In my previous Theremin article, I described the first of my laser Theremin projects: the LASERVox. This is a simple-to-construct Theremin-like device that acts as a MIDI controller for a synthesizer. In that article, I discussed the possibility of a more analog style laser Theremin that has its own built-in synthesizer or pitch generator. That’s the topic of this article! We’ll build the FLiPVox: a continuous pitch laser Theremin with its own mini synthesizer.
The Theremin, invented by Leon Theremin (Lev Termen) in Russia in October 1920, was one of the first electronic musical instruments. It’s also the very first instrument of any type that you play without touching it in any way. An expert Thereminist can play as expressively as a violinist or cellist. If you want an instrument with violin levels of sensitivity, then a regular Theremin is for you. If you want an instrument that’s easier to play and that can control your MIDI synthesizer, then that is precisely what the LASERVox offers. The LASERVox is a perfect project for the novice because it’s a real instrument that can be built very easily with just a handful of components.
The complexity and sophistication of the electronic hardware required to recover composite baseband signals in the FM band is beyond the capability of most experimenters. However, modern digital signal processing software, capable PCs, and inexpensive software defined radio (SDR) hardware can now be easily combined to receive the information in these broadcasts. Learn how to combine this hardware, software, and your PC to build SDRs to receive FM radio broadcasts and more.
As a final class project for our “Digital Systems Design Using Microcontrollers” course we all took last semester at Cornell University, we created a very unique device. We wanted to design something fun, aesthetically pleasing, and interactive, and since we all enjoy listening to music, we decided on a music visualizer. Our vision was to create a unit that listens to music being played, then in real time displays a dynamic and colorful visual representation of the music based on the volume and pitch of the notes. Additionally, our music visualizer provides an alternate avenue for experiencing music for the hearing impaired. Here’s how we did it, so you can make one too!
There are situations where a low output impedance to A headphones is required. This article discusses three different versions of headphone amps to fit your particular application: a stereo amp powered by the power line; a battery-operated mono amp for a crystal set; and a battery-operated amp for a ceramic cartridge.
I decided to make an electronic musical toy as a Christmas gift for my young son. I browsed the Web looking for inspiration and found the stylophone: a miniature analog stylus-operated keyboard that was invented in 1967 by Brian Jarvis. My unique take on it combines music and writing to make learning fun!
This project is a follow-on from my MIDI lyre project featured in the July-August magazine. I’m going to describe how to build a MIDI autoharp. Like the lyre, this is a MIDI controller, so it doesn’t make any sounds itself. Instead, it sends MIDI messages to an external synthesizer. It’s the synthesizer that makes the sounds.