Exploring 555

arduino, computer art, projects, visualization

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For the past couple of years, my friend and collaborator Aaron Zernack has been investigating audio synthesis using Current Voltage (CV/Gate) modular synthesizers. The whole thing has been very interesting to me aesthetically as sound, but also as to wonder about its potential in visualization. I have 2 modules now that allow me to experiment with analog synthesis in the visual realm. One is the Gieskes Oscillatoscope video synth and the other is the Minigorille Geometry Synth. Both of these devices have been an amazing ways of visualizing sound data and creating very exciting synesthesia art projects. However, I noticed that a lot of these synths use ATMega chips, same or similar to the arduinos. This made me think in a more conter-intuitive way. What if I could get rid of all the coding and produce synthesizers that modulate current voltage using simple electronics?
555 PWM
The diagram shows a snapshot of a circuit simulator of an LED fader using the 555 timer, resistors and capacitors. As you can see on the graphic we should have a smooth PWM modulation, but it ends up ramping up really fast. The video shows how the circuit is not really able to keep a consistent value, or a slow gradation of value at the least. Anyhow, This is mostly a new venue for research and experimentation. It would be really cool to simplify the circuits for my sculptures and not necessarily need to use I/0 boards for each sculpture. In this case you can see how the Red color fades in and then very suddenly it becomes white. I was hoping for a smoother transition, but nevertheless, very interesting.

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