A student project becomes an actual product for sale.
(As usual in this day and age, it’s USB only and works only with a computer.)
Bonus: Gizmodo’s coverage of it, with the usual smug, dismissive comments following.
Nick Collier has made a Flash animated version of his “Beast” synthesizer.
Try it–all you can make is glorious anarchy.
May I introduce, Hugh LeCaine.
First, watch this awesome video on the legendary Electronic Sackbut :
(sorry don’t know how to embed video here…)
As I troll around for Hammond Solavoxes and Novachords for my own projects, I must state here that THE ELECTRONIC SACKBUT WAS THE FIRST VOLTAGE CONTROLLED SYNTHESIZER, not some univox organ a dude is selling on ebay, despite what the ebay page claims. Although the novachord, clavioline, ondioline, trautonium, are all beautiful, LeCaine made a synthesizer with voltage control of things like filters, VCAs and pitch before 1950!!!
This technical touch of voltage control allowed the integration of all sorts of nuanced control of the instrument without the need to discretely switch components in the circuit or contrive complicated mechanical variable capacitors and inductors (as used on some other instruments of the time ie, martenot’s string).
Gotta love the look, too.
Visit http://www.hughlecaine.com/en/ to see the many more interesting and trippy sound machines invented by this nuclear physicist.
Like the “Spectrogram”, which often controlled the “Oscillator Bank”. Here’s a picture of a spectrogram tape that LeCaine used to synthesize bird chirps:
And, yes, this was all done with tubes – what would you use in 1945?
He apparently pulled the voice board out of a perfectly good Moog Voyager,
installed it in a Modularworld case, and wired it up like a modular.
Am I missing something here?
well I stole this from Synthtopia but this site is overdue for a newpost
The work of Moritz Wolpert. More here.
First, Russian DIYer Dmitry Morozov, better known as vtol, has a website full of his colorful instruments. Nice panel art! He apparently makes limited issues of some of them for sale.
Then, Flickr user “jugger-naut” built a tube synthesizer in plug-in module form.
His main site for custom work is here. His cabinetwork is so beautiful, it will make you cry. Be warned, you will be exploring every link there. He has schematics of almost everything he’s built — clever designs, easy to reproduce.
Seen on Matrix, with no information. It was, as it turns out, based on a Texas Instruments sound-effects IC (probably an SN76477). It appears to be built into an old tube tester cabinet. In case you didn’t know, Raes is a notorious Flemish artist, founder of the Logos Foundation—and dedicated nudist.
Here is a list of Raes’ DIY instruments.
The technology to do this has been readily available for at least 30 years. What gets me is that very few actual working musicians seem to be capable of doing a decent one-person-band. (She also appeared on Conan O’Brien last year.)
You won’t find more simpler obscure gadgets than the ones sold by Sonodrome. They even have PC software to go with their little bits of hardware. PC boards come in four colors. (And MAKE magazine’s market is selling the amplifier kit, along with the Atari Punk Console.) Enclosures are up to the builder. YouTube videos here.
Dave Wright found this at a “junk shop” in Tucson. It uses two CEM 3394 chips, plus a PAIA MIDI-CV and a few assorted circuits. It was very well-made, almost commercial quality. The maker’s identity is a total mystery.
mystery homebrew synth
—if not the decade.
Is it still being made? I can’t tell, the order form was on an AOL homepage, which has since been pulled down.
here is an audio selection
First, did you know that RCA made a vacuum tube that was usable as a phonograph pickup?
Finally, this guy is building a duplicate of the old Metasonix Hellfire Modulator. He’s making a chassis for it out of plain sheet metal, and he apparently mated two toaster ovens together in order to bake powder-coating onto it. DIY FTW!!!
It’s an analogue drone-box with a much vaster range of sound effects than single-box devices can usually do. Simple yet complex.
(It’s strange that this Italian company has no contact info on their site except email.)
NYC artist Terry Dame and her “Electric Junkyard Gamelan”. Except for the contact mics, I don’t see anything electric in her shows, but this is a good example of what anyone can do with the most basic (cheap) tools.