The bell controller allows for expressive control through a few simple parameters:
- Performance vs. Installation mode
- Whether a motor is on or off
- "Note on" length
- "Note off" length
- Intensity of motor and LED
- Acceleration or Deceleration
When a motor is "on", it flashes/vibrates at a rate controlled by a combination of "note on" and "note off" rates. The combined rate is then scaled differently for each motor, preventing any two motors from flashing at the exact same rate.
The structure of the program is based on a single
motorcontrol() function. Each motor uses the same function with slightly different parameters. All logic is self-contained in the Arduino. You can view the code on github.
Performances with the bell controller can either be amplified or completely acoustic. Amplification introduces other control elements that are used compositionally thoughout the performance (live EQ and mixing). Tape and magnets are also used to change the timbre of the bells.
CDM Create Digital Music
"Watch these makers of hybrid physical-digital music instruments – a talk from Ableton Loop", Peter Kirn, Create Digital Music, September 3, 2020.