Saturday, November 14, 2009

mmm, analog pie

My office, the official HQ of the UCSD Computer Audition Lab, is full of servers, monitors and academic papers. But it was decidedly lacking in cool musical and electrical devices necessary for a real "laboratory". All that changed last month when I finally fixed my Paia Theremax theremin and Brian setup his old Paia 4700 analog synth.

We've been making some pretty crazy sounds (I hooked the theremin output to the synth's filter for some awesome effects) and finally, we've got a lab worthy of the mad science we do! The guys in the office next door aren't quite so excited...

Most bands are used to getting their reference tuning from the piano / keyboard player. But one of the trickiest tasks was tuning the keyboard:

Adjusting a potentiometer behind each key changes it's output voltage and thus its pitch. Of course, then you still have to tune the oscillators... I don't know how anyone ever performed with these things.

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