Synthux Hackathon 2023

Orb of Attunement

An artefact of sacred geometry who's sound emerges through periodic entrainment
A subtle stirring
Sound art

Coaches & collaborators

Queen Mary University of London
The Orb of Attunement is an enigmatic instrument which you can only play through subtle, gently swaying movements. The exterior is an icosahedron with no obvious controls. Inside, a Bela board and a gyroscope measure its movement and create a kind of virtual pendulum. The pendulum is induced to swing by slowly tilting the orb back and forth. Its sound is felt as much as heard: when, after steady and patient coaxing, the instrument begins to play, swishing sounds and the tone of a singing bowl are audible mainly to the player themselves, while the orb perceptibly shakes.
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the tech

How does it work?

The Orb of Attunement uses a gyroscope to sense rotational motion and a Bela embedded computer to process the motion and synthesise sound. The gyro data goes through a high-Q bandpass filter at 0.5Hz, creating the effect of a virtual pendulum: rotation synchronised to its oscillation will push the pendulum into ever greater resonance. The sound design includes filtered noise, a simple granular synthesiser, and a sample of a singing bowl that emerges with large swings. Sound is played through a vibration transducer inside its folded polyproylene case, and the device is powered by battery.
Open source code
Click here to grab this project's code
A gyroscope/accelerometer is a device used for measuring or maintaining orientation and angular velocity
Bela is a maker platform for interactive design and sound
About the instrument
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