Shinier Etherwave knobs

Posted: 11/28/2012 3:01:37 PM
RoyP

From: Scotland

Joined: 9/27/2012

Harp-Theremin anybody?

:-)

Posted: 11/28/2012 3:09:28 PM
RoyP

From: Scotland

Joined: 9/27/2012

Thinking a wee bit further (and posting in a seperate posty box so as not to 'do the Fred thing' and annoy Amey:-)    ,no offence meant Fred or Amey), there must be a harp out there somewhere which uses light beams instead of strings...

Posted: 11/28/2012 3:17:18 PM
Chobbs

From: Brooklyn,NY

Joined: 12/1/2009

google:  arduino laser harp by steve hobley

Posted: 11/28/2012 3:25:00 PM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

There's also Theremin Hero's laser harp too - now that's visually interesting! 

http://www.thereminhero.com/

Posted: 11/28/2012 3:42:21 PM
RoyP

From: Scotland

Joined: 9/27/2012

Both of these laser harps are interesting but I was thinking more along the lines of a traditional harp (concert or Celtic) with the strings replace by lasers which made the same noise as a harp with strings would.
Ok, I know-going for a little lie down now...

Posted: 11/28/2012 4:53:40 PM
coalport

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Lad, have ye lost yer wee mind?

You haven't thought through your idea. Strings of light would be impossible to play with the same attack and precision as our beloved clarsach.

As for the "laser harp", spectacular though it may be, it is a triumph of FORM over UTILITY. There is nothing it can do musically that cannot be done far more easily and efficiently on the simplest of Casio keyboards. 

Posted: 11/28/2012 7:30:11 PM
RoyP

From: Scotland

Joined: 9/27/2012

Lad, have ye lost yer wee mind? - coalport

Ehhhh...probably...

I do have an idea of how difficult the instrument would be to play without the tactile feel of the strings.
As for the finesse and attack, well given that I'm not a whizz on the electronics thing I'll just wave my hand in the general direction of digital electronics and say the answer lies there...ok, all ye electronics gurus out there...y'all know I'm only kidding!

At least the laser harp wouldn't be accused of being easy to play.

Posted: 11/28/2012 8:26:52 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Present company excepted - I find it interesting that non-musicians often (usually?) think that the less effort when playing a musical instrument the better, even (particularly?) in the extreme where it eliminates tactile feedback.  The introduction of new technology for its own sake seems to be an overriding factor, or perhaps they've encountered traditional difficult-to-play instruments like the violin family, or many of the brass, woodwinds, etc. that require quite a bit of practice and study before the player's tone sounds even half way OK.

The Theremin is extra crazy because you aren't supposed to touch it, so you can't employ muscle memory for hand / arm location sensing, or even to provide much needed steadiness between the two of you while playing.

Once I get off my Theremin kick I'd like to make new electronic instruments that are as immediately rewarding to play as possible while still being perceived as real instruments by professional musicians (i.e. the ability to play complex things on them and not look like an idiot on stage while doing so).  Music is both fun and deadly serious.

Posted: 11/28/2012 10:18:23 PM
coalport

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

But wait a minute!

I want it all....and I want it NOW!

Posted: 11/28/2012 11:00:30 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

(at the risk of further hijacking this thread)

Peter, you play a wide variety of obscure instruments, what would you like to see in new electronic ones? 

When I was younger I used to (literally) have dreams of guitars with keyboards on the body, but of course nothing is that simple.  If it is played similarly with both hands (like piano and unlike guitar) it is desirable to have symmetry for the hands (so you don't have to learn chords & scales differently for each hand).  A layout not favoring any particular key (like keyboards favor Am/C) and chords that have identical chord forms regardless of key seems like a good goal.  I think the ability to do chromatic slides is important, as is a polyphony of at least 5.  Being a guitarist I favor instruments that are small enough to hold (and not sit at like a piano), with possibly both percussive (guitar, piano) and continuous (violin, trombone) modes of play.  I am also quite partial to acoustic-like timbres (resonating string or air column coupled to a resonating body).

Sad to say, the days of the musical instrument industry innovating in any significant way seem to be behind us.  Around here the new Sweetwater catalog gets maybe ten minutes of lukewarm attention before hitting the recycling bin.  We could be designing and building literally anything at this point, and all we get are thousands of slightly different electric guitars based on maybe three predominant retro patterns.  Even keyboards aren't anywhere near where they should be.

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