Name: Nicolas Armand

Nationality: French

Background: Architecture, Graphic Design, Music

I want my Final Project to…

I want my final project to expand my skills in two fields. One is research, which I'm not comfortable with yet. The other one is sound synthesis/sound objects, which I have some experiences in, and would like to pursue as a small project on the side of my future activities.

I’m interested in/inspired by…

Despite the fact that I started the year with the objective of not being the "music guy", my experiments in sound-related electronics quickly gave me this status. I decided to embrace it and pursue my synthesizer building explorations.

But I don’t want my project to be a straight up musical project. I want to tackle the topic of expression and create something that will empower people to express themselves. I experienced lots of expression related problems all around me, and I had some myself. Too often people have no ways to express themselves creatively or to express themselves at all. I would like my project to explore new primal / spontaneous vectors of expression.

This project is relevant because…

This project is relevant on a personal level because it is linked to one of my professional projects / side project, and to learning objectives. I don't want to work on research professionally, so I'd like to take advantage of those last CIID months to get better at it.

The project's theme is inspired by situations I've lived, experiences I've done and people I met.

Expanding from the domain of music to the world of sound in its broadest sense and exploring the relationship of humans and sound.

During my Final Project I would like to challenge myself in…

Comfort zone: sound / music / noise context. Electronics applied to synthesizer building. Physical object building. Human / machine interactions.

Challenge: doing more research. Talking more. Going out of my comfort zone. Taking a topic which I'm comfortable with and explore how I can bring it to a different sphere. How can this particular subject be translated to benefit not just the nerds, but to actually address a problem. Exploring haptic feedback.

Related projects

Brut Pop (documentary)

A French collective exploring noise music with mentally handicapped people, trying to craft instruments adapted to their specific needs.

Vivian Grezzini

Vivian Grezzini is a male nurse working in the psychiatric hospital of Bourg-en-Bresse in France. He creates experimental sound therapies with his patients and organize concerts in his psychiatric ward. He is also a musician and label owner.

Le Fab'Lull

A French fablab, in Paris’ suburbs specialized in alternative instrument making.

Olivier Gillet / Mutable Instruments

Founder of Mutable Instruments, one of the most interesting synthesizer manufacturer nowadays, working indistinctly with analog and digital synthesis. The brand’s hardware and software is completely open source.

White Noise Machines81YAQ95YqML._SX522_.jpg

Machines producing white / pink noise to help people sleeping or focusing. It uses a type of noise largely used in synthesizer and got rid of the music aspect to focus on the effect on people.

Buddha Machine


The Buddha Machine is a mantra box, continuously playing meditative music / buddhist prayers / mantra. It has been created by Chinese artists FM3 and has been hacked a lot since.

My starting point

The project will start as a simple experiment, using a very simple synthesizer/noise maker and a guerilla format research that will be started on week 1. This will help getting me started by building a simple device and get in touch with people without focusing too much on the user group. I plan a "fun" start to help me moving into the more serious part of the project progressively. In the meantime I'll contact people with whom I can collaborate for more targeted research (cf the related project list)

My explorations so far

This is a growing list of thoughts/questions/principles concerning the project. I’ve been working on it over the last two months.

I’m currently working on the design of the first prop (a noise generator) for the first series of interviews.