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Project on theremin style synth controller..


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I tried posting this on the SSS but not to too much success. Hopefully i'll have more luck here..

You see i'm currently in the middle of a Final Year Project in College which i decided to build an Infra-Red theremin. I posted about it last summer when i was still collecting information, but now its come along some way and i guess i could do with some help again if i could.

I'll try explain the project first - Its actually divided into 3 parts:

Firstly theres, a pure analog component Theremin 'Synth'. Originally i built itout of discreet analogs, where it was simply a VCO, and a VCF controlled by a Pitch-Hand sensor, and a VCA controlled by the volume-hand sensor.

Last month, i noticed a thread about the Analog gear on display at NAMM, and in particular a company called Anadigm who have designed some really intreasting dynamically re-programmable Analog Arrays. They seem capable of some really cool analog designs and without the drift or tolerence problems that come from discreets (aswell as removing the prototyping/building stage which is magnificent!) but at the moment the supplied library of Macros is kinda lacking. The biggest problem for me seems to be my inability to get a VCO functioning onboard.

Heres where my first question lies: does anyone who is farmiliar with Programmable Analogs or PLLs know how to Implement a Phase Lock Loop using these Macros?

Macros on Anadigms site


Anadigm say its possible to implement Phase Lock Loops on their website, and so in theory i can get my VCO on the chip. but after emailing them, their reply made it pretty clear they don't like talking to students!


So anyway, the second section of the Project is a Midi output from the theremin done on with PICmicro. Nothing too complex but its just reminded me of how little i enjoy coding in assembler...thank goodness for C compilers!


The Final part of the project is rebuilding the Synth engine in MAX/MSP (controlled by the MIDI sig.) I've coded a couple of functions to make it a little more spacey, with a Phaser, Leslie Simulator and Ring Modulator and I recon i might do more when i get more time.

There is another option in building the Soft-Synth part, and that is using Pure Data (Pd) instead of MAX/MSP. Being Open Source and free makes Pd quite attractive, but i keep wondering if it would be better to stick with an semi-standard like MAX. I have to justify my extra expenses in the project, so could anyone give their preference on the two programs?


Any input you might have would be appreciated.




Visit my band : www.neonfleacircus.net or www.myspace.com/neonfleacircus
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