Photo © ZKM | Karlsruhe

Götz Dipper
*1966 in Stuttgart (DE), lives and works in Karlsruhe (DE)

2017, Interactive sound installation, computer, software, monitor, mouse, headphones


With the aid of the two interactive installations »Add_Synth« and »FM_Synth«, visitors are introduced to two classic sound synthesis systems.

In 1822, the French mathematician and physicist Joseph Fourier developed the method known as Fourier synthesis, which to this day is an indispensable tool for mathematicians and engineers. Fourier discovered that every periodic signal can be represented as a sum of simple sine waves. When applied to sounds, this is known as the harmonic series. In 1863, the German physicist and physiologist Hermann von Helmholtz advanced the theory that the composition of the harmonic series is responsible for the timbre of a sound. Building on this, the additive sound synthesis was developed in electronic music of the twentieth century, in which sounds from single pure tones (tones with sinusoidal waveforms) are assembled. Theoretically, a composer can produce all tone colors in the world using this method.

In the installation »Add_Synth«, the visitors can assemble a tone themselves from pure tones. They can regulate the strength of each and every harmonic individually, and via headphones they can observe the effect on the tone color.


Production of the ZKM_Hertz-Lab