Fog Machine for Musical Laser Harp
  • Dana Gretton beside the musical laser harp
    Dana Gretton beside the musical laser harp
Dana Gretton '16 designed and fabricated the first iteration of a fog machine for the musical laser harp
Affiliated faculty: 

Dana Gretton'16 designed and fabricated an extremely small fog machine that is embedded behind the plexiglass and render the lasers visible in swirls of smoke. Undergraduate students involved in the project learned how to solder, how to program a microcontroller, circuit design, carpentry, computer-aided fabrication, and audio design. 

The musical laser harp is an interactive music-making machine with an unusual mode of operation: more than a dozen bright red laser diodes paired with photo-resistors that act as break-beam sensors to trigger musical MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) output. MIT's official seal is engraved on the playing surface and the classic great dome silhouette is featured in the handmade wooden case. Waving ones hands or an object inside the open space triggers musical notes in the melodious pentatonic scale and the fog machine enables one to see the red lasers in swirls of smoke. 


This project was made possible, in part, by the Class of 2004 HUGE (Helping Undergraduates Gain Excellence) Fund
Project type: 
Experiential Learning Project
Ed Moriarty