Snow-Globe Video

Just a minor update here from my recent Snow-Globe blog entry ( )

I made two VIDEOS about the snow-globe. The first is just a brief video showing the finished project. The second video is a longer “How-To” which includes some video, but is mostly a photo slide-show of all the steps I took to create the project.

For an in-depth step-by-step of how I built the project, check out the info I posted on Instructables.


June Music Group Night

June’s Music Group meeting tonight was Kevin, Matt G and myself scheming, listening to cool stuff, having some whiskey and playing around with max/msp tutorials.

The MESSSSS (Makersace Eight Speaker Super Surround Sound System) that we debuted at Bay View Gallery Night Friday went over pretty well, but could use some work.  We ran it off of 3 stereo receivers and 4 android phones coordinated by the PBST (Push the Buttons at the Same Time) protocol and want something a bit more controlled.  Also, the levels on our pieces were very different so we had super subtle things followed by ear-splitting shrieks.  While i’m personally into that kind of thing, it didn’t make for a terribly cohesive whole.  

We left the meeting with 3 main actions:

  1. rebuild a spare PC I have with an 8 channel audio card to be the new brains of MESSSSS.
  2. Start on an android app to control playback from multiple devices at once.
  3. Kevin and I are going to spend some serious time learning max/msp. I have done a couple of things with it but they are ugly and hacky and i only made them work by pushing things together really hard.

If we can get the new MESSSSS brains up and running, we are going to refocus the music club meetings on performance and recording.

Rubens Flame-Tube

Last Saturday morning I spent 4 hours making a Rubens Tube at the Makerspace while the crew from Pumping Station: One was shooting footage for their documentary entitled The Rebirth of the Maker Movement. Here is the first lighting of the tube:
Milwaukee Makerspace: We play with fire
A Rubens Tube is a pretty flashy piece of physics demo gear that uses fire to show the acoustic standing wave pattern inside an organ-pipe like tube fitted with a loudspeaker at one end. The 48” long, 2.5” diameter tube is filled with propane, which escapes through a series of 50 0.043” diameter holes spaced by 0.9 inches all along the length of the tube. Once the tube is full of propane (with absolutely no air), the 50 propane jets are lit with a striker or match, and all 50 flames have an identical height of 2 or 3 inches. When sound is played though the speaker at one end of the tube, the flame height is modulated by the acoustic pressure from the speaker. When a single tone (sine wave) at a resonance frequency of the system is played though the speaker, the heights of the flames map out the sinusoidal shape along the length of the tube. Playing music with dynamics or signing through the speaker is especially dramatic. I need to spend a few more hours fitting the Rubens Tube with a speaker at the other end and adding an additional propane inlet.