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Mark

Destiny Clock

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Destiny Clock is modular programmable system for generating digital compositions. Signals are strictly on/off messages, meaning that patches for even simple melodies require several connections. Modules are based on the principles of logic chips, but extend those functionalities for purposes of composition and user interaction. Patches use a combination of generator and processor modules before passing signals to the interface module which constructs and transmits a MIDI signal to a hardware or software synthesizer.




Materials & Software
Microcontroller
Circuit Boards
Laser Cut Plexi


External Links
Video Documentation
Sound Compositions








Full-Scale Version

This version uses 3.5mm patch cable connections and a modified Eurorack design. It is constructed of translucent and matte-black acryllic and stainless steel mounting racks. The interface module features two options for input: note selection through the use of a tuneable potentiometer and a graphically represented keyboard where each connection represents an output note. The system is composed of 24 modules with a total of 437 LEDs and 370 patch points.






Portable Version

The portable version of Destiny Clock uses surface-mount pin headers as connection points between modules. Due to space restrictions, modules consist solely of their constituent inputs and outputs. Some modules run using just a logic chip such as the 4051 Multiplexer or the 4015 Shift Register. Others are programmed on the ATMEGA 328P. The system is enclosed in clear acrylic.





Prototype

The Binary Modular creates and processes digital on/off signals for the purposes of visual and musical composition. The system includes a squarewave signal generator, frequency divider, shift register, and multiplexer. Signals are connected and processed via patch cables. Final command signals are connected to an interface module where each is assigned a MIDI note number. These messages can be routed to hardware synthesizers and digital audio workstations. 





Video Synthesizer

12-bit patterns is an example of the visual potential of the Binary Modular. Each image is composed of a series of rectangular color strips. The height, color, and position of each strip are determined by the current state of twelve binary operators. The system can be patched in limitless ways, but it is through the use of the frequency division module that the most interesting visual harmonics are achieved.





Presentation at Eyebeam

At the end of my residency, I had the opportunity to present my research to an attentive and curious audience. The talk covered many of the practical steps taken in the design process and the resultant form. Accompanying the presentation was an exhibition of several Destiny Clock systems, prototypes, and other related interactive devices.