[Photos by Glenna Jennings]
Dub Machines- Headgear
Based upon a lifelong habit of beat-boxing melodies and rhythms and essentially song writing as I walk around, shower or drive, I have always wanted to make some sort of device that would take my vocal mush and output exactly what was in my head. Well I haven’t achieved that yet, but I have created an 8 microphone input device that allows me to trigger 8 simultaneous sounds as well as output 8 different channels of my voice for input into the computer or mixer. The two rows of 4 electret condenser microphones are unidirectional and compartmentalized, so there is little cross contamination of the audio inputs. The microphone distance from your mouth is adjustable through a custom spring-loaded mechanism for each. They are close enough together that simply by turning your head or twitching a bit (much like a cat following a fly in the room) you can easily place your mouth over any of the microphones. One manner this device can be used is to use the voltage signal created by the volume of your voice as an expression controller on your actual voice, or on a triggered sound. There are more that I am working on and will share as they develop.
This device is USB powered and has 8 mono microphone outputs.
The brain of the Headgear is the Arduino Duemilanove. Currently the device is programmed to output USB/MIDI to Ableton Live, but can easily be configured to output OSC commands to communicate with Pd, MAX, Reaktor, etc.
Download the Arduino source code here: headgear_3.pde