Day 4

Jackson Wu
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The first thing I worked on today was prototyping the teeth for the music box. Skunk, Dan, and I welded a spoke to a segment of metal piping to see how it would sound. Unfortunately, the sound is not very loud or clear. This is likely due to the fact that we are working with steel instead of titanium. To make this design, we will have to amplify the sound greatly. Another problem I have been ignoring is how I will mount the pipe to the box, but everything about the teeth is uncertain now. The teeth and their mounting should my focus tomorrow, because it is very important and very hazy.

Another aspect of this project that took up a large portion of thinking time was the rotating PVC pipe, the second functional part of the music box. We are at a point in the design where the mechanical challenges of the gears and wheels meet the workings of the music box. Some of the issues I (and Dan) had to think about were mounting the pipe, supporting it, and making sure the pipe was properly attached to the axle. We also thought up solutions to how to attach the bike wheel to the axle, and how support the axle on the other side, but I was less involved in that. Right now the design is going to involve two felt/foam rimmed wheels locknut-ed onto the axle with threaded holes in the wheels. The pipe will fit snugly over the wheels and there will be holes in the pipe to match the holes in the wheels; when a screw is fit into the holes, the pipe will be firmly fitted to the axle. This makes for easy production (laser cut wheels, double-wide thick wood) and easy interchangeability for the songs in the music box.

Pikasso 42 - String Guitar Improv (Pat Metheny)

Jackson Wu

Music Box Bike Day 2

Jackson Wu
1 / 2

The main things we accomplished today were making a cardboard model of out bike, working out how the gears would fit on the bike, attaching the third wheel to the frame, and general aesthetical decisions.  am also building the first version of the music box itself, using a cardboard tube, some metal piping and bicycle spokes. The pitches of the note palate and the angle of the metal pipe is a bit of a challenge, but I know how to work it out.

For the aesthetics of the bike, the whole group is bringing ideas to the table. The people who designed the gears that will turn the music box started a gear-y, steampunk theme to the bike, and with the physical addition of the third wheel today, I am liking that theme more and more. Jack and Dylan are planning on adding more gears as decorations. I also want to incorporate a surreal kind of style with a lot of overlapping strings. Some of the strings would be functional (including sympathetic strings), and some would be purely decorative. I will post video that inspired me for this as a predecessor.  

Percussion Tubes

Kalala Kiwanuka-Woernle
1 / 1

Final Day

Kalala Kiwanuka-Woernle
1 / 3

After about a week I finally completed 3 DIY instruments. I started out last week, making an ocean drum that allows the user to change what is inside to make different souds. I added channels as well to make a variation in the sound and made it harder for the larger and smaller pieces to move in the box. Later in the week, I made a family of transparent shakers. The shakers were different sizes and had different materials in them such as nuts, bolts, and tacks. Today I finished off my "percussion tubes". I started the day by lashing (very similar to weaving) the tubes which held them together and made them look really cool. I experimented for a little bit with stringing the tubes together in other ways, but decided that the lashing was the most effective. After I began to play around with different things to use as a mallet. I found little plastic circles and began testing them as mallets, but I ended up putting the circles inside of the tubes and they amplified the sounds really well. I also decided on using a spatula as the mallet. Once I was "done"  I thought about coloring the circles with markers, but when I was in the shop I found spray paint and I decided to do that instead. The percussion tubes ended up looking amazing and were no longer just an instrument, but also a piece of art. 

Drum Day 2

Jackson Wu
1 / 4

Today, I got a lot of work done on my drum, and in the process, my project has strayed very far from what I originally intended; however, I am satisfied with what I am going to call the final version of my drum.

The first thing I did today was dremeling and clipping the metal handles off the buckets. This is so they lie flat on the ground and are less likely to snag on something. Afterwards, I filed the freshly-cut edges down so they would not be sharp. I then attached the handle to the bucket. The screws that came with the handle were wood screws, so we replaced them with a thinner threaded screw and a nut. The screw from the handle interfered with my original plan of a sliding bucket, but as my plans shifted, a hidden benefit of the screw was revealed. It prevented the two buckets from fully fitting together, creating a gap that sound could escape through. The gap gave the instrument more of a "live" sounding, resonating chamber. The last step I took was to drill holes on the top of the handle bucket and drop in the rivets. This took the most time, as I was experimenting with different rivets and placement. I decided the lighter rivets should go on the outside (so they do not pop out), and the heavier rivets on the inside, to maximize rattle.

This is probably the last stage of my drum. Even though it changed over the course of the project (from a pitch changing drum to more of a snare), I am happy with it.

Ocean Drum

Kalala Kiwanuka-Woernle
1 / 3

Today our studio was assigned the challenge of creating instruments that would eventually lead to creating bikes that had musical components. Initially, I came up with the idea of enhancing a guitar, but after talking with Adam we decided it wasn't the greatest idea, so I restarted and came up with an idea to create an ocean drum. My first design for the drum was going to be circular and use hula hoops and beads, but after watching many youtube videos I decided to make my ocean drum out of wooden box with screws,nuts,bolts and washers inside. For the rest of the day I spent time creating my model. I used the laser printer to make a box out of the foam boards, and taped it all together, placing in the different screws and nuts etc. My next task is to distinguish the different sounds using different materials to have categories for the different sound styles. 

Thunder Window First Sketch

Jackson Wu
1 / 1

I knew right away that I wanted to work with percussion, and also incorporate some elements of pitch bending into my instrument. There are two main ways to bend the pitch of a drum: stretching the membrane of the drum head, or changing the volume of the drum. After comparing the options and the mechanical difficulty of each option, I decided to work with volume (space inside drum, not sound volume). To get the most out of the pitch bending aspects of my drum, the instrument will need to have a lot of sustain. I will support this by choosing metal as a material (ringing quality) and putting loose rivets in the top (rattle that adds new texture as well as sustain).