CICADA ACOUSTIC SYNTHESIZER

Play with the building blocks of sound
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Judge's Special Award:   
Guthman Musical Instrument Competition 2022.

We're excited to share that Cicada won the Judge's Special Award at the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition 2022. Watch the performance by clicking the link above!

What is Cicada?

The Ultimate Sound Design Generator

Cicada’s unique feature is the system’s ability to transform electrical signals into precise mechanical vibrations capable of generating acoustic modulation.

 

Our system allows you to control and interact with acoustic synthesis in a spontaneous and playful way.

Take a look at our Cicada input vs. output demo.

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Tip-Surface Modulation

At the core of Cicada is our patented tip-surface interaction between the bridge and the soundboard. Vibrations generated by the voice-coil motors in the actuator are transmitted and amplified by the bridge, causing intermittent interaction with the soundboard.

 

This intermittent and periodic interaction results in modulation. The precision of Cicada allows for these modulation effects to be controllable and repeatable through touch and CV input. It elevates a simple linear transducer interaction with a surface into a nonlinear, controllable, musical interface. 

Playful Sound Exploration

Cicada offers rich customization of sound through a variety of soundboards and bridges.

 

Depending on the resonator and filter properties of each material, the resulting sound is dramatically transformed. 

Hard materials, like the wood soundboard, produce brighter and more distorted sounds, whereas softer materials, like the EVA foam soundboard, result in low-pass filtered sounds emphasizing bass frequencies. The weight, density, and shape all affect the sound, leading endless possibilities and configurations.

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Integrating Cicada into Your Setup

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Cicada receives audio signals generated by

 

  • a computer program (e.g. Ableton, or Max) 

  • an electric or (miked) acoustic instrument

  • a standalone synthesizer 

  • a Eurorack module

Cicada commonly sends audio signals to

  • a computer program

  • a powered monitoring or PA system

  • a Eurorack module

Artists Creating with Cicada

From Richard Devine to Julia Govor, artists discover new ways to create rich and vivid soundscapes and textures. Explore these individualistic expressions of acoustic synthesis and apply here to become a Cicada Artist.