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MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART => Music Gearheads Tech Talk => Topic started by: Julio Di Benedetto on May 27, 2011, 06:00:30 AM

Title: Unusual Analog Synths
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on May 27, 2011, 06:00:30 AM
Came across these very odd synths.....these are not photoshop creations, they are available through Big City Music in LA

(http://bigcitymusic.com/images/1000896_l.jpg)

(http://bigcitymusic.com/images/1000844_l.jpg)

Heres a little video of the Swarmatron used in Trent Reznor's newest sonic adventure...How to Destroy Angels http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmdVV5Ds3kU&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmdVV5Ds3kU&feature=related)

And a link to a short film on the creators of these machine......very interesting & strangely funny http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY8Cgggp9iM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY8Cgggp9iM)

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Unusual Analog Synths
Post by: LNerell on May 27, 2011, 07:33:13 AM
Yeah their are a bunch of these odd ball home made synths out, I saw a lot of those back in the Analogue Haven days. Most of that stuff uses diy circuits, and are pretty limited, designed mostly to make noise. Here's one we use to sell:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v128/lnerell/buchla_funbox.jpg)

Title: Re: Unusual Analog Synths
Post by: Scott M2 on May 27, 2011, 07:42:02 AM
I do LOVE the "ignition" keys - which, I assume, are the On/Off switches.   8)
Title: Re: Unusual Analog Synths
Post by: ffcal on May 27, 2011, 10:24:18 AM
I do LOVE the "ignition" keys - which, I assume, are the On/Off switches.   8)

Yes, that looks very 50s, in a cold war sort of way.  Are those copper surfaces at the bottom touch plates?; that part looks almost like a Buchla-inspired design.

Forrest
Title: Re: Unusual Analog Synths
Post by: LNerell on May 27, 2011, 10:20:03 PM

Are those copper surfaces at the bottom touch plates?; that part looks almost like a Buchla-inspired design.

Yeah but its different then a Buchla. You have to touch two of them to make a sound, touching two different ones changes the pitch. Not as nice as a Buchla design, it probably would have sold better if it had been more similar.  Overall it was basically a one trick pony, good at making noise, not much else.
Title: Re: Unusual Analog Synths
Post by: hdibrell on May 28, 2011, 03:26:50 PM
I have had the opportunity to play on several "like" devices and I have to agree, they are mostly good as noisemakers. Having said that, they can be a lot of fun to play with. My problem with them is that I had a hard time getting anything I really considered musical out of them. Others experience may differ. Also, they just seemed a bit pricy for what they did. In fairness to the builder, I would have to say if I spent hours building something like this I would want a pretty good price, too. I can't help but enjoy looking at devices like these. They are just so cool looking. Especially the Foltek's.
Title: Re: Unusual Analog Synths
Post by: ffcal on May 29, 2011, 11:05:09 AM
Speaking of touch-plate interfaces, one of the more interesting primitive ones I remember was from a Morton Subotnick installation in the late 70s.  The installation consisted of a chess board with small rounded flat buttons on each position of the board which activated different sonic events and visual clips from a Super-8 camera.  His "Electronic Music Box" was a Buchla.  I was lucky to have interviewed him while in college.  His "Touch" and "Until Spring" LPs (along with "Silver Apples of the Moon") were longtime favorites of mine.

Forrest
Title: Re: Unusual Analog Synths
Post by: Scott M2 on May 30, 2011, 08:49:54 PM
Hey Forrest - If you have a surround system, you must check out these great surround Subotnick releases on Mode,
which include "Touch" and "Until Spring", as well as "Sidewinder":

http://www.moderecords.com/catalog/097subotnick.html
http://www.moderecords.com/catalog/132subotnick.html
Title: Re: Unusual Analog Synths
Post by: ffcal on June 01, 2011, 07:21:45 PM
Hi Scott--

I don't have a 5.1 setup, though I do have the Mode "Until Spring/Sidewinder" CD disc, which is nice to have in a pop & click-free format.  I also have a vinyl version of Subotnick's Four Butterflies, which precedes "Until Spring," but I don't think has been reissued on CD (maybe because it is on Columbia/CBS).

What Subotmick did with the Buchla was amazing.  A lot of his 70s work was gesture-driven, using a controller that tracked his physical movements.

Forrest