Tag Archives: Rails

Video: Mechanized doom metal, Arduino style

Over the years, engineer and musician Tristan Shone has created a formidable arsenal of Atmel-based, Arduino-powered machines to perform his unique brand of doom metal. According to Wired, each industrial instrument was meticulously designed, prototyped and built by the musician.

Shone’s traditional lineup? Rack & Pinion, a keyboard-like sound controller with six velocity-sensitive sliding keys capable of bending and warping sound samples. There is also Rails, a manual rhythm controller and linear actuator used like a slide-trombone, as well as Big Knobs and Headgear.

“They all output to software music sequencer and digital audio workstation Ableton Live – and they’re all meant to be twisted, slid, pushed, stepped up and screamed into in very specific ways,” Wired’s Bryan Gardiner reports. 

”When combined with his two Ableton computer rigs onstage, Shone can produce a near infinite number of terrifying sounds, loops and rhythms.”

Shone’s latest additions to his family of machines? A trio of voice-modulating masks (Mute, Dither and Gate) which help influence much of the doom metal sound and feel during his recent performances.

“I wanted to use my voice, but rely more on mechanical devices to morph that sound, not just MIDI effects,” Shone told Wired.

As such, Shone has mounted the masks to a custom-made assembly for easy, hands-free access. Ultimately, says the musician, the goal is to physically wear just one during a performance, swapping specific voice-altering attachments as needed.

Interested in learning more? You can check out Tristan Shone’s official homepage here.