Sound check

factoid

We’ve knocked out two octaves worth of keys so far, mind only a sample of which will fit on the bench for a demo. Obviously they’ll sound much fuller after we figure out how to set up resonators and amplification, view but at least they’re correctly tuned.

(more videos)

As for finish, the first three are polished, the rest are still raw, and none have been drilled yet for mounting)

I picked up a new, slimmer metal-cutting disc for the circular saw the other day, and cutting is dramatically easierĀ than it was. Now it takes barely four minutes to slice through the half-inch by 3-inch aluminum bar stock we’re using for keys.

Meanwhile, I’ve also been tinkering with disk gongs – I want people to have a broad array of stuff to bang on beyond the tuned keyboards on either side of the van. Otherwise, they may take to hammering on the mirrors or the coachwork.

These quarter-inch-thick steel disks have a tinny, bell-like quality …


I love how long this slabby aluminum gong rings when struck. It’s a 1/3 -inch-thick scrap of 9-1/2-inch-diameter aluminum rod.

The video doesn’t convey it fully, but as the sound resonates, it actually dopplers from left to right and back again, as if the sound wave were slowly oscillating around the rim.

I’m thinking individual pickups for each key and gong (since some resonate louder than others), but the wiring and mixing’s going to be hellish, and I don’t know what kind of multichannel pre-amp I’ll need that I can get cheap.

Or maybe I just braid all the pickup wires together into one big fat positive and one big fat negative ….


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