Fern


06 December 2012

Today, I spend some time on working on an alternative approach to examine wind by means of sound that came to my mind at the Kilpisjärvi residency earlier this year. Based on a pre-amplifier circuit [Collins (2006): Handmade Electronic Music, p. 184ff], I rebuilt a fern, a typical plant that I observed growing in some of the micro worlds up north. It worked pretty well. One key element to the design which is basically the reason why it is possible to hear the structure in the wind is the piezo element that is attached to the fern structure itself. In combination with the pre-amplifier, it works surprisingly well and gives a rich sound already when blowing it. Now I’m thinking of where to set it up in order to capture its sound when exposed to real wind.

Below you can find the part list of this little project in case you want to build your own.

The pre-amplifier

Label Part Type Properties
C1 Electrolytic Capacitor package 100 mil [THT, electrolytic]; capacitance 10µF; voltage 6.3V
C2 Ceramic Capacitor package 100 mil [THT, multilayer]; capacitance 100nF; voltage 10V
IC1 CD4049 hex inverter package DIP (Dual Inline) [THT]; hole size 1.0mm,0.508mm; true; chip label CD4049; pins 16; pin spacing 300mil
Sensor Piezo sensor Flexible PVDF Piezo Polymer Film
Out Audio Jack (TRS) 3.5mm package PG203J [THT]; channels Stereo (TRS); size 3.5 mm
R1 10k Ω Resistor package THT; tolerance ±5%; bands 5; resistance 10kΩ; pin spacing 400 mil
R2 1M Ω Resistor package THT; tolerance ±5%; bands 5; resistance 1MΩ; pin spacing 400 mil
VCC1 Battery block 9V voltage 9V

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