CADSD – Computer Aid Didgeridoo Dound Design by Frank Geipel, interview by Andrea Ferroni

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Frank Geipel stands as the creative mind behind CADS, an iterative software designed for the meticulous tuning of didgeridoos by aligning them with precise instrument resonances. This revolutionary tool empowers craftsmen to craft instruments with distinct tonal charactheristics, can evaluate playability, the sound spectrum and many other charactheristics even if… deep experience in this field is necessary to run a single simulation.

Presented here is the inaugural segment of a four-part video series showcasing an exclusive interview conducted in July 2023. The interview captures the essence of Frank Geipel’s expertise and innovation, recorded during his brief sojourn at the Windproject workshop.

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Second Part, the Evolution of the First edition of the software with automatic functions
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Third part. How to setup the software, boundary conditions, outputs.
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Forth part. The inpiration from the traditional didgeridoo playing


Andrea Ferroni: Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Geipel. We’re excited to learn more about your groundbreaking work on the didgeridoo and the CADSD software. Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and how you got into this field of research?
Frank Geipel: Thank you for having me. Well, my journey into the world of didgeridoo research began many years ago when I first encountered this unique instrument. I was instantly captivated by its mesmerizing sound and the cultural significance it held for the indigenous people of Australia.As a physicist by training, I found myself drawn to exploring the physics behind the didgeridoo’s sound production. I wanted to understand the intricate relationship between the instrument’s shape and the resulting sound spectrum. This curiosity led me to embark on a journey of discovery, researching the didgeridoo’s traditional circular shape and its impact on the sound it produces.

Andrea Ferroni: That sounds fascinating! So, how did you go about studying the relationship between the didgeridoo’s shape and its sound spectrum?
Frank Geipel: I started by studying various traditional didgeridoos and analyzing their acoustic properties. Through extensive measurements and experiments, I was able to establish a correlation between the shape of the instrument and the sound it generates. This foundation allowed me to delve deeper into understanding the complex relationship between form and sound.However, studying the traditional didgeridoo shapes alone had its limitations, as it restricted me to exploring existing designs. I wanted to push the boundaries and explore the possibilities of creating new shapes that could produce specific sound qualities. That’s when the idea of the CADSD software was born.

Andrea Ferroni: CADSD sounds like an incredible innovation. Could you explain how the software works and what it can do?
Frank Geipel: Certainly! CADSD, which stands for Computer-Aided Didgeridoo Shape Design, is a software that can simulate the sound spectrum corresponding to a given didgeridoo shape. Essentially, it allows us to reverse engineer the process, starting from the desired sound qualities and working backward to create the shape that would generate that sound.The software employs advanced algorithms and acoustic modeling techniques to analyze the physical characteristics of a didgeridoo’s shape. By inputting parameters such as the desired sound frequencies and qualities, CADSD can generate a shape that would produce a similar sound spectrum.This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for didgeridoo design. We can now create custom-made instruments tailored to specific musical preferences or even explore shapes previously unimaginable. CADSD truly revolutionizes the way we approach didgeridoo design and sound production.

Andrea Ferroni: That’s truly remarkable! How do you envision this technology being used in the future? Is it primarily for musicians or are there potential applications beyond that?
Frank Geipel: The immediate application of CADSD is undoubtedly in the world of music. Musicians, both amateurs and professionals, can harness this technology to create didgeridoos that match their desired sound profiles with much greater precision. It can also be used by instrument makers to experiment with new designs and push the boundaries of traditional didgeridoo construction.However, the implications of CADSD go beyond the realm of music. This software has the potential to be utilized in other areas such as sound engineering, acoustic research, and even therapeutic practices. By understanding the relationship between shape and sound, we can optimize sound production in various industries and explore its healing properties.In the second part of this interview, we will dive deeper into the practical applications of CADSD and how it can shape the future of sound design.

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