SYNTH BIKES 1.0 and 2.0

 
 

This has been a concept that has really taken the imagination to the end of the road. In August 2016, i was on the london underground with my BMX, on those long busy trains the mind wonders, and like a smashing of 10,000 light bulbs, it came out of the aether, SYNTH BIKE, and the concept was born (however i have recently found out someone has done a synth on an excersise bike in 2010!)

 

SYNTH BIKE 1.0

The first synth bike SYNTH BIKE 1.0, was build on a bike i bought at a charity shop which i thought was a raleigh burner. keeping that fact quiet i purchased it and got home to find it wasnt a raleigh burner, but a kynast 2000. which was apparently a poor mans raleigh burner. anyway i digress. 

kynast 2000 synth bike
This bike was only setup to shoot a video. it was taken to pieces straight away after, i put up a green screen to try and do a silly rolling road behind, but that idea got scrapped becaue light was shining through it!

This bike was only setup to shoot a video. it was taken to pieces straight away after, i put up a green screen to try and do a silly rolling road behind, but that idea got scrapped becaue light was shining through it!

on the handlebars it had a version of the tin foil drum pads which are situated here :- click here, if your interested in them. i did rebuild this synth bike for an exhibition and built a purpose built piezo drum set for the handlebars. they are here :-click here.


raleigh chopper synth bike

SYNTH BIKE 2.0

Next up is synth bike 2.0. this built on the idea of synth bike 1.0 which was connecting a bike "controller" up to a synth, this one is actually a synth on a bike. a fully fledged music making machine. Built with 11 arduinos, it was a solid week of building and conceptualising. Building from existing ideas and plans i had lying around, including some pretty interesting sequencing, that actually ends up quite useable. Below is an image of the top control panel, which is where all of the synthesizer controls are.

synth bike control panel

This is the control panel.  i drew it out first time in sharpie on the metal panel and just drilled. it could have been more obvious but meh whatever. there are 4 sequencers. The first sequencer controls the drums, its got a rotary switch to select between 6 trigger channels. which you play in the triggers on the big arcade button, these then go out to seperate drum tracks which you can choose which sound it is routed to. 

The synth sequencer functions similar, so you play the clock and the triggers on the other arcade button, it can be any length you want, then there is 2 16 step sequencers, which can also be any lengthe from 1 to 16, and you play the forward clock for these on the arcade button also, so it means the melody is always overlapping, is 1 sequence is one length, the other is another length, and then the actual trigger pattern is another length, you can end up with quite long sequences, with a few buttons like fill and ratchet you can really make it go funky!

These sequencers then go into a quantizer, which then goes into a wavetable oscillator, which is controlled by an AR and an LFO. into a VCA then a filter! its arranged in this way so when there is no trigger, the resonance of the filter acts as another voice, or effect voice in the silences. this then goes into a delay. and out into the SPEAKER.

Above is the keyboard between the legs. this is just 6 samples, arranged in a nice major scale to play any upbeat happy melody over the top if you so feel. if this isn't what you want at the time, just change the samples! the samples are on the same device as the drum samples! the AMAZING SPARKFUN WAV TRIGGER.

Above is the keyboard between the legs. this is just 6 samples, arranged in a nice major scale to play any upbeat happy melody over the top if you so feel. if this isn't what you want at the time, just change the samples! the samples are on the same device as the drum samples! the AMAZING SPARKFUN WAV TRIGGER.

Here is the control panel for the tempo and clocks. theres a switch to select between a constant clock and wheel control! to control the song by how fast you go! also has a clock in.

Here is the control panel for the tempo and clocks. theres a switch to select between a constant clock and wheel control! to control the song by how fast you go! also has a clock in.

and here you can see the magnets that control the speed for the wheel speed control.

and here you can see the magnets that control the speed for the wheel speed control.

The video below was done for reasons im yet to figure out, felt like a good idea at the time. just did it in my room with the lights off. on top of an old light box i built with simeon rodgers for my old band zibra.

A piece on synth bike with sonic state, bit more info on the functions of the bike

Got to go schneidersladen and take synth bike in, we ere in berlin me and johnny from youth hymns, and he goes, go on whats the worst that can happen... they dont reply! but they did and i got to ride around the shop.

Synth Bike 1.o on L'émission d'Antoine

Synth Bike 1.o on L'émission d'Antoine