It might be a ridiculous idea for a lowly music critic to attempt to explain what is going on with the NovaDrone, but I can tell you this: the thing sounds damn cool. It's basically a crazy synth, attached to a decorated circuitboard, built by Nonhorse (G. Lucas Crane) and Casper Electronics (Pete Edwards), who has been building different synths and other musical and light-based electronics for a while. (See his sound-responsive light orbs in permanent installation at the Wallet. Since that space is right underneath an elevated train, they flicker intensely about every five minutes, regardless of whatever's happening in the room.)
The NovaDrone seems like a handy little thing, apt for making screaming throbs while lighting your entire electronics setup, and possibly the room. Check out the video, and then we'll talk specs:
And specs, for which I must simply quote from the whiz-kid soldering team:
The Nova Drones offers 9 potentiometers, 9 switches, 6 oscillators, 3 oscillator sync inputs and an epic 15 voltage outputs as well as 3 high current outputs for controlling external LEDs. All of the ins and outs have been routed to a prototyping breadboard at the bottom of the unit which allows for liberal experimentation and development of custom circuits. The prototyping area is especially useful for syncing the oscillators of 2 or more Nova Drones together. The NovaDrone has three separate channels which generate sound and control the brightness of the three colors in a tri color LED. The sound and light come from the SAME electrical signal. You are literally seeing what you hear.
Couldn't have said it better myself. Go to the NovaDrone's page to check out more about this new baby instrument.