View Full Version : [queued] SENSEI - A synthesizer with multidimensional sound shaping

06-20-2019, 11:33 PM
Hey there!

As part of my bachelor thesis I developed and built this thing. The main idea is to provide an innovative usage concept and a new understanding of sound shaping. With the help of newly worded sound characteristics the user is supposed to be able to shape sound according to his imagination. Paired with intuitive peripherals the created system is supposed to shorten training periods as well as inviting users to explore worlds of sound effortlessly.


Full size images:
Image 1 (http://sensei-synth.de/media/SENSEI01.jpg)
Image 2 (http://sensei-synth.de/media/SENSEI02.jpg)
Image 3 (http://sensei-synth.de/media/SENSEI03.jpg)
Image 4 (http://sensei-synth.de/media/SENSEI04.jpg)
Image 5 (http://sensei-synth.de/media/SENSEI05.jpg)
Tech diagram (http://sensei-synth.de/media/SENSEI_Concept.jpg)



Core peripherals:

Joystick with FSR sensors | User is able to control "new" sound characteristics: Distance (y axis), Form (x axis), Sharpness (FSR sensor 1), Richness (FSR sensor 2) and Color (FSR sensor 3)
The parameters can be locked and freed with the capacitive ring around the joystick
Touch keyboard with pitch bend segments
Wireless bracelet with gyro ring | User is able to play vibrato
Additionally the user can transpose the two octaves with the + and - keys

Production techniques:

3D printing
Loads of soldering & tinkering

Tech details:

Sunvox on RPi used for sound synthesis due to heavy load (FX & Filters)
touchRead: 4x 16 channel MUX to read capacitance of keyboard segments
touchRead: Reduced number of samples / decreased prescaler to reduce time for readout (8-10ms for 50 key segments and 3 buttons)
Neopixel used for optical feedback (transpose & parameter freeze)
Main unit contains: Teensy 3.6, 4x CD74HC4067, 3x FSR sensors, Generic Adafruit Joystick, RPi 3 + pHAT DAC, NRF24L01, built-in battery pack, Neopixel bar & strips, A LOT OF WIRES;
Bracelet contains: Arduino Pro Mini 3,3V 8MHz, MPU6050, NRF24L01+ SMD, TP4056, 150mAh LiPo Battery;

AMA if you have any questions. I don't know when I will publish the code, probably when refactoring is done and I feel comfortable enough. :)

06-22-2019, 08:52 AM
Wow, it looks lovely and i love the ideas for sound shaping. Would be interesting to see/hear it in action! Nice work!

06-24-2019, 05:52 PM
Here is a video :)

12-08-2019, 04:10 PM
Very nice! It's awesome that you can do vibrato and pitch bend with the same fingers that play the notes. Are the FSRs on the joystick? I'd love to see the code that runs touchRead side of it.

05-26-2020, 12:00 PM
The 6 image links seem to be dead. :(

Are these images still available somewhere? Any chance to share them here?

07-09-2020, 08:37 AM
@Paul Yes! Here they are :) Thanks for the feature on the front page, I really do appreciate it!


Full size:

07-30-2020, 01:58 AM
What a fantastic machine. Is there more music?

Deleted User
07-30-2020, 02:13 PM
www.sensei-synth.de is offline. What happened?