On the verge of music and engineering: home-made instruments


People who are fond of music, probably always wanted to create your own musical instruments with special design and original sound. If you know a little physics, the word “engineering” you are not alien, but from mathematical formulas skin doesn’t run frost – forward to the experiments! Students at Yale center for engineering innovation and design has proven that every idea can be translated into reality if we sincerely want it.

Already accustomed to that in time for Christmas choirs and choir schools of the United States sing carols on campus. And in December 2014 was really surprised representatives of the Yale center for engineering innovation and design (CEID), which was playing reggae music on unique instruments. Each of them was designed and manufactured by students on the new direction – “Musical acoustics and instrument-making”.

“We studied the scientific basis of musical settings simultaneously with the physics of different oscillatory systems, said Konrad Kaczmarek, a composer and lecturer of the Department of music. But unlike most courses, students then investigated the acoustic properties, creating your own tools”. So there was an elective course with ample opportunities for learning that goes well beyond theory.

“Our goal was to create their own musical instrument, said Larry Vilen, a designer’s guide to CEID and senior research fellow, school of engineering and applied Sciences. – We have taught students to use engineering tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters and SolidWorks – a computer program that allows you not only to create three-dimensional objects, but also to analyze structural integrity and even the actual modes dynamic frequency vibrating solids.”

During the semester in the laboratory of the CEID was created xylophones, simple wind and string instruments, and then e – using special software to control the microprocessor. Students also had the opportunity to improve their design skills.

“When you have a new idea, at the same time you realize that you can produce something completely original, believes Villaines. – These changes deepen your understanding of the physical basis of the instrument is much more than equations on the Board, explains this concept”.

Symphony of creation



The final assignment students were to create your own tool. “Final draft is the result of the realization of our ideas,’ said one of the students. – Each piece became a manifestation of personal aptitudes and interests”.

A Prime example Lothlоritar a stringed instrument that produces sounds only when it is played by 2 person at the same time. “I wanted to create something that would inspire cooperation,” said Creator tool Catherine Jameson.

The invention of another student – Clip-B-Audio. Rachel Perfecto wanted to really portray the music. Girl-inspired invention called the Drawdio. She learned that an electric current can pass through the graphite of a pencil, in particular, the lines drawn on the paper. Attaching the wires from the microprocessor to the pencil and the metal brackets to the clipboard, it created an electrical circuit. The line connected the pencil with bracket, and lines drawn near the clamp, producing a large current, therefore, were given higher scores. “I’m interested in showing his invention to friends of artistic faculties. I wonder what will come of this,” said Rachel.

New sounds

Not one student was inspired by musical instruments of past centuries. The cellist Pravat Trairatvorakul found a Muse in Teren, one of the first electronic instruments, which is played by using 2 antennas. This concept guy applied to the cello, instead of strings touch the fretboard using a connected potentiometer, to understand what the note wants to take a musician. So Potenciello may sacrati anyone familiar with the cello.

Many students decided to create new sounds. Victor Liu has developed a computer program that changes the guitar sounds on synthesizer, Julian Soros – tool, which converts the light pulses into musical notes.

Search for new sound – an urgent problem for those who write songs for movies. Jordan Plotner decided to create an instrument that will make sounds that are formed when the blowing into the bottle. His name is Helmholtz”s Harmonious Homebrew. For project Plotner used 12 bottles filled with water (but in different amounts), and during the creation of design student used a 3D printer.

For Villena was not strange that he became an advanced user of a 3D printer. “Musicians, physicists, and biologists has done excellent job. Over the semester they became experienced engineers and amazing performers. Each student was able to realize their dreams and ideas,” he said.

So go ahead to experiment! Perhaps your musical instrument learns the whole world!

Original: YaleNews.

Photo: stock-up.

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