The Magnetophone

The Magnetophone

The Magnetophone is the latest electro-acoustic instrument from [Aaron Sherwood]. This tower contains 14 strings, and 14 hand-wound electromagnets. By energizing each electromagnet with a square wave, the strings can be vibrated to create music.

The brains of the device consist of an Arduino Mega attached to the top of the tower. The microcontroller has 6 timers, which allows for 6 notes to play at the same time. An open source tone library was used to generate square waves at the correct frequencies. These square waves are amplified by LM386 based circuits, which provide enough power to the coil to oscillate the string. By using square waves at specific frequencies, overtones of strings can be created.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen [Aaron] combine strings and electronics. His Glockentar used solenoids to strike strings. However, this project provides new possibilities by allowing the rate of oscillation to be controlled precisely. You can see the instrument in action after the break.

Comments

  1. Dodutils says:

    FYI “magnetophone” in French mean “Tape Recorder” ;-)

  2. lejupp says:

    Doubles as a shower cabin.

  3. Wut says:

    “By energizing each electromagnet with a square wave”

    *TWITCH*

  4. echodelta says:

    Look up Chorachello it was one of the turn of the century ways of getting louder purer sound before electronics changed the scene, sound familiar!
    It looks like a mash of Aeolian Harp and CPU…

  5. Ryan says:

    This is one of the most beautiful thing I have ever heard.

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