• "8-bit Tribute" - Interactive artwork based on the most iconic SEGA character

    KASSER SYNTHS01/07/2019 at 10:34 0 comments

    "8-bit tribute" (2017)

    Pixel art of the famous sprite of the Sonic The Hedgehog for the 8-bit sega consoles. This artwork recreates musically the Green Hill stage using the famous SN76489 chip (3 square waved voices and 1 noise voice) used in the SEGA Master System, Game Gear and Megadrive/Genesis.

    This interactive artwork can be controlled with a IR distance sensor and 3 different LED colors guide the viewer through Green Hill trying to get the rings, the chaos emerald and finally arriving successfully at the end of the stage.

    "8-bit Tribute" - working with pixels

  • Other interesting artworks based on tessellated circuits - "Kepler's Tessellation"

    KASSER SYNTHS01/07/2019 at 10:20 0 comments

    - "Kepler's Tessellation" (2016)

    It uses the pentagon-decagon-five point star combination studied by Johannes Kepler. Copper and niobium pieces are completed by two Pentagon spirals made of titanium that act as speakers. Distance sensor triggers a Chopin's sonata that it is only performs with the right tempo at a fixed distance. If this is missed then both speakers play asynchronously for the rest of the time.

    "Kepler's Tessellation"

  • Other interesting artworks based on tessellated circuits - "Bytestream music on canvas"

    KASSER SYNTHS01/07/2019 at 10:13 0 comments

    - "Bytestream music on canvas" (2016)

    2 random pieces of 6 seconds one-line algorithmic music are generated every time the photoresistor is activated. 6 LEDs fade in and out randomly and simultaneously. 2 Simple code lines define complex patterns of music and light. All this complexity grows on a hexagon-square-triangle tessellation made of heat-colored copper. The speaker is made of a hexagonal spiral of copper in the center with a big neodymium magnet behind.

    "Bytestream music on canvas"

  • Other interesting artworks based on tessellated circuits - "Private self portrait"

    KASSER SYNTHS01/07/2019 at 10:03 0 comments

    - "Private self portrait" (2017) 

    It is made of three elements. Liquid Crystal panel, distance sensor and copper band. The more you get closed to the face, the less you can see the eyes.
    Nowadays all of us share our selfies without too much thinking in our social networks but on the other side we are at the same time more reluctant to leave other people entering in our private sphere.

    "Private self portrait"

  • Other interesting artworks based on tessellated circuits - "Decagon's sonata"

    KASSER SYNTHS01/07/2019 at 09:57 0 comments

    - "Decagon's sonata" (2017)

    It is based on the Moonlight sonata by Beethoven played in an old FM chip like YM2413. In parallel 10 OLEDs are playing 5 different hypnotic animations that can be controlled through a Sharp IR distance sensor.

    "Decagon's sonata"

  • Other interesting artworks based on tessellated circuits - "Rhythmic Windmills"

    KASSER SYNTHS01/07/2019 at 09:37 0 comments

    - "Rhythmic Windmills (2016)"

    A randomly selected rhythm is activated when the metal colored windmill turns. The SMD LEDs of different colors are lighted up with the three different sound elements: high-pitched square wave, low-pitched square wave and noise. When the three windmills are played together, more complex rhythms are created. Every windmill is made entirely out of one metal, copper (brown and gold tones), titanium (blue, gray and purple) and niobium (green, blue and pink)

  • How to color niobium with...diet coke???

    KASSER SYNTHS12/29/2018 at 08:25 0 comments

    From Wikipedia:

    "Niobium, formerly columbium, is a chemical element with symbol Nb (formerly Cb) and atomic number 41. It is a soft, grey, ductile transition metal, which is often found in the pyrochlore mineral, the main commercial source for niobium, and columbite. The name comes from Greek mythology: Niobe, daughter of Tantalus since it is so similar to tantalum."

    Small amounts of niobium are added to steel to drastically increase its strength, to make superconductors and in jewellery thanks to it is hipoallergenic.

    However, the thin film oxide that grows on the surface of the metal during anodization produce gorgeous colors.

    And what do you need for anodization?

    - A metal to be anodized connected to the positive of the power supply --> Niobium

    - A metal that cannot be corroded connected to the negative of the power supply --> i.e. stainless steel

    - A power supply up to 120 V and able to deliver at least 3 A.

    - And finally an electrolyte where the metals can be immersed. In this case...diet coke????!!!!! --> Yes, because it contains phosphoric acid that it is mainly used in the anodization industry.

    With all these elements and just changing the voltage you can obtain the following colors (from left to right and from top to bottom, beginning with 5V and 5V steps):

  • Arduino Code for the Electrical Tessellation artwork

    KASSER SYNTHS12/23/2018 at 08:41 0 comments

    I have uploaded the Arduino IDE code used in the artwork in GitHub. The key part of the code is the VGM player used for playing the VGM files created with the Deflemask tracker. The songs are copied in C format directly from the VGM files and it is copied at the beginning of the file. The rest of the code read the temperature from the IR thermometer and trigger the different events (songs and leds combination) when the viewer interact with the artwork.

  • Electrical Tessellation - Schematics

    KASSER SYNTHS12/22/2018 at 20:23 0 comments

    Yamaha YM2612 and YM3438 are fantastic FM chips which usage is widely documented. The only thing they need is a microcontroller to send the correct information to every register and set the different parameters of the FM synthesis. In this artwork this task is carried out by the omnipresent ATMega328p. The way the viewer interact with the artwork triggering the different events is through an IR thermometer MLX90614 that can be controlled with I2C

    The ATMega328p is supported with two ICs 74hc595 and 74hc164 to increase the number of GPIO pins needed for the YM2612 (16 pins) and the 7 SMD LEDs.

    The audio output is amplified thanks to the PAM8403 Class D amplifier reducing the power usage required.

  • Electrical tessellation - Where is the music coming from?

    KASSER SYNTHS12/17/2018 at 21:35 0 comments

    • I composed a short piece specifically for this artwork. I followed the idea of having two voices representing two different characters. They dialogue about superation, too big ambitions (1 octave jump) and not succeeding. And finally achieve your goals all in major scale. I related the musical scale with hot colors (copper, gold and orange) that are the ones that hold the electrical circuit. In the second artwork I am preparing the story is the same but the colors are cold and scale is minor. That changes completely the story.
    • The music is played using a Yamaha chip and it was composed with a chiptune tracker called Deflemask. With this software I can create a VGM file and what I have implemented in the code is basically a VGM player.
    • I would like to say that Yamaha made a great job with this FM chip (YM2612 / YM3438) for the Genesis/Megadrive. 6 FM channels and one of this channel could be used as DAC and be able to play real WAV sound. FM Synthesis was broadly used in Yamaha synthesizers like the DX7 and defined the sound of a whole generation