[Yannick], aka [Gigawipf] brings us this (mostly) musical delicacy: a 3D-printed siren that’s driven by a brushless quadcopter motor, and capable of playing (mostly) any music that you’ve got the MIDI score for. This is a fantastic quickie project for any of you out there with a busted quad, or even some spare parts, and a 3D printer. Despite the apparent level of difficulty, this would actually be a great quickie weekend build.
First stop is Thingiverse, for the Mini Air Raid Siren model. Start that printing and get to work on the electronics. For the MIDI-to-ESC (electronic speed controller) conversion, any Arduino with USB support (ATmega32u4 or ARM boards) will work. The important bit is that you can run the MIDI-USB library. All that remains is a MIDI-to-servo pulse conversion and lookup table. Here’s [Yannick]’s file, but we’re guessing that you’ll want to tune your own siren.
How well does it work? See the videos below. Short notes, as well as note-offs, tax the quad motor’s ability to stop the siren rotor immediately. There’s a nice portamento effect as it ramps up between notes as well. You’ll need to pick your repertoire accordingly.
We have a strange affinity for musical sirens, so we’ll readily admit that [Yannick] had us at the word “spinning”. This is an easy project, with a pretty cool result. As far as we know, there’s only one 3D-printed, MIDI-controlled siren in the world, but it shouldn’t be hard to scale the siren model up or down to make different registers and effects. So who’s up for an entire symphony of these things?
33 thoughts on “Annoy Your Neighbors With MIDI Musical Siren”
Sure… annoy your neighbours. Very anti-social of you.
My neighbors have guns. Still think this is a good idea?
Tough to say, we don’t know you that well.
We would come over and politely ask you to stop the noise, the guns are for target practice and hunting deer.
If you continued with the noise a complaint with the proper authorities might be in order. But then again, I’m pretty annoying myself, so you would have to blare the noise for hours on end…
Target practice you say and the guy made a free target. Match made in heaven?
Are your neighbors psychopaths? Otherwise I don’t see how guns enter into the equation…
I think 15 minutes of this will in fact create psychotic episodes in any normal human being.
Haha my neighbors would so hate us for this. Sounds like fun though!
“Annoy your neighbors” is obviously tongue-in-cheek. Why so serious?
This is pretty cool, I enjoyed it. =)
[Yannick], aka [Gigawipf] has only just begun to annoy. Work on the clarion next, then the bagpipes. And don’t forget the air horns. All of these should be easy to adapt to MIDI.
+1 bagpipes. I recall an everyday electronics article about that in the 70s….
But having said that, I now realize that bagpipes would not be that easy to control electrically.
Why not, it’s just a load of valves + almost fixed airflow.
Okay. I was thinking about how to control a traditional bagpipe, but you’re right – you just need air, valves, and reeds.
“So who’s up for an entire symphony of these things?”
I think as soon as the soprano siren speaks, the rest are forgotten.
Although I think a soprano siren already has another name: a banshee.
I’d like to make a contra-bass siren, but I don’t think it would work like a conventional siren. I think instead of incorporating the modulator into the blower, it would have to have separate blower and modulator. Otherwise the diameter would have to be enormous. But then maybe the modulator could be implemented as a sliding ring that’s geared down from the blower rotor. Just thinking out loud here.
There are infra sound sub woofers that work by rotating a baffle like a throttle plate in an air duct. Two of its four sides are connected by a ring shaped duct with a fan in it, and the front and back of the baffle housing is open to the air. When the baffle rotates the front and back are alternating blowing and sucking at a frequency determined by the rpm of the baffle. They are very loud.
Once there was an article about a fan-subwoofer. It was a ducted fan with pitch-steerable blades, similar to an airplane propeller. The blade pitch was controlled (positive and negative) in the rhythm of the sound, so the fan moved air in or out of the room.
This might sound a little better if it ignored or delayed note-offs…
I agree that long notes sound better, but you can always edit the midi file to make notes longer until it sounds good.
If i would delay them in the hardware notes could overlap while playing and cause all kinds of strange problems and make it sound weird.
Slightly overlapping notes from the midi stream are already handled and don’t cause problems if you do a “extend all notes x%” in a midi editor.
Symphony is a form of music not an instrument, try organ or chorus. The Russians have done it though. A two word search shows an industrial strength composition. Seems to my memory to have been used in some dadaist French music too. I wonder how fast it can be modulated for a normal vibrato. Oh, could this wail the blues! Could a fast acting flap or butterfly be put in series to give it rests?
A tuned pair in a third at the right pitch would test your neighbors (tornado and chem-train) response. Like the Brake Light Tester (microwave emitter) you could call it a basement light tester.
The obligatory meme:
I think the author should try BLHeli-capable ESC in damped light mode with braking to improve time response :)
I did use a blheli_s esc with active braking but the blheli_s version has some fewer parameters to tweak compared to the atmel version.
One thing i miss is the closed loop control that some atmel ones had but the silabs runs definetly better in open loop.
I have considered converting a bench-top grinder to a siren and using it as a door bell.
Or better still:
Start up an illegal rave crew and attach your instrument to one of these horns (at top of linked page)
Give your crew a name and slogan….
And Da Bass Go Boom!!!
Perhaps have a siren with more rotors to it? That would allow it to make different notes with one speed. A servo could then be used to switch between notes. For instance: stack three rotors on top of each other, with 8, 4 and 2 vanes. A servo would then move a tube axially, so that the side openings in the tube would line up with one of the rotors. That would switch between different octaves, meaning that the ramp-up time for long note intervals is much shorter.
Worst would be wuwuzela midi!
Anybody else notice the tune is the main theme to Evangelion?
First thing I noticed! I’m surprised nobody else caught it!
If you click the “view on YouTube” button, you’ll see that it’s in the title of the video.
And if you REALLY want to annoy your neighbors:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr4zb-HHZs4 or even
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JPBdBIFGNQ or even
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