Getting inspiration from the experience I did VR (virtual reality) drawing back at RISD during my drawing class last semester, the primary concept for my project was bringing the virtual world to reality, and the final goal was to ‘combine the virtual and real-world’. Based on this concept, the sound instrument ‘Electro-Magic’ was made in order to create a musical drawing instrument that allows the artist to create specific sounds while they are creating works using this pencil.
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The materials used for creating this instrument were:

PCB (printed circuit board) x 1

4 pin connector x 1

one push pin x 1

copper foil tape (or any kind of conductive tape)

Graphite pencil (4B used in experiment) x 1

Speaker (additional power lines needed if not attached) x 1

EVA foam cube (or anything that is enough to hold all of the materials attached to the pencil with a hole in the center) x 1

CR2032 3 Volt Lithium Coin Cell Battery x 1

Black tap wires x 2

Red tap wires x 2

Wire end caps x 2

double-sided tape

The instrument can make sound in two different ways, either by itself independently or while drawing:

Placing one finger on top of the copper tape and other at the tip of the pencil

Placing one finger on graphite drawing on paper and other on top of the copper tape


Although the outcome did not come out as the best quality I wanted it to be, and the instrument is hard to control since the pitch it produced varies on the sharpness and the smoothness of the carved pencil. Of course, the quality of its sound is far away from modern-day advanced audio technology and its sound is more closer to those of the early radio. Nevertheless, indeed, the pitches it produces are horrific and might sound unpleasant to certain people.

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Despite the outcome, I believe this setup definitely has certain advantages. Firstly, it is very simple to create simple sounds with short beats, for example, such as the Morse Cord. Next, it is usable and reusable to any kind of graphite pencil, even when 4B is the recommendation since it is easier to sharpen the pencil. In addition, since the set up is easily detachable, the artist can transfer it to a new pencil if the pencil becomes too short. Moreover, The instrument can make a sound in two different ways, independently or while drawing depending on the time of use. Finally, it is easy to build, doesn’t take, and doesn’t require that much battery, and it is very light (similar to the weight of an Apple pencil).