Tonewheels workshop

TONEWHEELS workshop, DA Festival, Sofia Bulgaria from macumbista on Vimeo.

TONEWHEELS opto-sonic workshop by Derek Holzer

TONEWHEELS is an experiment in converting graphical imagery to sound, inspired by some of the pioneering 20th Century electronic music inventions such as the ANS Synthesizer (Murzin USSR 1937-57), the Variophone (Sholpo USSR 1930) and the Oramics system (Oram UK 1957). Transparent tonewheels with repeating patterns are spun over light-sensitive electronic circuitry to produce sound and light pulsations and textures.

In this workshop, participants will learn to construct two different circuits which are the basic building blocks of an optical synthesizer: a simple light-to-sound converter and a variable motor speed controller, as well as how to design and print their own tonewheel patterns using the free and open source vector-graphics software Inkscape.

A short history of optical synthesis can be found here:

The electronics used in this workshop are discussed here: