This site is a collection of workshops and projects designed to support the New Media + Sound Arts curriculum at Emily Carr University of Art & Design. Each project is focused around a specific technique, but open enough to allow for a variety of output. These projects were designed as an introduction to arts and crafts practices that combine computers and electronics with physical and material processes. Each project includes a tutorial, readings, examples, and ideas for expanding on the basic techniques.

  • Piezo Soundboards

    Piezo Soundboards

    Make a contact microphone and use resonant materials to create an electro-acoustic instrument that you can plug into an amplifier or effects pedals. You can also combine this project with the teensy midi or pretty much any of the projects below to make interesting hybrid instruments and noise-makers.
  • Square Wave Synthesizers

    Square Wave Synthesizers

    This is an introduction to generating sound and light using integrated circuits called hex schmitt triggers. Each chip can output six square wave oscillators, which can be amplified, tuned, and modulated using basic components. The site collects a few of my favorite resources and links to them throughout this site. A list of sites and additional resources can be found on the resources page. common representation of a square wave In a sense, the chip produces a signal that alternates between on and off, or full voltage (high) and no voltage (low). If this oscilation happens at a frequencies greater than 20Hz (20 oscillations per second) we hear a tone. Using resistors and a capacitors we can control the frequency of this tone. One Hex Schmitt Trigger IC can produce six seperate oscilator tones! Meaning from a single $1 chip we can get 6 voice polyphony, a swarm of angry buzzing electro bees. There are various ways to soften the edges of the square waves using filter and modulation circuits, but first we’ll focus on producing basic chip tune-esque tunable square waves.
  • Teensy Micro Worlds

    Teensy Micro Worlds

    This next module uses standard MIDI messages to communicate between a Teensy microcontroller and a computer, taking sensory information from the physical world and mapping it to processes and events on a computer. It can also be used to send messages from the computer to control things in the physical world, like LEDs and small motors.
  • Laser Lights

    Laser Lights

    Laser cutters allow us to manipulate material in ways that would be impossible or prohibitively time intensive using traditional approaches. There are a few different ways of using a laser (vector, raster, and color mapping to name a few). The results are highly accurate and finely detailed and while these technologies have been around for a couple of decades, only recently have they become accessible/affordable for individual artists and designers.
  • DIY Amplifier

    DIY Amplifier

    This idea is not new (try an image search for “Suitcase Speakers“) but making your own amplifier is an affordable way to create portable, battery powered, personalized speakers to compose with. You can find a broad range of tutorials online discussing how to make suitcase speakers, from simple to advanced projects. We’ll start with a simple design and you can expand on it as you see fit. In making your speaker you will learn about soldering and electronics, basic signal processing, and woodworking.
  • LED Lifeforms

    LED Lifeforms

  • Drawing with Robots

  • Drawing with Robots

    Drawing with Robots