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Narrative: Comments contact@accessiblemusic.org.uk

Thursday 22nd Feb 2018 Today saw a visit to the Music and Drama at Expo. There was a good talk on "gameyfying" a music lesson. Some innovative ideas using straws and plasticine to explain legers lines etc. Generally disappointing in the lack of material to support people with disabilities. A highlight though was John Kelly with his "Kelly Caster" doing a good Billy Brag improv.
Tuesday 20th Feb 2018

A very satisfying morning. With help from our Jenn, took a car load of my prototype, assitive music technology over to MacIntyre MK this morning. Very heart warming to see how INVOLVED they got trying talking tables, polyphonic planks, floor drums and other gadgets. Some learning points:-

  • The talking table needs to be narrower so that people in wheel chairs can reach across.
  • The polyphonic plank (planxtone) needs to be less sensitive so that it does not interact with materials in the table underneath.
  • The wide choice of actuator buttons is useful, though for this type of interact ice session only two chords or percussion is needed.
  • The separate floor drums would benefit from being combined into one unit. This would facilitate people in walkers or wheel chairs using them.
  • There was a request for a "mini squawkbox" for one of the students to take home. A two chorded (A and E") MIDI based guitar should do the trick.
Friday 16th Feb 2018 Tracy Watson from Secklow Sounds came around to find out more about the project. She is doing this as part of a wider use into the health aspects of music. Judy from Carolina Music was also present to give an insight into the use of conventional music techniques to make music accessible.Interstingly enough this meeting stemmed from a discussion at the Wouburn Sands Summer Fete last year.
1st Feb 2018 It is always refreshing to be in the company of good people. Met up with the Woburn Sands Rotary group.On the whole they seem to "get" the concepts behind assistive music technology. Having some tech to play with, e.g. the polyphonic plank and the talking whiteboard went down well. I need to smooth out some of the tech talk as I do not want folks to be shut out if some of the concepts are difficult to comprehend.
30th Feb 2018 Yet another good meeting of creative minds at DM Labs makerspace. The Planxtone well received (aka the polyphonic plank). They understood it's use asa proof of concept demo. The new Skoog was tried out, seems more stable, here's hoping for them. A steam punk style bowler hat was also proffered up, employing conductive cloth plus a 9 degrees of freedom sensors and variable resistive rubber band to generate sounds depending on the attitude of the hat and it's wearer. The was also a copper clad pyramidal sound generator.
29th Jan 2018 Presentation to be given to MK Rotary at the Hilton on February 1st  
2nd Jan 2018 AMPS: Talking Table A Talking Table: Spare wallpaper is used as a re-usable background. Sound files and pictures can be changed to suite any occasion.
31st Dec 2017 Amps: Talking Table, gubbins

A talking table using capacitive sensing as a proximity sensor. The processor board can also play MP3 sound files.



13th Dec 2017
After feedback on the tactile aspects of Planxtone, I decided to inlay the sensors on the circle of 5ths. This has turned out to be time consuming because of the cutting properties of MDF. MDF was used initially as its electrical properties facilitate sensors to be hidden underneath. I've found plywood makes sensors less sensitive (properties of the glue?). I decided to put the sensors on the front because of their visual aspect. So next time if I inlay it will be plywood! All part of the learning process.
2nd Dec 2017
Reading up on on Teensy 3.2. Appears awesome, but need to actually test it out and see if it actually delivers.
29th Nov 2017
New challenge. This is to create an instrument for someone who is deaf and partially sighted. So I'm thinking haptic.
27th Nov 2017

Some experimentation with MIDI to make it more flexible in sound generation. Being able to pan left and right would be useful. This would allow Ch1 to fire out on left channel and C2 on the right. There are a lot of cheap stereo class D amplifiers around and splitting make for easier construction.Also got neopixels up and running, but that is for another day. code snippet for Arduino / VSLI 1053B

talkMIDI(0xB0, 0x0A, 0);//0 is channel 1, balance 0 = left, 127 right, 0A pan sends Pan message
talkMIDI(0xB1, 0x0A, 127);//1 is channel 2, balance 127 =hard right, 0A sends Pan message

23rd Nov 2017
Cof5 Purple
Adding some colour. It would be nice to either colour code or "swirl" the paint like a cyclone, but I want it up and running for Xmas Bytes at TNMoC. 28th to 30th Dec.
21st Nov 2017
Now fully working. 4 instruments, Keys of C, G, D and F major and 5 octave shifting.
11th Nov 2017
Circle of Fifths 01
Started work on a "Circle of Fifths device. 2ft square MDF board and a dozen rectangles of chopped up PCB.
9th Nov 2017
Running my pin test routine showed up a number of problems on the Planxtone hardware. Rotating the resistive network switch showed it had developed a fault. i.e. on the 6th position it was shorting the 5v rail to earth. As a work around the switch was reduced to 5 selections. There was a problem that the binary selection on pins 6-7 was showing a "short" between the two. This turned out to be some conductive ink from a prior use of the board was shorting the pins out. Sorted by a thorough clean.
31st Oct 2017
Revamped web site structure

August 2017: Sound Bytes at TNMoC during the Bytes sessions.

Sound Bytes Interacting
Sound Bytes Explaining open source technology.
Sound Bytes Floor Guitar and a hidden desk drum
Sound Bytes Polyphonic Table Flute
Summer Bytes Talking Whiteboard
Sound Bytes An assortment

of devices

Sound Bytes The PlanxTone

Sound Bytes Different Table Drums



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