Stompbox Design

Workshop Date: 
Mon, 07/23/2012 - Fri, 07/27/2012
9AM-noon, 1PM-5PM
Edgar Berdahl
Esteban Maestre                                                                       CCRMA Summer Workshop Main Page


Description:  Come design your own flavor of audio effect at Stanford University╩╝s Stompbox Design workshop. We will teach you a new platform for implementing audio effects in hardware that not only enables you to re-create sound effects from the past but also promotes the creation of new sound effects. Our resources for new media design are also at your fingertips if you would like to re-design the concept of a guitar stompbox: for example, put a Wiimote on your guitar and use it to change the sound of the effect, or use some LEDs to simulate the glow of vacuum tubes or fire, or even incorporate a micro-sized Pico projector into your project! The expanded world of digital audio effects is at your fingertips because the workshop incorporates:
  • Most basic theory of signal processing
  • Description of operation of prior effects boxes and digital audio effects
  • Laboratory exercise teaching you how to program our own open-source software and hardware platform involving:
    • connecting to your stompbox over an Ethernet connection from your laptop
    • creating new digital audio effects by connecting together basic building blocks in the graphical programming language Pure Data
    • building simple button and knob interfaces to Pure Data
  • Laboratory exercise teaching you how to program digital audio effects in C++ and/or Faust
  • Introduction to human-computer interface devices for projects
  • Further discussion of open-source hardware and software platforms including the Beagle Board
Finally, we will round out the workshop with a roundtable presentation of your projects followed by an optional evening jam session for fun.

This workshop is intended for:
Musicians interested in exploring new possibilities in digital audio effects in a hands-on and technical way; Makers, engineers, computer scientists, or product designers interested in exploring artistic outlets for their talents and collaborating with musicians; and/or anyone looking to gain valuable skills in basic audio signal processing and human-computer interfaces, with a focus on invention.
Participants are encouraged (but by no means required) to bring their own laptop computers and/or musical instruments. Each participant should bring a pair of headphones with 1/8" (2.54mm) audio connector. Windows users may prefer to install Cygwin in advance of the workshop, selecting the openssh, xinit, and the other "required" packages.

*NOTE: There is a $20 lab fee included in the cost of this workshop. Participants have the option of purchasing a $250
lab kit at the end of the workshop. The kit contains Satellite CCRMA featuring Arduino and the Beagle Board as well as knobs, buttons, a footswitch, some other sensors, and an aluminum or tupperware enclosure as preferred.