Active Acoustic Augmented Instruments

The project aims to create a seamless integration of acoustic and electronic sound into a single instrumental entity.

Introduction

“Augmenting traditional instruments with new sonic possibilities” pursues the dream of combining the best of both worlds: instrumental sensitivity and virtuosity embedded in our musical traditions coupled with the vast sonic possibilities of today’s signal processing, synthesis and spatialisation techniques.

Since his PhD, Otso Lähdeoja has worked extensively on his main instrument – the guitar – seeking for numerous ways to integrate electronics on it and to find natural, embodied ways to control the electronic sounds.

He has developed interfaces using sensor technology as well as gesture recognition via feature extraction from the guitar signal.

In 2015, he initiated a new augmented instruments project named Acoustronics, using active acoustics (structure-borne sound) to drive electronic sounds directly into an acoustic instrument’s soundboard. The result is a seamless integration of acoustic and electronic sound into a single instrumental entity. 

The acoustronic intrument portrays an integrated, natural-sounding acoustic image and a strong sense of embodiment since the electronic sounds are part of the actual physical instrument. The acoustronics project will integrate Machine Learning and Physical Computing in order to transfer the Human-Computer Interaction completely from a symbolic domain to a haptic and embodied one.