Rippler is a mechatronic sound-sculpture whose sound-generating mechanism is based on mechanical excitation of a thin sheet of steel using linear actuators (12V push solenoids).
The instrument is designed in two different models: horizontal (H-model) and vertical (V-model). Both models are comprised of a thin sheet of steel, a strip of bright LEDs, which is placed in an open-faced square tube made of white acrylic, and push solenoids (2 in H-model and 1 in V-model), which are all held together in a transparent acrylic frame. Aside from the orientation of the steel sheet and the frame and the number of solenoids, the two models slightly vary in terms of the direction of actuation, as well as the thickness of the sheet. In both models, microcontroller programming is used to drive the solenoids and put the steel sheet into motion and vibration. The frequency and amplitude of the actuation is controlled using MIDI messages. In addition, in both models, each solenoid has a corresponding strip of LEDs whose luminosity is associated with the amplitude of the actuation. The use of mechatronic and microcontroller programming makes it possible to use Rippler in both interactive live performance and self-governing installation settings.