Hackers in Residence - The ElectricBone

Contributors: Carlos E. Mello
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Resources and Going Further

This first experiment with trombone simulation was certainly not comprehensive, but served as proof of concept for the project. Obviously, the implementation, even at this early stage calls for many improvements, on which I will work from now on, as time allows. To start with, the sensitivity of the Sound Detector needs to be adjusted to work better with the mouthpiece buzzing. I also need to figure out a meaningful way to associate the envelope information with standard MIDI events, in order to use traditional synthesizers for output. Another improvement on output would be to implement trombone glissandi with pitchbend messages. Then, of course, there is the pitch detection algorithm, which will allow the player to control sound entirely from blowing/buzzing into it. This will involve perfecting the Puredata code, making it work on the Pi, and connecting all that with the Arduino-controlled sensors. Hopefully, with lots of work (and some luck), this prototype will become an actual, expressive musical instrument in the near future... and I can't wait to start making music with it!

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Carlos and part of the SFE Engineering Team

For more music related fun, check out these other SparkFun tutorials: