New Instrument – The Magnetic Cello

The Magnetic Cello is an analog electronic musical instrument created by Cal Poly SLO student David Levi.

Notable Features:

  • Flexible tuning. It instrument can be tuned to almost any range. The interval between strings and the compression (the space between notes on the same string) can also be adjusted by turning a few knobs.
  • The same profile as an acoustic cello. The Magnetic Cello has the same dimensions as an acoustic cello, making it easy for acoustic cellists become adept at the instrument. The instrument is also lighter and thinner than an acoustic cello.
  • Versatile electronic output. The output signal of the instrument can be fed to any standard effect pedal or filter, expanding the potential of the instrument.
  • The instrument will cost about half of a standard acoustic cello.

The instrument is expected to be available in summer 2012. See the Magnetovore site for details.

4 thoughts on “New Instrument – The Magnetic Cello

  1. I was initially doubtful since the profile is quite similar to a dozen other horrible “original” instruments that use a ribbon controller, however the magnetic “bow” makes it much more usable, and the real cellists demonstrated it’s capabilities quite well. The design is also quite nice, similar in nature to electric violins. I think if they can beef up it’s synthesis capabilities a bit, they’ll have quite a marketable product, especially if it’s price remains half that of a conventional cello.

    I’m not aware of the price of a conventional cello, however having this as an “alternate controller” is incredibly appealing, if only to have a ribbon controller that looks good.

    *post googling* For readers like me who aren’t familiar with cello costs, a quick google search reveals the standard price for a decent beginning cello is about $1000, with expensive “standard” cellos going up to about $5000, although the cheap outliers drop as low as $200. Going off of this information I would estimate this magnetic cello will cost $500-$800, as this is “about half” of a standard, consumer-quality cello. Pure speculation, although if my speculation is even remotely accurate, it’ll be a good deal cheaper than many other “alternate” electronic instruments.

  2. New instrument? no, there used to be Theremin Cellos in the 1930s, complete with magnet bows.

    Still this new iteration looks and sounds awesome.

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