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Aether Machine: R&D updates
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Author Aether Machine: R&D updates
Consolidating my new ideas into one thread. (Sequencer has jumped a few places down in the queue for now.)

I believe more experienced synth makers say never to announce anything until you are ready to ship but designing circuits is a terribly insular thing to do and I'm excited to talk about where my work is leading.

Long story short, I've found a way to solve partial differential equations in analogue. This sounds kind of dull but this is a pretty big deal and opens up a whole new class of equations to be solved with super cool musical circuits.

This will result in at least 2 new modules.

The first is a dual state variable filter which resonates according to the properties of a vibrating string. It was also possible to slim the module down into a single,and solve the wave equation in 3 dimensions, which would have simulated a drum head, but 2 strings is where my intuition and experimentation led.

The next one is a bit further behind in the queue. This dual module, solves fluid flow in 3 dimensions. In other words it will simulate the way a physical system such as a fluid transfers energy, two tuneable controls change the size of the physical medium on the x axis and y axis. My immediate thoughts regarding musical use would be when used for low frequency modulation. It would need to be driven, in the same way that some of Ian Fritz's driven chaos circuits are. In fact that was the precursor to this work, I however did not find chaos circuits satisfying, as they are relatively stable through most of their operating region, except at the bifurcation point where the oscillation splits into 1 of 2 radical changes. I prefer the idea of turbulence, which bridges the gap between chaos and order. Controls for fluid viscosity are not unlike damping or resonance.

Rather than cramming onboard driving signals into the box, I am designing the module to work in symphony with the 311C Controller, or perhaps an envelope or other oscillator. Current research is into whether I can extend the functionality to include compressible flow which is how transfer of energy in gases works (water is at a constant density), I think that one would be very interesting at audio rates.

Stay tuned!
So I tore it up and started again today.

Now more complex filter which will do vibrating drum head resonance, so I changed the name to Mutant Skin accordingly.

These are some of the resonant modes.

Nice! It would be interesting to get more percussion modules that weren't tied to either ROM or classic electronic drum types. (Roland and the like.) I love all that, but they're all well represented.
J3RK wrote:
Nice! It would be interesting to get more percussion modules that weren't tied to either ROM or classic electronic drum types. (Roland and the like.) I love all that, but they're all well represented.

Thanks, I'll probably publish the schematic for the vibrating string circuit once I've got the drum head one shipping.

It's actually not really intended for use percussively. My imagined use is as a filter with a complex harmonic overtone spectra in it's resonance, but of course you could use it to "ping" with a DC square wave.

Yeah I think the Roland style drums that emulate the limitations of physical drums don't make much sense in a limitless electronic system. It was nice to hear some artists like Richard Scott make absolutely pounding electronic music without using obvious drum sounds. I always believed it was possible but never heard anyone do it so well.
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