MATRIXSYNTH: Physical Synthesis Cicada - Acoustic Vibration Synthesizer

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Physical Synthesis Cicada - Acoustic Vibration Synthesizer

video uploads by Physical Synthesis

via Physical Synthesis

"Cicada is an inherently human and expandable modular system comprised of five primary components: AMP, PRE, Actuator, Bridge, and Soundboard.

The Cicada Actuator generates vibration through two voice-coil motors supplied from up to three amplified input signals (carrier modulator, and DC offset).

These vibrations are carried across a steel Bridge and transformed into a nonlinear tip-surface interactions with a Soundboard containing a piezoelectric pickup.The signal from the pickup is pre-amplified, filtered, and compressed to +5dB level output to either direct (speakers) or back into a DAW or effects chain.

In addition to audio, the Cicada Soundboard has four force sensitive resistors (FSRs) located beneath the four corners of the unit. When the soundboard material is compressed, the FSRs transmit CV voltages (0 to 5V+) from each of the four FSRs.

Unique Components

Cicada is an expandable modular system comprised of five primary components: AMP, PRE, Actuator, Bridge, Soundboard.


2 x 15W Class A Amplifiers (LM1875T) with DC offset on amplifier one.


Two 3.5 mm mono audio inputs accepting Eurorack-level audio signals at 10V pp, one 3.5 mm CV input to control DC Offset 10V pp, (-5V to 5V range). Note: line-level inputs must amplified.


One 3.5 mm unbalanced mono audio output. Four 3.5 mm CV outputs from the Soundboard FSRs (0 to +5V).

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