We have been amazed by [Vladimir Demin]’s work twice now. Originally, with his automatic Bayan, and more recently with his amazing automatic guitar. What you didn’t get to see was how pleasant ant fun [Valdimir] was in his email correspondence with us. You will get a chance though, because [Vladimir] agreed to answer some questions for us in an impromptu email interview. Join us after the break to get to know this fascinating gentleman a little bit better.
[Vladimir] was very apologetic about his language skills in this interview. It goes without saying, english is not his first language. That being the case, we think he’s doing pretty well. We debated about wether or not to paraphrase to clean up his english and spelling. I felt that I would remove too much of his personality. Here are his responses, un-edited.
1. What kind of machining equipment do you use? (cnc, traditional, hand tools?)
I using simple hand tools, and most of all to use a drill.
All did only by my hand.
By example,I have to drill holes more than 3,000! with high accuracy,or tolerances.
below,in this video, I sometimes show my equipment.
By the way, I recommend for your readers look the video.
It is famous old Russian song.I (or guitar?) have made very good sound like original.
2. What is your education? Did you go to school to learn this or teach yourself?
I have higher education, my main job is to design electronic circuits
with a microprocessor, and then design and develop different software for them.
And music-robots is my outside interest like hobby .
3. Where are you located? Does your location have any effect on your projects?
Now I live in Moscow, and before lived in the Irkutsk-region(eastern Siberia,famous lake Baikal).
I think ,location it does not matter. More important don’t forget You brain(head) at any place.
4. After you’re done with a project like the auto-guitar, do you still use it for your own enjoyment or does it become more of a show-and-tell piece on display somewhere?
The project I did for my family enjoyment, my sons many times asked me to do this.(I have three sons.)
Despite my age is 62 years old,I am young inside and curious, as a small child.
Solenoids are ordered in China on my individual requirements,so I spent too match money.
And I use a lot of my free(rest) time.(I have job for salary in office.)
So my curiosity is very expensive.
I was advised to seek order from manufacturer Guitar or from same restaurant, etc. to do the guitar-robot
for promotional purposes.But I am not sure,even if I am much improve the quality of the device.
(As for “much improve”, I am sure).
The product no use for make money- I think.In spite of all,I am happy-very impotant for health.
As for ‘selfplaying bayan’,I made one for my sons educational goals.
They(sons) go to school of Bayan’s Music begin from 1987 year .
So I’m not competing with Japan(this comment made my older son)
5. Have you ever thought of assembling a whole band or building an ‘organ’ with a group of instruments?
No, I think it’s better to make several(few) devices but also high quality.
Quality is more important than quantity.It isn’t?
6. What was your first completed project?
I do not remember.May be is a small explosion near my home at the age of 10 years.
7. What would you like to build if you had unlimited resources?
OOO! Hard to answer,just opened my eyes wide and say WOW!!!!
Once my youngest son as he asked me,
“Dad what would you do,if you to be very rich?”
I replied,” sang a song for the people. “
-but people do not like(hate) your singing, no one to listen to you
I- “crowd of people will be happy to listen my singing
because I have paid them a lot of money”
8. What do you plan to build next?
When me ask that question, I usually make the joke- next to build is violin with solenoids.
Surprisingly, some people believe me .
But seriously, I am going to make a new high-quality accordion and do a duet with the guitar.
and do a duet 2 guitars.
But the first , to delete the noise of strumming mechanism and improve the quality of the guitar.
Maybe I’m in the future applicability of Gibson guitar company with automatic tuning.
9. Can we have some more pictures of the mechanics of the guitar or bayan? We’d love to see any projects you’ve got going on, finished or unfinished. Our readers are very technical people. We love to hear the music, but we would also love to see the details!
For pictures,please,see attached files.
I now describe some details .
This guitar-robot (in my opinion) includes 4 or 5 know-how.
The main Know-How is the interface that I had developed in 1988 for real (not digital)
instrument. I did not know Midi in 1988.Now I say-Midi totally inappropriate for real music device(like my robot).
Also my interface allows very easily, accurately, quickly enter notes of melody without error.
Guitar is controlled by digital part of the handset designed earlier for radio trunking system.
The handset was designed by me.
It(handset) manages the memory of solenoids, which are mounted on the guitar.
It includes microCPU ADSP2187, flash memory, DAC and ADC.
You can listen the future melody for the guitar from small speaker inside the handset
without guitar.Very usefull.
The device for strum strings has four phases of operation time.( management by software)
-switch on a solenoid-string tension(same delay)
-switch on a solenoid strum(same delay)
-switch off solenoid-string tension(same delay)
-switch off solenoid strum(don’t care delay)
for a short time, not more than 7 msec ,current guitar power supply can consume up to 30 amperes at a voltage of 12 volts.
Despite the high current(because short time), battery capacity of 5 amp/ hour rather continuous play 2-4 hours.
It depends on the type of music.
Too much talking.Ok!You can edit, cut the text, as you like.
I think the first need to retranslate my text from ‘Russian English’ to ‘Cambridge English’.
If you decision to post the interw., then my question for yous readers-
“If a robot playing music much better then Human,
which one You prefer to listen?.”
(a big secret! As for me,I prefer human,only if this one is a beautiful woman)
best wishes = Vladimir Demin.
P.S. The intrew. is more difficalt for me,then design device.