(noun) bach·i·na·tion | \.bɒ-kə-'nā-shən : crafty action or artful design intended to accomplish some usually musical end

With a strong background in both vibrations and music, the Bachination Project within LAB2701 specializes in customized or optimized musical instruments.

Dr. Perkins has previous experience working as faculty in the Music Department at North Carolina State University, and he developed a cross-listed graduate level Music Engineering course.


The asphaltophone, sometimes called a "singing road", is a musical instrument whose components are the road and a vehicle. By varying the space between bumps or ridges, the car will vibrate at a particular frequency when traveling at a specified speed, producing a tune. We modeled the asphaltophone and formulated a closed-form solution of the response, which we then used to optimize the design. This asphaltophone was then fabricated and installed at Auburn University as the #wareagleroad.

  • Alex Tucker, Edmon Perkins, “Asphaltophones: Modeling, Analysis, and Experiment”, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (2020).

Designer Guitar Pedals

Building on other work in the lab, we've modified an adaptive oscillator circuit to function as a guitar pedal. This type of circuit bending is popular for custom musical instruments.

  • XiaoFu Li, Edmon Perkins, “The Adaptive Oscillator Musical Instrument”, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (submitted).

STEM Education & Outreach

We have designed numerous STEM education modules, which utilize 3D printed ocarinas and other music examples. We have presented this material at Native American summer camps and multiple universities. These modules focus on how musical instruments work and how they can be modeled.