teaching machines

Digital Musical Instrument Design

Welcome to Digital Musical Instrument Design, one of the courses at the 2018 Summer Computer Science Institute at Carleton College. This page contains all the course notes and exercises that you will need throughout the week. Day 1 On this day we introduce the notion of a sound wave, and we see how the frequency […]

WAV Abstraction in Pure Data

Those poor students who get a teacher that is teaching a subject for the first time. I’m that teacher these next three weeks, and our subject matter is digital music and Pure Data. One of the questions I was asked in this first week is how to create an abstraction that plays an arbitrary WAV […]

Music Mouse, Part VI

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. The Arduino side of the Music Mouse is working. Whew! All that’s left is to interpret the messages it sends out in Pure Data. Soon we’ll have music. Pure Data Interpreter […]

Music Mouse, Part V

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. In this exercise, we start issuing MIDI numbers. When the musician goes up or down in the Music Mouse interface, a single note of the melody is played. When the music […]

Music Mouse, Part IV

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. We’ve got horizontal motion working in the Music Mouse. Let’s add vertical motion. This will be very similar to the horizontal motion, but there is an important difference. Vertical Motion In […]

Music Mouse, Part III

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. Music Mouse walks the horizontal axis in steps of one right now. If we were to interpret the x-position as a MIDI number, we’d be walking the chromatic scale, which is […]

Music Mouse, Part II

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. We’ll complete the Music Mouse in stages. In this stage, let’s get the joystick behaving like a mouse. We’ll start at a position and allow the joystick to move us around […]

Music Mouse, Part I

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. Our final instrument is inspired by the work of composer Laurie Spiegel. In particular, we will recreate her instrument the Music Mouse. This software was released in the 1980s. In the […]

Arpeggiator, Part III

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. The last step of our arpeggiator gives the musician the ability to control the tempo or timing of the notes. We’ll use our last potentiometer for this. Its reading will be […]

Arpeggiator, Part II

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. Our first “draft” of the arpeggiator will only use two of the potentiometers. One will decide the root note, and the other will decide which of many possible sequences to walk […]

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