The Overtone Fiddle: an Actuated Acoustic Instrument

Overholt, Dan

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The Overtone Fiddle is a new violin-family instrument that incorporates electronic sensors, integrated DSP, and physical actuation of the acoustic body. An embedded tactile sound transducer creates extra vibrations in the body of the Overtone Fiddle, allowing performer control and sensation via both traditional violin techniques, as well as extended playing techniques that incorporate shared man/machine control of the resulting sound. A magnetic pickup system is mounted to the end of the fiddle’s fingerboard in order to detect the signals from the vibrating strings, deliberately not capturing vibrations from the full body of the instrument. This focused sensing approach allows less restrained use of DSP-generated feedback signals, as there is very little direct leakage from the actuator embedded in the body of the instrument back to the pickup.