This Machine Turns Red Lasers Into Glitchy Sounds & Rhythms

vtol's Divider is a Laser Powered Rhythm Machine inspired by Rhythmicon, the world's first rhythm-machine created by Léon Theremin in 1931, powered by Arduino and with interesting results.  

If you like moody, glitchy sound and light shows you’ll probably love this sound and light installation by Russian artist vtol that basically turns lasers into sounds in an autonomous way.

Divider features 7 red lasers that send light along 7 horizontal bars. The fans act as modulators which “turn the ray into rhythmic impulses”, where the speed of each fan leads to differing modulation of the rays.

In terms of the sonic side of things, Divider transforms the unstable light sources from the lasers into “a discrete message matrix, which, in turn, generates sound waves (a musical composition).”

Watch the video of vtol’s Divider in action in Moscow, Russia here:

Pure Data is the software used to make this project a reality, and from a hardware perspective, Divider was built with four Arduino’s, 42 small fans, 7 lasers and a mono sound system.



Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


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