Space Princess 1.0

My nibling seems to carry some of the George Clinton spirit in them. They love talking about space adventures into a voice box, creating planets and casts of alien characters. So I’m building them a digital voice box.

A Ring Modulator, which is how to make a Star Wars droid sound.

The vision of the Space Princess is that it will have a bunch of effects to run your voice through. The first effect is this ring modulator. Right now, it has a fundamental frequency, 200Hz, that one of the oscillators is running at. Then another oscillator is running at approximately 200Hz, with the exact frequency coming from how loud the incoming voice is. So the louder your voice, the closer they are in frequency, which means they interfere more, so loud voices take on this chuggy sound, like EV-9D9 from Jabba’s palace, while quiet sounds have an R2-D2 kind of sound.

Messing with the rather bulkier, far more expensive, and vanishingly rare museum piece of a ring modulator in my ARP2600 to make droid chatter

Additionally, it outputs another value: how loud the sound is right now. It includes an envelope generator that can be used to control other effects in a synthesizer.

To really sound like not just the infininte void of space, but the Infinite Void of Space, I’ll need to put in a delay, plus some pitch shifting if I can figure out how to do it. Then, working out how to control it with MIDI so it can be adjusted with the keyboard I gave the kid a while back.

I’ve been having mixed luck flashing a Daisy microcontroller board with patches. But eventually, this will be a physical instrument that runs on USB power or a power bank, and you can listen to the sounds of your own voice or the sounds of the world around you as you mess with them and then go explore The Infinite Void of Space.

The patch is available to my Patreon xenophiliacs, as well as hanging out on our Discord, talking out how to do stuff!

Modular systems are a function of industrial society. But do people of The Fifth World still know how to agree to standards? With their acute interest in efficiency, I think they might have carried that lesson forward!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *