I almost choked on my porridge this morning as I read this mail of yours,
and my first thought was: "Where have you been these last 8 years?"
The idea of using a DRSSTC as a musical instrument was originally mine,
as you ought to know, and I presented it to Steve Conner at breakfast at
the Derby Teslathon back in 1994. He liked the idea, and modified a
Roland synth. so that it would act as a combined MIDI interpreter and TC
controller for all 6 channels.
I went on to create 6 identical DRSSTC's and the rest is history.
This was a time where both Daniel MCauley and Stephen Ward went public
with comments like "We don't think there will be any interest in the
harsh sound from a pulsed TC"
Meanwhile, the Bach video was recorded, with a cheap snapshot digital
camera, so although the microphones clipped, and the echo in the
industrial hall was total, the sound was awesome.
Here you have _real_ 6 note polyphony, 1995 style, never done before or,
for that matter, by anyone after:
You brushed up on the lack of volume at low frequencies, here is Thumper
@68Hz. the key to volume lies in input voltage, a parameter it should not
be too hard to controll.
Different voices are easy to produce, just sit down with the synth and
press the different instruments, some good some awfull, I particularly
like the stuff from 0:58 to 1:19 and forward
Simple pulse trains can produce interesting sounds like this V-Twin
And the sound of a MIDI saxophone is also interesting:
So you see, pulse trains, envelope curves controlling the ON-Time and
input voltage controll for macro volume changes, It's all been done, and
is just waiting for some young whizzkid to perfect.
Cheers, Finn Hammer still lurkin'
----- Original meddelelse -----
Fra: Jim Lux<jimlux@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Til: Tesla Coil Mailing List<tesla@xxxxxxxxxx>
Dato: Lør, 31. mar 2012 03:47
Emne: [TCML] tcs as musical instruments...
As I was driving to my daughter's rehearsal this afternoon, I thought
about Bart's videos (and all the other musical TCs).. and realized
we should think about what kind of instrument a TC is, and my best
is that it's sort of like an organ that can play only one note at a
There's not much in the way of dynamics. You have to have enough
to get a breakout, and the sound from a small spark is not a lot
different from a big spark. So it's like a pipe organ in that way.
get big changes in volumes by adding ranks of pipes.
Can it do polyphony.. I think so, in a limited way. You're basically
generating a pulse stream. And I could logically "OR" two pulse
streams, one at "C" and one at "E" for instance, and I should hear
notes. Easy to test with some .wav files
How many octaves range does it have.. you can go pretty low, but the
loudness will drop off. The bang size is roughly constant, so the
acoustic power as the rep-rate goes down goes down with frequency,
Weber-Fechner law means that lower frequencies "sound" less loud for
same power. What's the top frequency, maybe a couple octaves above
Can we make a TC put out a sound that's different than the sort of
we normally get. Perhaps, if you send closely spaced double pulses?
What does something that is, say, bang, 1 ms, bang, 9 ms, bang, 1ms,
bang,... sound like.. Yes, about 100Hz, but there'll be some
harmonic structure that would sound different. Then there's all the
techniques from early synthesizers: Two pulse trains at the same
frequency, one with a bit of FM on it (a sort of vibrato/tremolo
But here's the intriguing thing.. I've always wanted to build a setup
with multiple TCs that can do real polyphony. Originally, I had ideas
of multiple rotary spark gaps a'la a Hammond organ and tone wheels
(someone actually did this at the turn of the 20th century, I have
And, because I'm a spark gap kind of guy, I started building a
but these days, the DRSSTC is SO much more controllable.
If you could control the RF phase (which I would imagine you could,
clever timing), you could phase multiple coils so that sparks would
preferentially strike between toploads.
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