February 5, 2023


Best Technology Perfection

Dropping Marbles With Millisecond Accuracy

All eight version of the drop mechanism
The road to the ideal marble dropper

[Martin] of the band [Wintergatan] is on his third quest to make the supreme musical marble device, and that implies dropping marbles with highest reliability and precision timing. Operating by numerous iterations, and returning to initial ideas, he engineered a marble gate that can drop marbles with a timing typical deviation of ms.

[Wintergatan]’s 1st two devices, Marble Machine and Marble Machine X gained major interest, but their complexity was their undoing. As it turns out, a Rube Goldberg machine that can make new music has a great deal of opportunity failure points, and both equally devices proved much too temperamental for the live phase. The 3rd model, Marble Machine XT (T for “touring”) essential to be re-engineered for simplicity and reliability to be sensible on the highway.

[Martin] broke the marble device idea down to its critical elements, of which the marble fall gate is the most apparent. Applying a pair of contact microphones to document the minute of release and affect, he can measure the timing with precision. The to start with design had a typical deviation of 3.91 ms, which is not approximately adequate for us to detect by ear, but is not up to [Martin]’s conventional for “tight music”. It utilized a clock-style escapement mechanism, the place the wheel is the launch gate. Right after reviewing his measurement program and compensating for drift involving the program components of his setup, the measured common deviation was lowered by 1 ms. A further breakthrough was to eliminate any guiding surfaces underneath the gate and enable gravity do all the function. The 8th iteration proved to be the winner and made use of the escapement arm as the drop gate and wheel to keep again the queue of marbles.

Coming from an arts background, [Martin] experienced to discover a large amount of engineering lessons the tough way. Hunting at the video clips on his YouTube channel, it appears like he is using the classes to coronary heart, and we appear forward to looking at the Marble Equipment XT appear to daily life.