Why This is Being Built, and When the Deadline Is

A project log for Ultrasonic Directional Speaker v1

Producing highly directional sound from 40kHz ultrasonic transducers

Alan GreenAlan Green 01/06/2016 at 08:330 Comments

This all came about as a result of conversations with my son.

Mitchell is doing his Bachelor's degree in Music at the University of Western Sydney and this year will be putting on a performance as part of a course named "Sound and Performance: Expanded Practice". The university describes it in this way (bolding added by me):

This unit offers students the opportunity to plan, prepare and perform a substantial artistically and technically challenging performance project as featured artist. Students are required to expand their performance practice by utilising electroacoustic and/or multimedia and/or theatrical elements...

When he is assessed, Mitchell gets credit for his performance and any novel "elements" that he uses, but doesn't get credit for building these elements. In other words, it's not cheating if Dad builds it for him. It would even be fine for Mitchell to just go buy something off-the-shelf.

Mitchell had been interested in highly directional speakers for some time. I'm fascinated by them too: usually an audience has a shared experience of a performance, but directional speakers can give different parts of the audience different experiences.

After a bit of Googling though, I was hooked. I had a lot to learn, it wasn't going to be cheap, but it does seem to be something that I can accomplish.

That was October 2015.

Mitchell's performance is May 2016, but he should have a solid prototype before March in order to allow him to develop his performance.

Wish us luck.