ArtsEngine is a U-M program based on North Campus that promotes durable collaborations between arts, design, engineering, and technology. Students on the ArtsEngine project will create a media-integrative 21st century expressive instrument by re-imagining and re-designing a vintage analog musical instrument – a Hammond M3 organ.
Can a musical instrument be re-imagined and re-designed to integrate state-of-the-art technologies, while remaining true to the original intent behind its creation? When invented in 1934, Lauren Hammond integrated state-of-the-art technologies with a traditional keyboard interface to create an electronic organ that rivaled the sound palette of the pipe organ. In 2020, how can advances in electronics, digital signal processing, sound shaping and design take advantage of the keyboard/sound design interface of the Hammond organ? Furthermore, can such an instrument be further modified to support multimedia artistic expression?
A Hammond M3 organ has been donated to the audio studios in the Duderstadt Center at the University of Michigan. Three years ago, a team of students began to restore the M3 to working order. Last year, a team of MDP students expanded upon their work, but was interrupted by the pandemic. Upon returning to UM F20, this MDP team will extend the Hammond-organ interface to support artistic expression in multiple modalities. It is expected that the new team for Hammond 21, will incorporate their efforts into a fully functional restored organ console. Many facets of engineering, design, and creativity are at play including the opportunity to model alternative keyboard solutions found in the Stearns collection. It is expected that the final product will be a unique resource for artists and performers at the University of Michigan.
Organ console and analog-electronic restoration (2 Students)
Specific Skills: Wood-working, 3D printing, Analog electronics, Analog-Digital interfaces and control, Actuators, Sensors
Likely Majors: ARTDES (ALL), MECHENG (BSE), Theatre Design/Production, EE/CE (BSE)
Sound synthesis/design/control (2 Students)
Specific Skills: MIDI control/synthesis, DSP
Likely Majors: Performing Arts Technology (PAT), EE (BSE), CE (BSE), CS (ALL)
Keyboard/pedal hardware/firmware (2 Students)
Specific Skills: Digital electronics/networking
Likely Majors: CE (BSE), PAT
Managing Producer, Audio Studios
Media & Studio Arts, Duderstadt Center
David (Dave) Greenspan is the managing producer for the audio studios in the Duderstadt Center at the University of Michigan where he is responsible for the design, maintenance and operation of the audio facilities. Prior to Dave’s appointment to U of M, he was the Technical Director (Presentations) and format Production Director (Recording) at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Dave received his BS (‘86) degree in Telecommunication and Film from Eastern Michigan University where he worked in the Communication and Theatre Arts department as a TA and WEMU as Recording Engineer and remote broadcast engineer.
Gregory H. Wakefield
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science College of Engineering
Gregory H. Wakefield is the newly appointed faculty director of the University of Michigan’s ArtsEngine. His past and present research interests include auditory signal processing, spatial audio, musical acoustics, cognitive architectures, vocal pedagogy, auditory perception, cochlear prosthetics, and sound quality engineering. In addition to his academic research, Prof. Wakefield has served as a technical consultant in product sound quality to the Ford Motor Company, Boeing, Cochlear Americas, and Blue Ridge Research and Consulting. He holds doctorates in Electrical Engineering and Psychology from the University of Minnesota.
Kyle P. Snyder
Assistant Audio Studios Manager
Media & Studio Arts, Duderstadt Center
Kyle P. Snyder is an engineer, educator, and consultant skilled in audio recording and mixing, sound design for film and video, facility design and integration, and live event production. Past clients include Ohio University, the Banff Centre, and countless musicians, arts, and film organizations. Most recently, Snyder contributed a chapter to the recently-released Routledge Companion to Music, Technology, and Education and served as Audio Post Production Supervisor on Paul Laurence Dunbar: Beyond the Mask. When he’s not teaching or recording, Snyder can be found serving as Governor of the Audio Engineering Society.
He is also a proud member of The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, The Society of Professional Audio Recording Services, The Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production, and the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association.
Course Substitutions: Honors, ChE Elective, CE MDE, EE MDE, MECHENG 490
Internship/Summer Opportunity: No summer activity will take place on the project.
Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students.
IP/NDA: Students will sign standard University of Michigan IP/NDA documents.