This video looks at the Vo-96 Acoustic Synth – the newest instrument design from Paul Vo, the inventor of The Moog Guitar.
Vo’s approach to acoustic synthesis involves controlled modulation the amplitude of the harmonics in a vibrating object – in this case, guitar strings. So, instead of plucking a guitar string and the sound quickly dying out, you can shape how the various harmonics of the string sustain or even build over time.
In the preview video, Will Rayan and Vincent Crow of The Electric Jazz Project try it and explore creating organ and sustained pad sounds using acoustic synthesis on Vo’s new guitar design.
Here’s another video demo of the Vo-96 Acoustic Synth:
While Vo’s first ‘acoustic synth’ design works with n acoustic guitar, acoustic synthesis is not limited to guitars. Here’s what Vo has to say about it:
With Acoustic Synthesis, any acoustic musical instrument – any object that makes a sound – can be enhanced to bring out its hidden acoustic voice. Think also of potential new instruments – playable objects of acoustic art.
So far I’ve worked mostly with vibrating strings. The musical instrument string is arguably the most ubiquitous means of making music. It’s also the most difficult to vibrate coherently using electronic control. One idea I had back in 1979 turned out to be a great solution. I was amazed to find it was still unknown and patentable 20 years later.
Over the past 50 years or so we have accepted and become familiar with using synthesizers to create an endless variety of sounds electronically. I’m saying we are now beginning to extend this idea into the physical realm. We can make the virtual become real. We can artistically create new sounds by bringing out modes of vibration that have up to now remained hidden within the material objects we call musical instruments. Through Acoustic Synthesis the same sonic exploration is possible for other acoustic instruments and even creative objects of acoustic art that no one has imagined – not just yet anyway.
Analog Synthesis. Digital Synthesis. Acoustic Synthesis: it isn’t empty hype, this really is a distinctly different and new method of voicing instruments, designing new sounds, and making music.
You can find out more about Vo and his inventions at his site.
via Chris Stack of experimentalsynth