Electric Western has announced plans for some new DIY synth kits.
There’s a lot on the list to get psyched up about:
First on the list is the EW Ribbon Controller:
20? long & designed as an ergonomic instrument meant to be played! The current version sends 2 position CVs and has an optional expression pedal input/output (uses a roland or other keyboard expression pedal). It’s solid state & uses a permeable electric membrane touch surface. It’s not quite like John Simonton’s proposed ribbon at Paia, but it is driven actively and does provide two independent CVs allowing two hand (finger) playing & it will be compatible with pretty much any synth out there.
Phantastron Production Model: A phantastron designed to be economical as a completed instrument or module (not just a kit).
The 1936 Warmifier (v2):
Essentially a very tonal pre-amp / di with 1930s style vacuum tube input and output & a formant resonator section. Unlike a filter, the formants are RESONANT & can be additive or subtractive. This is accomplished with high quality inductors and shunts (not grounded resistors or potentiometers), much like the resonant networks used to add overall harmonic depth in the Trautonium or the Hammond Novachord.
I’m still searching out the right tranformer (1000-3000 ohms:600 ohms). Until I perfect my winding jig, I just can’t wind all the transformers myself. Oh and if anyone knows a good source of bakelite that might be nice too.
I’m also still working on theremins and martenot circuits. I think a FAITHFUL martenot inspired instrument is inevitable, but it’s taking some time. Currently, I do have a “gong speaker” and I’ve carved some wood for a “palm speaker”. I have also gotten the heterodyne oscillator and ring/string controller licked, but there are modifications that need to be done. Just because it works doesn’t mean it plays…