spatializing electric and virtual instruments
See BoSSA and Reinventing the Violin
for up to date info, papers, and sound examples. This page is painfully
out of date, and I'm too lazy to fix it right now... Oh, and we've got
some really cool new speakers.
What's this N-body thing?
N-Body refers to an ongoing project created by Perry
Cook and Dan Trueman
concerning the directional tonal radiative qualities of various acoustic
instruments. Jim Moses played a crucial role in it as well, as did a couple
of Monica Mugan's
OK, so what IS it?
N-Body has several components:
We'll be making the impulse response database and the software available
here in the near future. If someone wants to go into business making lots
of spherical speakers, that would be good too.
A database of directional impulse responses from a couple violins, a few
guitars, and a mandolin. We setup an array of 12 microphones, got inside
and wacked the bridges of these instruments with a force-hammer, and recorded
Software for messing with the responses.
A few display devices (wacky speakers) with cool names like The Boulder,
and The Bomb.
to make us famous.
Lots of reasons. First, it's fun to build stuff and make noise with
it. Second, it's potentially useful for adding realism to virtual instruments.
Third, it's neat to steal stuff from good old wooden instruments and try
to use it with solid-body electric instruments. I could go on... See our
Wait a second, how did you measure those impulse responses?
We built an array of microphones, hung it in a big room, surrounded
it with soundproofing foam, got inside and wacked the poor things. Here's
a picture of the array:
What's with these weird speakers?
Dan has long been frustrated with the highly directional quality of
guitar amps and by the inability of electric instruments to blend well
with acoustic instruments. Since instruments radiate sound in all directions,
why shouldn't a speaker? It's quite remarkable how different these speakers
are from conventional amplifiers. For one thing, you don't really need
to add reverb, which makes sense; the significance of this is greater than
one might think, and Dan is trying to figure it all out as part of his
dissertation (ugh). Perry nearly went deaf cutting those holes in the metal
salad bowls. Anyhow, the speakers LOOK really cool (a wooden one--from
Ikea salad bowls, high quality car speakers, and tom-tom legs--has been
constructed and affectionately named R2; a second smaller one, to be the
first bowed-sensor-speaker-array (BoSSA and the Fangerbored) is under construction--more
coming soon... R2 has been Dan's gigging partner for the last several months):
Dan playing The Boulder and the the R-Bow
for filming of the Brazilian science show, Scientia. Ah, fame. If
Dan checking himself out