Danne Woo : AC Sequencer
AC Sequencer
Instrument to make music with light or other AC powered appliances.
None
New Canaan, CT
The AC sequencer console allows the musician to control any AC powered appliance that is plugged into it. The first iteration, Light Hum, controlled the brightness and sequence of 8 light bulbs. Each bulb has a photocell theremin attached to it to convert the light frequency into audio frequency. I used different photocells/phototransistors, resistors and capacitors to generate different tones. The heart of the AC sequencer is a board designed by Mark Kleback and Ezer Lichtenstein. This project is completely analog, no computers were used for the audio or the visuals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What inspired you to do this?
I have always been interested in light and specifically how light can be converted to audio. I was also inspired by the work of Dan Flavin.
How long did it take to make it?
About 6-8 weeks.
How long have you been doing things like this?
Close to 10 years.
How much did this cost to do?
This project was fairly expensive since I needed to buy light dimmer switches, lights, many electrical cables, outlets and plexiglass. I would say this cost about $300-400 in materials.
Have you done other things like this?
Yes, I love playing around with physical and digital projects focused on musical innovation. I have actually also displayed and performed this using AC appliances as the audio output as well. The video for that iteration can be found here (https://vimeo.com/109393098).
What did you wish you knew before you started this?
It would have been nice to have more knowledge around AC power as well as circuit design for the photocell theremins attached to each light that converted the light waves to audio waves to have more control over the audio output.
Are there plans available to make this? Do you sell this?
No plans, but I am happy to chat with anyone who is interested in commissioning one for purchase. The circuit board designs for the photocell theremin circuit can be found on Instructables (https://www.instructables.com/Minty-Photocell-Theremin/).
What’s next?
I would love to make a version that is both smaller and cheaper.
Resoures?
Photocell Theremin Circuit Design on Instructables (instructables.com/Minty-Photocell-Theremin)
AC sequencer board designed by Mark Kleback and Ezer Lichtenstein (kleebtronics.com/sequencer)
Danne Woo : Creative Technologist
The maker Danne Woo
New Canaan, CT
I am a creative technologist who focuses on projects around design, data, programming, technology and musical innovation. I am also an Assistant Professor of Interaction Design at Queens College, CUNY.
Connect with Danne Woo
How I can help you:
Design, programming, physical computing, education
How you can help me:
Always looking to collaborate on projects.