Synthetic Sound Labs Recreates 1939 VODER Talking Machine

Voder_Doug_Slocum_SSL_Bell_LaboratoriesThe VODER “talking machine,” originally created by Bell Laboratories for the 1939 New York World’s Fair and San Francisco Exhibitions, has been recreated using modern components made by Synthetic Sound Labs (SSL), under contract by Nokia Bell Labs.

The new VODER is going to be played later this month as part of the Human Digital Orchestra during the (invitation-only) First Shannon Conference on the Future of the Information Age at Bell Labs in New Jersey.  The conference is being billed as a celebration of the centennial of Claude Shannon’s birth, whose early information-theory concepts “form the basis of many of today’s digital computing and transmission techniques.” The VODER will be played by SSL’s founder, Doug Slocum.
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Yamaha TransAcoustic Guitar Features Built In Electro-Acoustic Effects

At Musikmesse 2016, Yamaha introduced a new line of guitars, the Yamaha TransAcoustic Guitar, that includes electro-acoustic chorus and reverb.

yamaha-internal-650-80The effects are generated by an actuator, fitted inside the guitar, that vibrates in response to string vibrations.

These vibrations are then carried by the body of the guitar and the air inside and out, generating reverb and chorus sounds, without the need for external effects. Continue reading

The Lumen Is Like An Electronic Handpan On Steroids

Developer Guy Jackson has launched an Indiegogo campaign to produce the Lumen, a self-contained electronic handpan.

The Lumen provides the playing experience of it’s acoustic inspiration, with the added benefits that electronics bring.

It features built-in amplified speakers, an advanced on-board audio processor and full velocity sensitivity. Being an electronic instrument, you can change the samples, change the pitches of the triggers, and output the audio signal or MIDI messages from the Lumen. Continue reading