Telecommunications Systems Design Consultant and Poet


J6 and No Sound

I managed to show of the Virtualizer to the rest of Joy of Six the other evening, though it was a close-run thing. They enjoyed playing with the echo effects and the Cathedral reverb. I think they might be interested in trying out something that we could weave into a performance, but there'll need to be a lot of experimentation first, I suspect.

I've been playing around with a new technique (new to me, anyway - I'm sure somebody must have done it before). I set the delay to around 0.3 seconds and then turned up the mic gain to just below the point where acoustic feedback starts to howl. Then open your mouth in front of the microphone and you can generate tones without actually making any noise yourself. Your mouth cavity acts as a Helmholtz resonator, and you can change the tone by altering the shape of your mouth. It's quite difficult to control though, and I'm not sure there's a lot of artistic point. Though I suppose there's philosophical mileage to be made out of the fact that the sound is being produced under your control but without you generating it in any of the usual ways.

The delay helps by building up the feedback slowly, so you don't get an uncontrollable screech. It seems to be better if you have a bit of electronic feedback, but not too much. Too much is when any sound produced continues for longer than you want it to.