cellF - semi living modular synthesizer

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andrewF
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Post by andrewF » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:07 pm

still not showing the full machine, we had to shift it to the hall last night. It weighs 200-250kg :zombie:

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dude
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Post by dude » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:27 pm

future

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c1t1zen
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Post by c1t1zen » Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:21 am

That is quite an amazing machine. Can't wait to hear the racket it makes.

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dude
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Post by dude » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:42 am

do the cells eat?

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Sandrine
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Post by Sandrine » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:08 am

This is so amazing!! You guys are living what I've only dreamed of in my wildest Asimov wet dreams!
Modular synth interfacing with biological entities is a perfect match, kudos to whoever thought of it, Andrew?

Years ago, I was messing with plants, searching for intelligence/reactive abilities of plants by data logging electrical impulses, plus I was getting into analog synths but never made the connection.

I hope you guys are going to explain things before performing, or they'll be totally lost hehe!

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andrewF
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Post by andrewF » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:03 am

dude wrote:do the cells eat?
Yes developing/growing/looking after the cells has been the most difficult and expensive part of the project. They need heating, CO2 and nutrient solution. So the synth contains gas bottles, regulator, a fan and a class 2 bio-lab.

We spent today setting it up in the hall and running it thru eight 1000W powered speakers :zombie: There is a display set up to show the 2 year development of this project, plus tomorrow's concert will be filmed & recorded. I will post pictures tomorrow of the entire synth :eek:

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andrewF
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Post by andrewF » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:06 am

Sandrine wrote:This is so amazing!! You guys are living what I've only dreamed of in my wildest Asimov wet dreams!
Modular synth interfacing with biological entities is a perfect match, kudos to whoever thought of it, Andrew?

Years ago, I was messing with plants, searching for intelligence/reactive abilities of plants by data logging electrical impulses, plus I was getting into analog synths but never made the connection.

I hope you guys are going to explain things before performing, or they'll be totally lost hehe!
It is the dream of Guy Ben-Ary, it is his neurons growing in the dishes. From what we learned doing this project we want to develop a smaller version for interfacing with any living material - fungii, slimes, plants, etc

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cyklopljud
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Post by cyklopljud » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:23 am

Fucking amazing Andrew, is it built into a van or something?
I can't quite understand the installation from the photos.
Look forward to you coming to Europe with it!

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Sandrine
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Post by Sandrine » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:41 pm

OMG I'm in love! Excellent work Andrew and Guy, I don't care what it sounds like or does, it's frikken insane!

On the van thought, I also think wheels should be involved somewhere based on those weights Andrew mentioned...

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andrewF
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Post by andrewF » Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:28 am

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pics from setting up today and yesterday. The gig had 16 1000W PA speakers around the hall, plus a 800W sub. The synth has 16 outputs (4 NLC matrix mixers), so each speaker had its own patch.
The neurons were fed dopamine before the gig and went ballistic. The interaction with the drummer was very tight (the drum hits are processed into 1Vp-p triggers and sent to the neurons). About 150 people came to see it.
It didn't fit thru the door to the hall so we had to partially dismantle it.

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Maco
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Post by Maco » Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:20 pm

:yay: :bananaguitar: :hail:

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bennelong.bicyclist
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Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sun Oct 04, 2015 4:08 pm

Is that a background microwave radiation horn, BTW?

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andrewF
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Post by andrewF » Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:48 pm

bennelong.bicyclist wrote:Is that a background microwave radiation horn, BTW?
no 8-)


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GrantB
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Post by GrantB » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:50 pm

***NEXT LEVEL***

I, for one, welcome our new cybernetic nonlinear overlords :hail:

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Post by sduck » Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:17 pm

andrewF wrote: It didn't fit thru the door to the hall so we had to partially dismantle it.
^This should be the goal of all future synth builders.^

This looks amazing - now to find audio...
flickr cloud of sound touyube NOT A MODERATOR ANYMORE

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myecholalia
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Post by myecholalia » Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:10 pm

Really amazing work, Andrew! Congratulations to you and the team.
Can't wait to see / hear more about this.
Any estimate about when the video from this event will be done?

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andrewF
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Post by andrewF » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:06 am

myecholalia wrote:Really amazing work, Andrew! Congratulations to you and the team.
Can't wait to see / hear more about this.
Any estimate about when the video from this event will be done?
cheers
we are all exhausted but very pleased
There was a pro vid crew filming it and the sound guy (Stu) really knows his shit - He has a 16 track recording of the performance.
I will post links as soon as they are up

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andrewF
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Post by andrewF » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:48 am

I should point out the case was designed by muffs member nathanxl, who supplies cases to a lot of aussie wigglers.
Nathan also built the incubator, ventilation system and CO2 supply to keep the neurons happy

Regarding the electronics:
The neuron dish has 60 electrodes, each of these is hooked up to and amplifier circuit to boost the neuron signals by approx 100x and then a comparator. Neurons chatter away constantly but they put out bursts of triggers every now & then, called action potentials, and it is these triggers we want.
So the black panel contains 60 processing circuits to extract the action potentials (triggers) and then we use these to control the synth.
The panel also has 16 stimulation input to send signals into the neurons (reduced to a max of 1Vp-p and approx 7ms trigger). To prevent feedback loops there are 60 analogue switches to momentarily turn off the processing circuits when a stim signal is sent. All this took quite a bit of work to develop and get right, but it is now fkn great!
During the performance (I was not the performer, we had a real musician for that), I had to check and adjust the comparators a couple of times as the neuronal activities changes over time. Otherwise the synth was untouched and just communicated with the drummer, his drumhits were fed to the stim inputs.

The actual synth section:
6 tri-core VCOs
4 LFOs
4 LPGs
8 VCAs
2 VC spring reverbs
2 diff-rectifiers
2 jerkoff chaos
4 281 EGs
2 Sauce of Unces
2 7 stage clock dividers with staircase
2 quad logic with resistor ladder & VC slew
2 Quad oscillator / low pass filter
2 choppers
2 Delay no mores
2 Vactrol PiLLs
2 DP filters
2 FF chaos
2 Sloth chaos
2 offset mixers
4 matrix mixers
2 multiband distortions
12 envelope generators
8 Frigates (pitch2CV and pitch2gate modules)
Plus a bunch of mults....think thats it

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Post by limpmeat » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:30 am

This is super amazing. Would love to see it in the flesh

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andrewF
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Post by andrewF » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:38 am

Definitely Sydney next June, most likely a week of shows.
Possibly MONA after that

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Joe.
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Post by Joe. » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:55 am

Adelaide Fringe festival please?

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deaddogsinhalf
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Post by deaddogsinhalf » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:18 am

This looks incredible to watch/hear!
I saw a short clip on my Facebook wall and just woah.

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Reality Checkpoint
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Post by Reality Checkpoint » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:38 am

This is the most incredible thing that I have ever seen. Just to come up with the idea is amazing, but to then realise that idea, to build it - so beautifully - and then to perform with it is utterly inspirational.

This project is what this emoticon was made for: :hail:

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andrewF
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Post by andrewF » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:01 am

filmed with my PoS mobile phone but gives some idea of what this does -

[video][/video]

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Randy
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Post by Randy » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:22 pm

Holy shit!

It might sound more analogue with wood end cheeks 'though.

Randy

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