The Paper FingerPhone, a sustainably designed electronic Musical Instrument

The first paper FingerPhone was created to demonstrate conductive paper at the East Bay Maker Faire. It was built using the speaker in a large musical greeting card that Hallmark used to make with a bending mode transducer.

The next version used a pizza box as the resonator to demonstrate reuse as the sustainability aspect was emphasized..

Eventually it was placed on cardboard to be attached to poster board where it won "Best Poster" award at the NIME conference.

The conference paper associated with that poster presentation was chosen for inclusion in the NIME reader.

See video

Analog and Digital Sound Synthesis as Relaxation Oscillators

In a recent workshop on e-textile sound for the 2018 e-Textile Spring Camp, I provided a unifying framework for analog and digital sound synthesis and capacitive sensing techniques under the rubric of relaxation oscillators.

The following pages provide context for the workshop and include links to contributions from my co-teacher, Martin De Bie. This includes pointers to various iterations of his 555 timer-based Textilo project.

This project will be expanded ongoingly with further relaxation oscillator schemes.

Sound Making Technologies Ordered by Increasing Complexity/Cost/Size

The entries in this table with an * were briefly reviewed in the 3 hour workshop the 2018 eTextile Spring camp. As the table shows, these are in the middle of the affordability/complexity/size axis and were selected for their potential in e-textile and wearable contexts. We had the good fortune to have Bela well represented in another workshop at the camp. Bela is transitioning to a new compact form factor which will make it easier to use with e-textiles.
Approach Example Link
non-electronic Lamello
*Analog relaxation oscillator Textilo
Analog harmonic oscillator self-resonating VCF
*Digital relaxation oscillator Arduino Tone
*Digital relaxation oscillator Mozzi (LUT)
*Digital Modulation Synthesis Mozzi (FM)
*Digital Subtractive Synthesis Talkie (LPC Speech
and singing)
Unit Generator Library Teensy Audio Library
Sampling "Synthesis" Tone.js (Tone.Player)
Dynamically Patched Unit Generators Bela (libpd)
Dynamically Patched Unit Generators
with Image Synthesis
Analog Patched Modular Modular

Arduino Music and Sound Weekend Workshop in Berkeley

Dates: July 24 + July 25, 2010 from 10am to 5pm FULL


During this hands-on workshop we will survey Arduino platforms, libraries, shields and programming techniques for a broad range of musical and sound applications. We will learn how to synthesize useful wave shapes including square, sine, triangle and pulses, how to manage polyphony and timing and how to playback and record sampled sounds.

An audio oscillator using digital ICs

An audio oscillator using digital ICs, Freed, A. , Electronics Australia, 01/1978, Volume 39, Number 10, p.53-4, (1978)
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