MATRIXSYNTH: SDS AutoPlay Piano Music Box!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

SDS AutoPlay Piano Music Box!


"This project is a 1-off gift for my parents. It began as an experiment with the SDS Accord Melisma module's core. Outside of a module rack the hybrid synth must provide all of the signals you would normally patch, in the way they might be patched allowing autonomous operation as a stand-alone composition.

The piano also has a fairly large Flash memory and sequencer system similar to the Accord Sequarallel module (some of the SW was stolen from the Sequar!) in order to play recognizable songs that have been recorded in. I included a couple of Sequarallel's FX, and would have added more if time permitted, but as is usually the case, time ran out and I had to wrap it up and send it on it's way in time for Chrissy.

The piano has some settings, primarily the "mood" selector which will bias randomization of song types toward this selection. i.e. Mood=Summer, then there's a good chance a Beach Boys tune will start playing, followed by "Sunny Days" or "La isla Bonita". Like Christmas, "Melisma" is one of the moods and will either compose it's own music from banks of progressions in any one of the 8 PROG memories, or will take an existing song and apply Sequarallel FX to it, thus completely changing the way it sounds. (It's the perfect plagiarism tool I'll tell ya!)

On top of all of this, the keys on the piano animate thus making it a player piano! I'll be honest, the keys don't match actual chords even though the original design was for just that. Due to circumstances beyond my control parts didn't arrive so I had to wing it with what I had around the workshop. It would have been nice, but only to someone that plays piano, I doubt anyone else would even notice!

The project wasn't without disastrous goof-ups though. I managed to fry most of it by passing 12 volts through everything, AFTER recording in over 200 songs. Luckily I had backed up over 100 songs so it only took 2 days get the rest in. Then there was the "I have no idea how electromagnets interact" crisis which was a result of making a bad decision under stress from Canada post losing my order or whatever happened. That's covered in the video.

All in all this was a fun & challenging project which pulled me away from the intense programming I had been slaving on for 3 months prior, thus offering a holiday without leaving the farm, which is double bonus these days. Wow am I ever refreshed and ready to just back into it, both feet tippy toes down.
Enjoy the video!"

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