The Machine Elf


An instrument for 3D space...

The Machine Elf performance synthesizer was designed and built over the course of 48 hours as part of the Red Bull Hack the Hits 2017 music technology hackathon. The recipient of both the Judges Choice Award and Teams Choice Award, the Machine Elf is a gyroscopic analog synthesizer with digital control. The analog engine consists of two square wave oscillators optically coupled (via homemade vactrols) to an Arduino 101. The Arduino provided the gyroscopic data from both axises which is then used to control the pitch and modulation of the oscillators. The Machine Elf also sends scaled midi over bluetooth, so the instrument can be used to control a variety of external parameters for an truly express and immersive performance experience. This design of this instrument, particularly the analog oscillators, owe a debt of gratitude to composter and sound artist Nicolas Collins.

Sound samples and compositions:

The Dream Team:

Grant Bouvier || Clare Mason || Anirudh Mani