Audio Control Unit

Developed and built for the Tsai Art and Science Foundation, this ACU is an updated version of Tsai’s original design which takes audio input from a microphone and translates it into a control voltage that precisely modulates the frequency of a strobe light synchronized to the RPM of the motor driving a kinetic sculptures.

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An original analog ACU Left, Arduino/analog hybrid Right

After analyzing the original analog CMOS circuits, I developed a hybrid design that employs the same analog input and output stages, but uses an arduino to handle the analysis and timing stages of the circuit for improved range and stability.

 

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Inside the hybrid ACU

Like Tsai’s originals, this version has it’s power supply built in, 1/4″ jacks for the microphone input (which bypasses the built-in microphone) and strobe output, two trimpots for fine adjustment and a large knob for microphone sensitivity.

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Hybrid ACU