By Nicolas Collins
Hand-crafted digital song: The artwork of Hacking offers a long-needed, useful, and fascinating creation for college kids of digital tune, set up and sound-art to the craft of making--as good as creatively cannibalizing--electronic circuits for creative reasons. Designed for practioners and scholars of digital artwork, it presents a guided journey in the course of the global of electronics, encouraging artists to get to grasp the interior workings of easy digital units to allow them to creatively use them for his or her personal ends.
Handmade digital song introduces the elemental of useful circuitry whereas educating the scholar in simple digital ideas, regularly from the sensible perspective of an artist. It teaches a mode of intuitive and sensual experimentation that has been misplaced during this day of prefabricated digital musical tools whose internal workings are usually not open to experimentation. It encourages artists to go beyond their worry of digital know-how to release themselves into the excitement of operating creatively with all types of analog circuitry.
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Extra info for Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking
But all it takes is a tape head and an amplifier. 1). The tape head’s undulating magnetism in turn aligns little tiny magnetic domains in the iron-like powder covering one surface of the recording tape, as if they were tiny compass needles. When the tape is played back the whole process reverses: the varying magnetic orientation retained by the mini-magnets on the tape now induces current flow inside the tape head which, when amplified, resembles pretty closely what went into the tape recorder earlier—another instance of the reversibility of electromagnetism discussed in chapter 4.
Indd 16 2/16/2006 3:47:40 PM Chapter 4 IN/OUT (THE EIGHTH RULE OF HACKING): SPEAKER AS MICROPHONE, MICROPHONE AS SPEAKER— THE SYMMETRY OF IT ALL You will need: • A battery-powered amplifier. • A pair of headphones or a small speaker. • A pair of jumper leads with alligator clips and a plug to fit the input jack of your amplifier. Electromagnetism There is a beautiful symmetry to the principles of electricity that are most commonly used to translate acoustic sound into an electrical signal and then back into sound again.
Although barely audible, the vibration from the speakers causes the glasses to move very slowly across the surface. When they make contact, they ring against one another. The piece ends when the last of the glasses tips over the edge and crashes onto the floor. Nicolas Collins (USA) has been working with “backwards electric guitars” since 1981 (see figure below page and track 9 on the CD). In these instruments sounds are sent into guitar pickups or coils (scavenged from relays) whose fluctuating electromagnetic fields vibrate the strings of guitars and basses.