Catalyst/YSWN: Getting started with Arduino

This hands-on workshop was held at DINA on 30th June 2016. Joanne Armitage showed us how to use software and hardware to build a theramin-like noise instrument.

The Arduino is a tool known as a microcontoller; a device that you can use either by itself or in conjunction with a computer to sense and control physical inputs and outputs.  The focus of the Arduino is interactivity; to support the hardware of the Arduino there is free and open source software that allows you to easily program the microcontroller.

A theramin is an electronic instrument which is controlled without physical contact – the proximity of the performer’s hands to the instrument control the sound that is produced.

During the session we connected the Arduino to an ultrasonic sensor (which works like a radar) and a speaker.  Joanne showed us how to use a breadboard which to prototype ideas quickly and cleanly without the need for soldering and wire cutters.  We then wrote sections of code to instruct the hardware to behave like a theramin.

Thanks to Yorkshire Sound Women Network, and to Sheffield Hallam University and Catalyst: Festival of creativity for sponsoring this workshop.

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