Archive for January, 2009

The optical distortion device

January 7th, 2009 No comments

The ODD (optical distortion device)optical-distortian-deviceodd

I made a device that simply sends audio through an infrared LED and on the other side you hear the results. There is an RGB LED inside to cause different levels of different colors of light on inside the box. Its kind of an odd thing to do and it causes pleasing distortion of the audio effects being sent though when you lower the threshold of light. There is also a nice thing that happens when you send audio as a beam of light flashing on another led underneath the IR control, you get a splicing effect that I cant explain, here are some of the results.

This is a sample of a pure beat that I will show you for demonstration
Click here to play Clean.wav

This is a sample of me turning down the RGB light on the inside of the box bringing the brightness of the light inside the box from full to min. you can hear the high frequencies start to roll off then the crunchyness start to come though. I have automated this control with the beat in previous recordings and you can make some great effects like bringing in one drum hit nice and clear and making the rest of the beat all squashed and crunchy.. I do this and make layers of beats that sound nice and complex.
Click here to play dirty.wav

Here is the same beat with misc voices talking that I recorded off the radio and have played into my “led speaker” wheres it can effect the audio being sent through the infrared LED.
Click here to play Format.wav

This is a LED speaker like the one is inside the oddlight-speaker

This is a clip of the beat I used in a song called “Tooth Fairy” using the Odd that you can check out for the project I call Dub Amor at or
Click here to play tooth fairy beat


Minimal Light Thermin (Light to Sound Converter)

January 6th, 2009 1 comment

Minimal Light to Sound

So a couple of months ago, James and I were playing with manipulating music and sound using light.  While doing this we stumbled on what seems to be the simplest light thermin.  The circuit has a total of 4 components; 150 Ohm resistor, 9 volt battery, a speaker, and is  mainly driven by the TSL230R Light to Frequency Converter made by Parallax Inc.

Parallax TSL230R

We got the circuit to work with speakers and various audio jacks.  All components were bought at our local Radio Shack for around 10 dollars.  This is a real simple project for people new or just interested in sound and light manipulation, and it only takes five to ten minutes to build.

Light to Sound Converter

Charles Martin made an awesome patch in Pure Data last year that analyzes an audio input and then uses pitch and amplitude information to output a midi control value.   This works great with the Light to Sound converter, and turns it into a cheap easy to build midi controller.  Check out the link below.


Light to Sound Converter from Mike Tron on Vimeo.


Categories: Misc. Audio Builds Tags: