu for "Max Tutorials")
Basics: Hello through Keyboard & Mouse input;
MIDI: Basics, Note Management, Parsing
Make sure you don't save over Tutorial patches!! If you want to save your versions of them, use Save As...

Feb 19

Read Lehrman: Report on NIME for SoundOnSound (long version) online
Lehrman: Performing Musician NIME 2009 in course pack
Lab: do something with MPD and one or more Reason modules. Save your MPD patch!

No class Monday Feb 17

Feb 12

Lab: Make a Subtractor patch, starting from scratch or from another patch, that uses the Oxygen controls in an interesting way.
Make an NN19 patch, using samples from Reason's own library or samples from the "sounds" folder inside the "Useful stuff..." folder on the desktop. Or bring in sounds of your own (AIFF, WAV, not MP3) on a flash drive or downloaded from somewhere else.

Note: If you don't have much Reason experience, you might want to connect with Jasper, Ruben, Brian, Chris, or Nate and have them work with you in the lab.
Read on computers: Reason 5 Getting Started , chapter 3—p.28, and Reason 6 Operation manual chapter 29, 32, and 18 (in that order).
Read in course pack: “Sample Solutions”

Feb 10 (Vessela Stoyanova visit)

Read online http://www.tufts.edu/programs/mma/emid/IRCAM/Goldstein.pdf

Feb 3

Read online Tanaka: Sensor-based instruments sections 1-7

Jan 29

Read: "What Is MIDI" part 3
Samchillian article in course pack
Synth School in course pack

Jan 27

Make a table of physical gestures.
There are three columns on the table:
• physical gesture
• a musical gesture in common use that uses that physical gesture (can be more than one, or leave blank if you can't think of any)
• a musical gesture that you can imagine would use that physical gesture (can be more than one)
Include at least three gestures for each of these parts of the body:
Head    Mouth    Neck & Shoulders    Arms
Hands & Fingers  Torso & Hips    Legs    Feet

Template is here. Save your version as a Word document and email it to the instructor before Sunday 9 pm.

Read in course pack:
Profile: Michel Waisvisz
Article "The Outer Limits" - it's long!
Get "What Is MIDI" from the music department main office, Read Parts 1 & 2

Jan 22

Read in course pack:
• Wilkinson chapters 1 ("Musical Physics" pp 2-5) and 2 "Synthesis" (pp 9-15, up to "Physical Modeling"). Even if you have read this for another class, it's good to review it anyway!
• "Bikes Harps & Yo-Yos " (also on line here [pdf])
• “The Fanciest Washboard…” (also online here)