Daniel Overholt

Dept of Media Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark

June 2010 – July 2010. Working with Chris Chafe, CCRMA

The Active Acoustics research project explores the evolution of acoustic musical instruments, specifically bowed-string instruments: violin, viola, cello, etc. Mathematical computations control the sound produced by the Active Acoustics system, in order to enhance or alter the sound being produced while a musician plays. Algorithms are used to directly affect the resonating body of the acoustic instrument, via a custom sound transducer embedded inside the instrument. This actively alters the vibrations of the wood, changing the harmonics heard in the musical tone quality. Consequently, the acoustic properties of the instruments are malleable, instead of being permanently defined by the woodworking skills of a luthier.