Monday, October 13, 2014

Activities of the evening

It was a short night due to working late, but I managed to get some progress on the Bass Stick:

I drilled four slits into the top of a cigar box for the new pressure pads.  It was scary doing this because the surface was otherwise so pristine, so seeing even small gouges on it looks violent, but it's really just part of the creative process.  They will be smoothed and finished and ultimately, these holes have an important purpose:  That's how the pressure pads connect to the rest of the instrument!

The pressure pads themselves are larger than the old ones.  I found the old ones, when playing, became tricky to focus on.  People often missed the tiny target spot in their centerthat produced the sound.  One the new pads, the target patch for making a sound should be much larger!

Also, I'm choosing four pads instead of the older instruments which had two.  Why?  For flexibility and more sonic diversity.  For example, I can dedicate one pad for major chords/sounds, one for minor, one for a single note lead, and one for a background pad.  Do people really need all those options?  Does it take away from the simplicity?  We'll see in play-testing, but I believe it will lead to a greater diversity of sound, which is part of what electronic music is all about!

I also temporarily mounted the pressure pads using scotch tape.  This allows me to re-position them to match their locations to players' fingertips.  Once I complete the electronics and software tasks that make these new pressure pads work, I'll be able to play the instrument and fine-tube the pads' locations.

Also, I decided to exchange some late night time-wasting for going through the tutorials for that new computer programming language called Rust.  My first step was to install Rust on my windows laptop.  I verified the compiler executes from my Cygwin shell and then went to sleep.  Tutorials can now begin immediately!  I'm excited to learn Rust because it's a logical next step from programming in C/C++ for people like me who want to go in the direction of high-performance without going in the direction of huge, clunky APIs and run times (Java, Python).

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