How to Make Embedded Acoustic Instruments

Berdahl, Edgar

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

An embedded acoustic instrument is an embedded musical instrument that provides a direct acoustic output. This paper describes how to make embedded acoustic instruments using laser cutting for digital fabrication. Several tips are given for improving the acoustic quality including: employing maximally stiff material, placing loudspeaker drivers in the corners of enclosure faces, increasing the stiffness of “loudspeaker” faces by doubling their thickness, choosing side-lengths with non-integer ratios, and incorporating bracing. Various versions of an open design of the “LapBox” are provided to help community members replicate and extend the work. A procedure is suggested for testing and optimizing the acoustic quality.