Sound Spiral Prototype – Working Video (12/06/2009)

The sound spiral is working!

The recently assembled sound spiral.

The recently assembled sound spiral.

Project Overview – Anybody should be able to pick up an instrument and start playing. It shouldn’t take hundreds of hours of lessons before an instrument is learned and a player can enjoy the act of playing. Why not build a device that improves the experience of making music? The sound spiral does this by arranging notes in a way that makes playing harmonious chords and octaves simple to play; so simple that it happens spontaneously and accidentally.

Technology – The sound spiral is a hand-made prototype which uses an Arduino micro-controller to link an array of reed switches to a laptop computer. The laptop runs a music program that both plays the notes and visualizes the notes as they are played. A user holds magnets or magnetic wands to interact with the physical device and activate any of the 72 unique notes arranged in 3d spiral form.

What’s Next – An custom magnetic wand is still being made to make playing the sound spiral even easier. Multiple wands are available for two handed playing or for use by multiple players simultaneously. In addition, one wired wand will be made that connects to the base of the device and includes a push button on its handle. When pressed, the sound spiral enters “chord mode” and any single key press will active the sequence of notes in a 1 – 3 – 5 chord.

Sound Spiral Prototype – Working Video from Noah King on Vimeo.

Here is the sound spiral in action. After being assembled and tested, this is its first working video.