Card I | March, 2013

Taylan Cihan, circuit design
Andrew Lucia, body design

Watch the video of Card I

Card I is an analog synthesizer* conceived with the objective of an electronic instrument that is as responsive to an improviser's momentary decisions as an acoustic instrument would be. Card I was a semi-finalist at the Georgia Tech 2013 Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition.

The conductive bracelet and aluminum plates carved into the body of the instrument allow the user to control the flow of electricity through bodily contact, making the human body itself a part of the circuit in order to provide a highly responsive, tactile and individual control over the sound.

Virtuality and Ambience
The instrument is equipped with photocells that respond to environmental light, allowing the performer to use hand gestures to alter the sound. In addition, magnetic switches located under the body, which create a second hidden pattern, enable various parts of the circuit to be controlled rapidly with magnetic fields applied to the body of the instrument.

Card I is specifically designed using concepts of near bilateral symmetry. The contact plates' figuration allows each individual performer a level of interpretation reflective of the particular underlying forms that they may “see” within the instrument's surface. These patterns allow the performer a familiar yet ambiguous, tactile and virtual interaction with the instrument, forming a peculiar connection between eye and ear.

Input: 1/8" Stereo
Output: 1/8" Stereo
Power Supply: AC 12V 1000mA
Dimensions: 17"x 11" x 1"
Weight: 3.0 lbs (approx.)
Body Material: Padauk


Funded by Cornell Electroacoustic Music Center, Kevin Ernste , Director

*The circuitry is based on:
| AD633 ring modulator by Roman Sowa
| Korg MS20 low pass filter clone
| Various diode clippers.

Special thanks to:
Frank Parish, Cornell AAP Material Practices Facilities