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Small electronic windspeed sensor?

  1. Oct 8, 2013 #1
    Hello, I'm putting together a sort of electronic flute and I'd like to be able to use a sensor to control expression with breath.

    It needs to be small enough to bring up to the mouth to control, rather sensitive, and the cheaper the better. Any suggestions?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2013 #2
    I think my post timed out?

    Anyway - solid state (electronic) airflow sensing is it's own specialty. Often done with a thermistor (temperature varying resistor) or two. By applying current to one thermistor, you can gauge the cooling effect of the airflow, and compare to the second thermistor, ideally at the same ambient temp, but out of the airflow.

    As you can imagine - doing this for breath, humidity, variable temperature - would be tricky.
  4. Oct 9, 2013 #3
    I like that idea :)

    I've used thermistors in the EE lab class I am in...guess I could just "borrow" a couple from the parts bin xD But do you think I might be able to shield them from ambient interference by like putting them in a little tube that you blow into?

    I have also thought that maybe it could be possible to use a small mic and have the intensity of the input sound (breathing harder would of course be slightly louder) somehow hacked to control the expression. Thoughts on that?
  5. Oct 9, 2013 #4
    Noise on microphone works, since this is a flute? - how will the mic pick up the "wind" noise and not the tone of the flute, it can be done, but gets complicated. As for what you mean by Expression I have no idea.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  6. Oct 9, 2013 #5


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    My mum has an anemometer someone hacked together from one of those cyclist's training computers. It's just a very light dynamo driven by some anemometer cups, basically.

    Don't know if that's practical here.
  7. Oct 9, 2013 #6
    I may not be using the terminology appropriately since I am only an amateur musician. What I'm trying to do is have the intensity of the breath control volume and/or the brightness of the tone, or a pitch modulator.

    Practically, that just means I need some kind of analog control that can be operated with breath.
  8. Oct 9, 2013 #7


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    These devices are available commercially - Yamaha and Akai are the two "big names".

    You might get some construction ideas from http://home.comcast.net/~ijfritz/index.htm [Broken]

    Or some of the other links to forums etc here: http://www.patchmanmusic.com/WindControllerLinks.html
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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