Friday, February 01, 2013

Magnetic Table CV-Controller by Jon Sonnenberg

One of the most impressive alternative DIY-controllers i've seen this year is probably this next one.
This Magnetic Table CV-controller is made by Jon Sonnenberg, who has been creating music and been obsessed with electronic music for most of his life.

The design is based on a magnetic pendulum toy;
" The toy consisted of a dangling string with a magnet on the end of it; then it hovered over magnets on a table that either repelled or attracted the string magnet; the stringed magnet then maneuvers around in crazy patterns due to the position of the table magnets.

There are 2 control voltage outputs for this device; one for the X axis, and one for the Y. 
 They vary from 0 to 5 volts. These can be used to change any parameter in a synthesizer or effects system to make interesting sounds. 
 For instance, the X axis could control the pitch of an oscillator, while the Y axis could control the volume. Another example could be the X axis controls a delay time, while the Y axis controls the feedback of the delay unit
Closeup of the upside-down potentiometer-joystick   
 A third example (and a little more abstract) is to have the X axis control the length of a sequence pattern, and the Y axis control the tempo of the sequence.

One interesting thing about using the magnetic table to control sound is that when the pendulum passes over a magnet with a pole that attracts the pendulum, it overshoots a bit, then swing back toward the magnet and overshoots again, continuing to oscillate in a damped, simple harmonic motion. 
 If the magnet is stronger (you can use larger magnets or stack them to make them have a stronger attraction or repulsion), then this oscillation is faster."

Video: The Magnetic Table: A CV controller for Modular Synthesizers

" Here is a demonstration of a CV controller that I built. It is a simple pendulum with a magnet at the end.
The magnets on the table can be moved and can either repel or attract the pendulum.
More information can be found at www.artoftravelogue.com or more specifically here: http://artoftravelogue.blogspot.com/2012/02/magnetic-table-cv-controller.html "