I will here go trough the process of building and inventing my new instrument.

I hope that you find it interesting.


First 3d modell made in january 2018:

Background

In 2015, I built a so-called “Bazantar” for my contrabas(bazantar.com). A Bazantar is an additional box with 26 resonance strings that is attached to the doublebass.

I got inspiration from instruments such as Nyckelharpa (Swedish), Hardangerfela (Norway) or Sarangi (Middle East). I also spent time in Pakistan where I took lessons from a sarangi teacher.

The second modell made in february 2018:

Since then I have had a vision to expand and improve the idea with sympatetich strings. This time, I not only want to extend the number of strings and improve the sound and design. I also want to add electromagnetic actuators, which can be controlled via a computer and a MIDI interface.
In the context of my two-year project at the Rythmic Music conservatory in Copenhagen, I finally got a good opportunity to get the guidance and support needed to realize my project. There I get support both economically and knowledgeably.

The third modell made in Mars 2018:

 

Development of the carbonfibre structure

I continued to work on my 3D design and in March I received a 3D scan of my double bass, which enabled me to work more in detail with the design.

In February, I visited a factory in Gothenburg and had a meeting with the engineers there, who told me that they could manufacture the 3D model in carbon fiber.

I decided that it was a solution because I had thought that it was impossible to manufacture it myself. However, the factory and the contact person were very slow to respond to mails, so I became impatient and tried to find my own solutions.

After much research in different manufacturing methods such as CNC, 3D printing and laser cutting, the turning point came when I realized that I could divide my 3D model into six small parts and 3D print it with a standard 3D printer with print capacity 400x300x300 mm.

I bought a printer from China and after “24/7 printing” for a week’s time, I had a finished prototype:

After a couple of tests with 10 strings I could say that it worked ok and gave good resonance. I also tested electromagnets with a 7 w mono amp. I sent squarewaves in the same frequency as the string, and it gave sound!

However, it was found that I had problems with the tuning pins that I used, and after experimentation, I could see that I had destroyed the design.

In the same way, I received a response from the factory that they could produce carbon fiber construction for 46000 SEK. My response was that I had come so far in the process that I wanted to try to manufacture it myself. I concluded that after considering the following points:

  • Cheaper to manufacture it myself (about 20000 DKK).
  • I can do several prototypes.
  • The process is interesting and rewarding. It is a pleasure to see a result / product that I have made entirely.
  • I knew I could make it perfect if I invested in the tools needed for a successful carbon fiber construction.

I invested in carbon fiber fabric, epoxy, vacuum pump + accessory for about 12000 DKK (31 April).

I also decided that it was a good idea to print in carbon fiber fillament.
When the 3D model was printed and finished, I coated it with glass fiber with painted ornaments:

 


I used the wetlayup and vacuum bagging method to get as strong a construction as possible. Vaccum around the carbon fiber cloth provides a perfect ratio between epoxy and carbon fiber. It will also be easy and strong. Here are pictures from the process:

 


To solve the problem that I had with the first construction, I want to mill wood “inlays” that reinforce the friction between “pegs” and materials:


Jawari-bridges

To get the sound from the strings into the double bass I use jawaribridges in hard plastic, which I have CNC-cut. The correct meaning of the word “jawari” (or “jiwari”) is “the saddle that gives life to the sound”. It comes from the combination of “jiv” (life) & “sawari” (saddle) combination. Below is my 3d model of jawaribridges:

MORE INFO ABOUT JAWARI BRIDGES:

www.sitarfactory.be/maintenance/jawari/

Electromagnets and amplification
I  received guidance from Peter Williams from Aalborg University. He gave tips on a DIY sustainer to electric guitar, which I intended to use to amplify the signal from the magnets.
Find the DIY sustainer here


In May, I tried to build the amplifier above, but my model did not work. My knowledge of electronics is limited, so I need help with this process. Maybe I get someone to build the amplifier for me? I have purchased all electronic components, which are listed in the connection diagram above. Obviously, it’s not enough to just mess it up and hope it will work. Here are my failed results.

From the outset, I thought that 8 electromagnets would be a good solution, but I have realized that only 2 large magnets are enough for good results. In addition, it is technically easier to control a stereo channel instead of 8 in / out. My 3D design / print of the electromagnet can be seen here:

 

After some research, I have gained access to several PhD papers, which describe the tests of electromagnets and what impedance works best to vibrate strings.

I have design a  prototype with 40 Ω of each magnet as that would result in 5 Ω of nominal impedance (due to the calculation down below) when 8 of them were used together.

The aim is to get a nominal impedance of 8-16 Ω as this works with a normal amplifier.

Impedance calculations in series and parallel connections:

In serial connections, ZT = Z1 + Z2

In parallel, 1/ZT =1/Z1 +1/Z2

(impedance is shown with the letter Z; ZT is the total impedance)

How do electromagnets work?

A signal can be sent via a computer with programmed software to a sound card, which via amplifier amplifies the signal to electromagnets mounted over the strings. When the magnets turn on and off at high speed, the string begins to vibrate. Depending on frequency and velocity, the string begins to vibrate in its fundamental normal deviation at the fundamental frequency or follow the harmonic nature tense series because the wavelengths of a vibrating string are proportional to 1, 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4

Pure Data och Bela.io

To control and control the electromagnets, I use Bela.io that is specially adapted for audio:

More info about Bela can be found here: www.bela.io

With Bela, I can program “patches” in pure data with different functions.

I will  further develop my knowledge of pure data to create my own patches as needed. I am particularly interested in the “fiddle” object in PD. There you can analyze incoming sound / frequency and process the signal to create the current function.

Visions

I have the desire to explore new expressive dimensions that have not been heard and seen before. So far, people have been very good at using almost all sound-producing natural phenomena, but not all. Many of them have not been available without technology introduced in recent decades, such as electromagnetics and sound.

My goal of my work with music and creation has always been permeated by an unconscious or conscious thought of finding my own unique voice. With a brand new and futuristic instrument, I can achieve this goal further. Specifically, this project will hopefully give me a mention that gives me new opportunities for collaboration with composers, exhibitions at museums and collaboration with researchers and designers in IT and industrial design.

Musical Visions

With this instrument, I will create something that is unique and gives you completely new possibilities for composing music.

Evaluation of artistic “outcome”

I have opened this new project for a new chapter in my artistry. I’ll see me more like a sculptor who works with 3D design, future technological innovations and machines. In addition to that, I am still a musician, double bassist and composer, but my artistic area has become broader.I’ve got a new energy with this project. I have a desire and desire to work hard to successfully reach my visions.

 

Once the instrument is complete, I have several ideas and questions that give an idea of ​​how to develop the project:

  • I want to work systematically with musical visions and what the instrument can do.
  • I want to create a library of musical methods that fit my new instrument. What can the instrument do? How do I play the instrument? I want to develop ethics / exercises that I can use in future musical contexts
  • I want to work to go into the depths of one thing and try to develop it as much as possible. I want to work dogmatically.
  • I want to take away pressure from performing. What can I do with the little things? A clear limitation is necessary.
  • What does the instrument want me? What opportunities does it want to open to me?
  • I want to force myself into musical contexts that I usually do not understand.

Why do I do this?

I have always had a dream of creating something of significance that is personal, and that creates an impression. With this instrument I will realize this dream. This instrument opens up for a new sonic world for me, where I will create a new impression in my musical context.

These are parts of my upcoming survey field.

 

P.S.

I had some first ideas and sketches back in 2015:

 

I looked at the harp for inspiration:

D.S.