I finally gave in and decided to post footage of me testing my OMG super secret musical DRSSTC. I designed it last year as a paid commission for a Danish arts group who wanted a chorus of six musical coils that could be played by MIDI. I made a single prototype to test it here, but they ran six coils together in the final system, built by Finn Hammer over in Denmark.



What I made was an adaptor board that connected the internal tone generators on a Roland JX-8P synth to one or more DRSSTCs. The board converted the volume envelope to burst length, so the harder you pounded the keys, the bigger the sparks got. Hitting a high pitched note hard would blow the fuses, and the MIDI arrangements had to take this into account.

[Via] [Scopeboy] [Finn Hammer]

  • UncleClive

    You should have a go at making the structure of the keyboard from Polymorph plastic.
    It’s a re-mouldable plastic that can be moulded by hand once heated in hot water. When cooled it’s extremeley hard and durable

    Maplin Electronics in te UK and varoius others carry it


  • pelrun

    If you read the linked page, Russ mentions attempting to use Shapelock for one of his prototypes – and failing miserably.

    From my own experiments with the stuff I can agree – it’s truly wonderous stuff, but it has it’s limitations.

  • RussNelson

    I want to be able to manufacture this keyboard in the hundreds of units, so I’m looking for something reasonably repeatable. Shapelock (I assume similar to Polymorph) is great for one-off stuff like a cellphone cradle for cellphones lacking cradles, but it’s not good at all for production stuff.

  • nitr0burn

    looks like a hand cramp waiting to happen.