Xhun Audio : ResonHeart (experimental mechanical synthesizer) (soon)

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chaosWyrM
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1831 posts since 29 Apr, 2010 from NYC

Post Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:37 am

xhunaudio wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:12 am
Think about it as a "dystopian" timeline. What kind of synthesis devices would we have by using only mechanical technologies from the 1850s ? (it's not a typo , not 1950s but 1850s = 170 years ago)
soooo....a steampunk synthesizer?

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Hez
KVRian
653 posts since 10 Dec, 2013

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:47 am

Demo sounds somewhat similar to Reaktor Steampipe, which makes sense I suppose!

I'm always interested in sounds like this and use physical modelling pretty extensively in my own music, so I'm definitely curious as to what you're up to : )

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xhunaudio
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583 posts since 17 Feb, 2010

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:06 am

ztrauq wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:15 am
I do have to ask, though: will you also try to build the actual, physical device this will be simulating/modeling? Because that would be absolutely fascinating to see/hear...
I'm pretty sure I'll never make it - eheh, I'm not an iron / wood artisan at all, maybe I have a hammer somewhere, but nothing else. You can't extemporize, to make something like EFP as hardware, you must be a proven artisan, you have to know exactlywhat you're doing...
Last edited by xhunaudio on Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Local Man
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616 posts since 31 May, 2017

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:21 am

The way I see this being interesting, would be to create something that could theoretically be built but practically never would. The kind of thing that could be done in the virtual domain but that in the real world, though physically possible, would be cost, labor, and time prohibitive. Because otherwise, yeah just build it and sample the real thing.

One thing that would be very interesting though would be a visual 3d model that shows how the "physical" parts actually work.

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xhunaudio
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583 posts since 17 Feb, 2010

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:25 am

Reaktor Steampipe could be taken as a nice example - except for the fact EFP doesn't use *steam* and has no *pipes* :)

But the comparison between the two makes sense. From what I remember, Steampipe should be more versatile for sound-designing purposes, but less "prone to find a place in the real world" than EFP. EFP is a big and heavy machine and it sounds natural and very dirty in some circumstances - and you can't do nothing to make its sound more polite.
Last edited by xhunaudio on Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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xhunaudio
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583 posts since 17 Feb, 2010

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:22 am

Local Man wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:21 am
One thing that would be very interesting though would be a visual 3d model that shows how the "physical" parts actually work.
Not a fully functional, 3d-ray-tracing-rendered-and-animated model (too much time consuming :)), but some 2d schematics will follow soon...

Dirtgrain
KVRist
233 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:59 pm

ztrauq wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:15 am
So, the concept is to create a never-before-seen physical instrument representing synthesis done without electricity... which is then physically modeled as a plugin running on a computer using electricity :)
Kidding? Psh. Where do I sign up?

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xhunaudio
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583 posts since 17 Feb, 2010

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:09 pm

Hi,

for all the ones who love schematics (and also for the ones who want to discover how EFP works basically) I think the best thing to do to unveil this strange beast is to proceed step-by-step (so I can also refresh my memory on what I did exactly :wink: , since one year has passed from the beginning...).

First step : EFP is a mechanical, automatable aerophone. Its physical size is comparable to the size of a Pipe Organ you can find in a cathedral (this detail will be explained later and it will determine some aspect of the final sound produced).

All the infos and schematics below (and the infos that will follow soon) are referring to a single voice of the instrument/machine (it has several voices) :

Image

1 : The Air/Turbulence Motor Engine

At the heart of this machine, there's an air pump / pneumatic motor, producing the main air turbulence which will provide energy to the whole system. This motor has a very responsive on/off switch timing. The emitted turbulence is produced by a set of fans / turbine inside it. The way it emits air (from the inside of the engine to the outside) can be modulated, using an ADSR-like contour (this modulation applies only for the amount of energy involved in the system, not directly for the sound itself - though it has some repercussions on the final sound produced, obviously).

Edit : The motor can have an "air pump" response or a pneumatic "compressed air" response, depending on the assigned "arise" or "attack" value/amount.
Last edited by xhunaudio on Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:40 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Tj Shredder
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3081 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:21 pm

A pneumatic motor has a frequency of its own, even of it would create a steady stream of air? But that sound would emit into the air, not necessarily into the pipe, or just for a small amount... Could well be in the rhythm domain...

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xhunaudio
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583 posts since 17 Feb, 2010

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:03 pm

Obviously, the motor internal components "noises" (rotary fans, etc...) are perfectly soundproofed...

Spared no expense here. :D

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Tj Shredder
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3081 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:21 am

Can we take off the soundproof? I am sure it has a certain vintage quality. (Like the floppy noises from the iOS Fairlight app...; - )

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xhunaudio
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583 posts since 17 Feb, 2010

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:12 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:21 am
Can we take off the soundproof? I am sure it has a certain vintage quality. (Like the floppy noises from the iOS Fairlight app...; - )
That kind of "noise" is due to factors that have NOT been modeled. Specifically, we're talking about the amount of *friction* between the fans/rotors and their pivots and hinges - and they are not meaningful for the sound production purpose.

Think about it as a "very greased motor" modeling, eheh :)

Note (another unusual aspect of it) : as it would happen in the real world (= as if it was built in the real world), EFP has no direct control for the so called "sound volume". You can vary the energy of the pump (it doesn't involve the signal *amplitude* directly) or, as I'll explain later, you can also vary the auditor distance from the machine. Anyway, the final "volume" can be easily adjusted directly from the DAW/Host itself.

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Tj Shredder
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3081 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:23 am

Does that mean you can’t overblow it? I always thought distortion is the most fun in physical modeling... If I have a knob for the amount of energy, I certainly would like to hear a difference...

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xhunaudio
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583 posts since 17 Feb, 2010

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:40 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:23 am
Does that mean you can’t overblow it? I always thought distortion is the most fun in physical modeling... If I have a knob for the amount of energy, I certainly would like to hear a difference...
With EFP the "air overblow" is certainly possible (to say the truth, it "overblows" very easily). But the "overblow" is due to the pressure and velocity of the gas particles (air) that are emitted by the engine, not to the friction of the mechanical components that move inside the engine.

You can control the turbulence "overblow" with a series of "physical manual controls" or via the automation (modulation components). Or using a "special unit" outside the motor, something I will explain in the very next "step" I'll show.

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xhunaudio
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583 posts since 17 Feb, 2010

Re: Xhun Audio : Electrons-Free Project (a dystopian timeline story)

Post Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:41 am

Here we are with the 2nd step about how EFP works :

Image

2 : The Motor Engine Output and the Venturi Valve

The air turbulence generated by the main motor/engine flows through the output duct into a special valve responsible for the so-called Venturi effect : the Venturi Valve.

The Venturi Valve consists in a constricted section of the duct (end-user can adjust the amount of the section constriction) which produces a change in the turbulence dynamics/mechanics. By lowering the duct section, the pressure of the fluid is decreased and the velocity of its particles is increased.

From a sound viewpoint, this produces a lower air noise (due to the collision between the air particles and the duct) and a more "linear" air jet.

After the Venturi Valve, we'll find the huge, bulky resonator block - which I'll cover in the next "episode" :)

The *distance* between the Venturi Valve's output and the input of the resonator block - the heart of EFP - can be adjusted, increasing or reducing the air jet dispersion.

PS : The Venturi Valve amount is not automated - end-user can adjust it manually, using a specific knob.

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