voccordion_2In order to get my master’s degree in music technology at NYU I needed to complete my final project. My whole first year I expected that I would be doing a research paper on either film sound or interactive audio, perhaps even underwater audio recording techniques. However during my penultimate semester I took a class where I had to design a new instrument. I had never done anything like this before and was immediately hooked.

Being a singer I decided that I wanted to do something that I could perform with vocally. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I wanted to make some sort of harmonizer that I could use to accompany my voice. From there I started looking for a controller, which I also found pretty easily at Toys R Us. A $10 toy accordion.

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After that it was just a matter of writing a (simple yet complex) Max/MSP patch and deciding what kind of sensors to use. The first version used a simple pulley system and buttons. The final version used stretch sensors and Bluetooth to connect back the harmonizer patch, which actually did a lot more than simply harmonize.

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I’m very happy with how it turned out and would like to eventually use the knowledge that I gained from making it to someday make a musical trampoline.

Final Paper
Virtual Voccordion Application

New Interfaces For Musical Expression Concert, 2006
Ryan Cole-Voccordion & Jonathan Cedar-Banjo

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