Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Creative Assignment (Due before class starts today):

  • Please post three paragraphs (total) describing three different ideas for your noise machine to the course blog.  If you can’t think of anything, use the pieces that everyone posted to the website as inspiration.  Don’t worry too much (yet) about *how* you would build these machines.  Focus on the artistic/conceptual side for now.
  • The questions you should answer in your descriptions are below.
    1. What is the sound material? In brainstorming, expand on our word association brainstorm from last Wednesday.
    2. What is the form?  What does it look like, and why?
    3. What is the interaction?  Who is playing the machine?  Is it an expert/virtuoso? No one? A novice? Another machine?  And: how are they playing it?
    4. What is the ideal artistic context for your machines? This is closely related to the last question, but consider: where would you find this machine?  On-stage? In an art gallery? Somewhere else?
    5. Anything else that you’d like to include.

Historical (Due before class starts today):

This series is a bit dated, but is a nice video introduction to some of the technologies that have changed music in recent memory.  We’ll watch the other segments subsequently.  For now, start with:

Segment 1

Technical (Due before class starts today):
In the first part of today’s class, we’re going to have a more formal introduction to electronics, including your first graded lab, which will involve building some simple circuits.  For those of you who are new to electronics this will be a lot of information.  We will be working in groups, though, so the tasks should be manageable.  Before class today, therefore, you should be able to describe, in broad brushstrokes:

  • What is meant by voltage, current and resistance
    • Brief Introduction to voltage, current and resistance <–note that electrons technically move from – to +, but convention has them moving from + to -.
  • What is Ohm’s Law, and when/why you would use it
  • The difference between parallel and series connections
    • Series and parallel explained using a water analogy<–This has a nice demonstration, but they go through some of the equations kind of quickly.  Below are videos that take you through things a bit more slowly.
    • Resistors in series vs. parallel <–There will be some review here, but to get a better grasp of resistors wired in series vs. parallel watch “Circuits (parts 1-3)”
  • The purpose/use(s) of basic electronic components, including
    • Capacitors <–Okay so the Make videos can be a bit hokey, but it gives you a bit of a view inside a capacitor so you can see what it is really doing.
    • Resistor <–Pretty much review…not required, but just in case it isn’t clear.
    • Diodes <–A very thorough introduction.  Also explains how you would use a diode to convert AC power to DC power.
    • Watch this cheesy video about transistors or read about them in written form.
    • Not Gates or Inverters also, how to make one yourself with a transistor.
  • If you feel completely overwhelmed, at your own pace, consider going through these tutorials, which provide an extended introduction to electricity and electronics.

In class we will have a chance to clarify any lingering questions to help you tackle the lab.

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