3 thoughts on “The Phantastron Vacuum Tube Synthesizer

  1. Oh, no filter. How about building a formant filter with tubes like in the original tube based Mixtur Trautonium? The oscillator with a thyratron is already in place …

  2. The thyratron does oscillate, but the sound in the Phantastron is not created there – rather it feeds a pentode which generates 3 waveforms in sync with the pulse.

    There were various filters used for Trautoniums throughout the years. The first Trautwein instrument did not have a filter per se and used neon bulbs — no thyratron. The Telefunken version had very rudimentary, but pleasant filters using parallel resonant networks. The Mixturtrautonium of Oskar Sala employed paralell resonant filters with transformers. These sound amazing, and you can hear some I helped Hans Kockelmans build for his Phantastron if you visit his website (I have the link on mine).

    The trautonium style filters sound AMAZING when made properly. As do EckMiller Eq and Siemens W695. This is due to the high quality resonant transformers.

    Anyway, the problem is, the Trautonium filter is only as good as the transformer (and to a lesser extent the capacitors). A lot of iron is needed at audio quality. So it has been cost prohibitive to make a Mixturtrautonium cloned instrument due to the cost of good audio transformers. This may change very very soon, though…

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