The Tin Pot analog synthesizer is plenty of fun for both musicians and non-musicians as it creates a classic synth sound that’s found in pop culture dating back to the 80s. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Stranger synths: Camosun students sign off with sounds

Capstone projects feature chess-playing arm, eighties-sounding synth

It’s a synthesizer that makes the weirdest, the coolest, and the strangest of retro sounds.

But the Tin Pot analog synth, a project by three Camosun College technology grads, is not for sale.

The Tin Pot synth greeted visitors to the exhibition of capstone projects at Camosun’s new Babcock Interaction lab at the Interurban campus to the theme song of Netflix’s hit retro-eighties series, Stranger Things.

Students exhibited their capstone team projects from Camosun’s Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology program.

There was also a motion synthesizer that creates sound effects based on movements and the regal pang of a hydraulic piston banging against a church chime (a project meant to resurrect the chimes of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, which haven’t chimed since 1965). And there were other items, such as a robot arm that plays chess and a hands free lawnmower.

For Nick Fletcher, who gets to keep the Tin Pot synth, the capstone project was a chance to follow one his passions, the synthesizer. The Tin Pot analog synth he created with partners Ian Johnson and Tom Kizuk can plug into a keyboard and produce a sound spot on to that of Stranger Things, and other retro 80s music that has grown popular again.

“It’s an analog synthesizer based on the classic Moog filters, low frequency oscillators and wave forms,” Fletcher said. “You can make weird synthesizer sounds with it, but it has really great sound to it and it has midi control.”

The prototype is a good looking machine that boasts a single octave keyboard which uses the same arcade game video buttons that tell Pac Man when to chomp a ghost.

The capstone project is the culmination of three years at Camosun for the students, who put what they’ve learned into a single product. Some groups come up with their own idea, while others partner with community and business groups to create innovative products and solutions.

“The students gain valuable, applied career experience, while our business partners gain solutions to specific problems they’ve identified,” said program chair Alan Duncan.

Across the room from the Tin Pot was the Chess Bot, a robotic, chess-playing arm guided by chess engine with enough artificial intelligence to defeat any human.

While Chess Bot creators Christopher Martin-Rebneris, Sol Morris-Janzen and Yi Peng still have to enter each opposing move into the Chess Bot’s virtual map of the board, the goal is to add a camera on the arm, and additional software, so the robot can see what the board looks like and play completely on its own.

Many of the Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology grads move into leading-edge tech companies while others enter the engineering bridge program that transfers to UVic.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

Ian Johnson plays the Tin Pot analog synthesizer, which produces a classic synth sound that’s found in pop culture dating back to the 80s. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Just Posted

“Winter Heart” a musical gift to Sooke

Community Choir’s Christmas offering a thoughtful seasonal concert

Team Canada will play 2 games in Victoria ahead of World Juniors

The annual World Junior Championship begins on Boxing Day

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Taxis in bus lanes not being considered, Victoria Transit chair says

Susan Brice responds to a cab driver’s request for access to Douglas Street priority lanes

Const. Sarah Beckett’s family honoured on Remembrance Day

Victoria Mountie was killed in the line of duty April 2016

Throw a snowball to help kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Effort will raise money for sick kids over the holidays

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Should the legal age for cannabis be increased to 21?

B.C. residents have a more mellow attitude to the age limit for pot – but 23 per cent want the legal age increased

Expect ride hailing in B.C. by 2020, Premier Horgan says

Taxi-style insurance option needed for part-time drivers

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey has plan for busy off-season

The Lions’ season ended Sunday with a crushing 48-8 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal

Fundraising firefighters complete quest for B.C. Paralympian

The four Penticton residents raising money for Victoria Paralympian complete journey

Most Read