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Wanting to make a physical tuning-fork instrument, servos ?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Wanting to make a physical tuning-fork instrument, servos ?
Midiot
I have a bunch of tuning forks, and a retro repurposed acoustically good wood box.
I can mount the "forks" so they "sing" a note when struck by a servo or whatever. Several forks could be struck at the same time as a "chord".

I'll assume one or more piezo transducers are needed to collect the sound and send it to my mixer. (other option is an audible microphone).
I know that the Bastil company was making servos and transducer units . as well as Koma's "Field Kit".

Any recommendations or examples ?
Mungo
Midiot wrote:
I have a bunch of tuning forks, and a retro repurposed acoustically good wood box.
I can mount the "forks" so they "sing" a note when struck by a servo or whatever. Several forks could be struck at the same time as a "chord".

I'll assume one or more piezo transducers are needed to collect the sound and send it to my mixer. (other option is an audible microphone).
I know that the Bastil company was making servos and transducer units . as well as Koma's "Field Kit".

Any recommendations or examples ?
A servo is probably the wrong thing to use as you want a sharp strike. A solenoid driven hammer could work, but with magnetic properties a tuning fork can be excited directly with a magnetic field:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Magnetically_excited_tuning_fo rk.png
Have a pulse sent through that coil and its similar to striking the fork.
Midiot
Thanks Mungo.
So perhaps it's a strike from an arm that's inches away from the servo's mag field ? (I realize that might incur some lag, timing-wise)
butter
Have you seen the Jackalope?
https://www.awonderfulkindofimpossible.co.uk/awonderfulkindofimpossibl e/2018/7/18/the-jackalope-20-preorders-now-open

More basic than what you seem to be planning, its just a piezo with a manually struck fork...
Midiot
Continuing this discussion,
Can small tuning forks be resonated by an electromagnetic field ? ....like an "EBow" does to guitar strings ?
Midiot
....except, like the EBow, this can't touch the fork (or it needs a harmonic point).
Maybe spinning magnets and/or a hall sensor. ??
Midiot
Could an old speaker driver be used to vibrate the ferrous fork, with correct or needed freqs ?

https://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/threads/tuning-fork-oscillator-any- ideas.28973/
Midiot
Here's a microphone'd pickup......with tuning fork(s)....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuqaQqmtzXs


or this...... https://www.eiscolabs.com/collections/sound-resonance/products/ph0746c nc
hox3d
Tom Whitwell wrote an article in Medium about a kalimba with titanium bicycles spokes.

It a nice idea, and he simply uses piezos.
It seems to work quite well.

edit: forgot the link
commodorejohn
I'm surprised nobody's pointed out yet that this is essentially what an oldschool electric tine piano (Rhodes, Wurlitzer) is.
EATyourGUITAR
you can do the mic and the excitation with a single piezo but you need to be super smart at building electronics and writing software.
jorg
commodorejohn wrote:
I'm surprised nobody's pointed out yet that this is essentially what an oldschool electric tine piano (Rhodes, Wurlitzer) is.


Well, it would be a "player electric piano," wouldn't it?
jorg
Midiot wrote:
Continuing this discussion,
Can small tuning forks be resonated by an electromagnetic field ? ....like an "EBow" does to guitar strings ?


Possibly. I see that tuning forks come in ferrous (steel) and non-ferrous (aluminum) varieties. What are yours made of?

You could get the solenoids that are used in washing machines; they're pretty cheap as repair parts. Then either rig them up to mechanically strike the forks, or glue the plungers in place and use them to generate magnetic pulses to stimulate the forks. You could probably shape the magnetic pulse to get different attack timbres.
chuckg
get some old doorbells out of the dump...
Bartimaeus
As with old-school electric pianos, you'll probably be better off using a pickup per string rather than piezos.
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