Synthesizer Controllers


Project Folder: https://github.com/markmatamoros/FLC

FLC is a MIDI controller that provides musical expression through the utilization of string excitement. As vibrations are created through the bowing, strumming, or plucking of the strings, individual piezo sensors capture the string movement. Thereafter, a microcontroller converts the energy into MIDI data, which is sent to a virtual instrument via USB. The device is compliant with software that utilizes MIDI polyphonic aftertouch.

Regarding design, a fanned-array of nineteen strings was implemented to create an instantaneous user interaction with a large set of notes. Furthermore, this crowded arrangement was chosen to promote the occurrence of "happy accidents." It must be noted that the specified notes are determined by a combination of both microcontroller and middleware (MaxMSP standalone app) programming.

Fabrication Material (Primary): Red Oak, Nickel-wound Guitar Strings, Zither Pins, Teensy 3.5, Rubber Hose, Piezo Sensors


Project Folder: https://github.com/markmatamoros/JCB

JCB is an eight-sided synthesizer controller that functions through the utilization of ribbon sensors, potentiometers, and switches.

Regarding the the right side of the controller, it is comprised of three long soft potentiometers for oscillator pitch shifting. Additionally, these three strips are individually placed upon force sensitive resistors, which handle amplitude control.

The left side of the controller contains six shorter soft potentiometers for effects control. Additionally, the middle section's potentiometers serve as another area for continuous controller assignments. The switches act as latching mechanisms for the oscillators, allowing the user to free their hand during the interaction.

Middleware programming was handled with MaxMSP, where notes and continuous controller assignments can be modified.

Fabrication Material (Primary): Red Oak, Soft Potentiometers, Potentiometers, Latch Switches, FSRs, Arduino Mega

BMS (Concept)

Project Folder: https://github.com/markmatamoros/BMS

BMS is a conceptual hardware analog synthesizer that possesses an excessively large, physical footprint (4' 3.5" x 5.5" x 3.5"). This design choice is a deviation from the conventionally sized desktop synthesizers on today's market, where it seems that a heavy amount of consideration is given towards the maximization of physical controls within a constrained form factor.

Regarding the analog synthesis, a PCB was designed to utilize two ALFA RPAR AS3340's (oscillators) and one ALFA RPAR AS3320 (filtor) IC's. Additionally, an AR Unity app was created to simulate the phyiscal size of the device.