Project 1

Sound System


The first project will be to develop your sound system that you will use throughout the class. A sound system can look and sound like many different things. It can be built into a suitcase, a bicycle, a backpack, a box, or a table. Your sound system will have these minimum requirements:

  • an amplifier with volume control (mono or stereo ok)
  • an input (at least one physical 1/4″ input, additional inputs great)
  • an embedded speaker
  • a waterproofed contact microphone
  • a skatchbox, mbira, string/spring instrument or another electroacoustic instrument

Sound Systems are due in class on October 10th. Be prepared to demonstrate how your sound system works and talk about why you choose your specific form factor and instrument.



Project 2 




Using a few inexpensive components, you can build a simple square wave synthesizer. The basic circuit is not very complicated but there are many ways to expand on it by adding voices, sensors, and amplifiers. First, we’ll build the basic circuit on breadboards and then you can experiment–modifying the circuit until it acts and sounds how you like. Second, you’ll rebuild the circuit on a protoboard so it can be installed in a enclosure/box/sculpture of your design.

Cost: between $5-$15

Materials: provided for $5

  • 1 CMOS Hex Schmitt Trigger Integrated Circuit
  • various¬†capacitors
  • various¬†resistors
  • potentiometers
  • Light dependent resistor – photocell
  • Solidcore hook up wire
  • mono headphone jack
  • battery clip
  • 9 volt battery
  • speaker
  • LM386 amplifier chip

Optional materials: not provided

  • different types of sensors
  • housing/enclosure of some sort

Helpful Resources

Some Examples:

Enclosure Inspiration