Callum Goddard

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Synth->Shape

My Final Project for the Interactive Digital Media Technology Course, part of the MAT Ph.D at Queen Mary University London

Playing traditional musical instruments, such as those used within orchestras, requires the full use of both hands and arms. This requirement hinders the participation of physically disabled people. The trumpet is an instrument which can be recommended in this scenario as it is possible to play one-handed. However, many notes require pitch correction through the used of valve slide, normally controlled by the second hand.

This project designed and implemented an electromechanical control system for the third valve slide of a trumpet to allow its position and usage to be controlled by a foot pedal. The prototype developed does not require any major modification to the trumpet to be installed, is self-contained and runs off a 12 Volt 3 Amp DC power supply.

Initial play testing of the system allowed for a trumpet and the third valve slide to be played with one-hand. However, mechanical vibrations and issues of a vacuum forming in the valve slide, mean that further refinement is required. Even with these findings the play test results and technical measurements support that a refined system can aid in the development of a fully playable one-handed trumpet.

Currently the slide system is being revised and improved. The vacuum issues have been solved as well as mechanical vibration issues and electrical noise. There are still issues with power consumption and heat as well as the robustness of some parts and connectors.

The initial concept for the trumpet design won the One-Handed Musical Trust Concept Category prize which allowed for funding of the trumpet’s development.

One-Handed Trumpet Controller

Git repository containing the micro-controller code used to control the valve slide

The Awesomated Mood Barometer - CruftFest 2013

The Awesomated Mood Barometer is a mechanical barometer that has been improved through the addition of servos, RGB LEDs and a digital pressure temperature sensor. It displays temperature, atmospheric pressure and humidity on its dials and as the values for the RGB LEDs. Weather information is obtained from Yahoo Weather and the barometer's internal sensors.

Live Coded - Excerpts

Excerpts from my first attempt at Live Coding in SuperCollider.

Red Clay - QMUL Jazz Ensemble

Uploaded by Callum Goddard on 2017-03-17.

Heathens - QMUL Jazz Ensemble

Uploaded by Callum Goddard on 2017-03-17.

This is a project based upon a visually represented additive synthesiser using square waves. Through accepting and exploiting the use of both Processing and SuperCollider platforms, the project aims to explore interaction across multiple modalities, mediums and users.
Currently mappings between the GUI and the Sound Synthesis methods are based upon direct correlations between the shape and parameters within the sound synthesis and real world metaphors where these do not exist.

A dynamic autospatialisation performance and audio effect system designed to complement improvised musical performances.

Originally developed for the Space Bass?! performance, the mono2eN system uses algorithms to control the spatialisation to avoid any additional controls or modifications that might alter, or hinder, the playability of the instrument. Therefore, the autospatialisation and effect triggering have been designed to occur in response to the audio content of the input sound source. The result is a highly versatile spatialisation system that is capable of being used with any mono sound source.

Sound examples can be found on SoundCloud here.

The system contains three parts: autospatialisation, the FX latch and the magnitude freeze FX.

Autospatialisation is achieved by panning the audio input around a randomised speaker ring. The mono audio input signal is analysed continuously using an FFT. From this the centroid value of the signal is calculated and used to determine the azimuth (angle) used to pan the signal around the speaker ring.

The FX latch controls when the magnitude freeze FX is turned on and off. A pitch value of the input signal is calculated when the input signal is above the input threshold of a pitch detector. The pitch value is then used to set the frequency of a sine wave oscillator.
The instantaneous amplitude of the sine wave is used as a control signal to the magnitude freeze FX. When the sine wave oscillator frequency is not zero its instantaneous amplitude value varies between -1 and 1.
The latch behaviour occurs when the sine wave is set to a frequency of zero which occurs when the input signal is below the pitch detector's threshold. The instantaneous amplitude of the sine wave remains unchanged until the frequency is set to a non-zero value.

The magnitude freeze FX is applied after the input signal has been spatialised. The spatialised channels are continualy analysed with an FFT. The magnitude values are frozen when the latch value is above zero. The signal is then reconstructed with an IFFT and the channels are redistributed around the speaker ring.
The output from the magnitude freeze and autospatialisation sections are added together and passed to the output of the system.

  • The mono2eN system was used as part of Space Bass?!
  • A slightly altered version of the mono2eN system used by Till Bovermann as part of wosawip, a structured sound improvisation.
  • A paper detailing the development of the system, case and user study has been presented at SMACSMC 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Is it a bird? Is is a plane? No. This is a solo bass performance that has sounds filling the whole room. How you ask? Some SuperCollider magic, semiotic conceptual interpretations and creative liberties. Why? Because why not?...seriously?! Ok...there is this idea of space within musical semiotics, that also can be argued is inherent within cognition and the music composition process - seems logical to try and physically extract this information and use it to position sounds and the music in real space to create different experiences, provide other perspectives on the sound etc. etc. etc.

'Space Bass?!' features an acoustic bass played through the mono2eN autospatilisation system setup to play over 8 channels.

  • 2012 - Performed at the 2nd 4for8 concert hosted by the TAI Studio of Media Lab Helsinki, Finland.