handmade
electronic
instruments

by Michael Rucci

DEVICE 0056
Completed:
December, 2012
Location:
Highland, IL
Baltimore, MD

 

This handmade synthesizer is played by touching the copper contact strip. The strip is made up of 15 contact points, each of which plays a higher pitch. It is monophonic and will sound the highest pitch being played.

There is controllable LFO feeding the square-wave oscillator producing quick modulation, or an almost distorted throaty sound. In addition to LFO speed there is also a fine-tune pitch control, low pass filter and volume control.

The contact strip is sensitive to pressure and even the resistance of a particular player's skin. For example someone with sweaty hands will produce a higher frequency. Also please note depending on how you release the contact strip you will find a slight decay as the capacitors drain. But all this is easily learned and tamable.

It has a 1/4" output and is powered by a 9volt battery. The housing is a repurposed cigar box that has a less than flawless dark stain, giving it a very antique, aged feel.

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