The Mutantrumpet Is A Hybrid Trumpet, Designed By Bob Moog & Ben Neil

The Mutantrumpet is a hybrid electroacoustic instrument, originally created in the 80’s by trumpeter Ben Neil and Bob Moog

In the video above, Neil demonstrates his unusual electronic trumpet, which features three bells and allows for a wide range of acoustic trumpet sounds, but also includes electronics to allow for synthesis, effects processing, looping and more.

The Mutantrumpet can trigger sequences and even sample and sequence the sounds of the trumpet.

Neil has a new album, Horizonal ,on Audiokult Recordings

13 thoughts on “The Mutantrumpet Is A Hybrid Trumpet, Designed By Bob Moog & Ben Neil

  1. Got to give it to this guy. He was able to make this “thing”. Highly impractical,. Bet you he can accomplish the same with external FX units and a regular mike. It looks as a very uncomfortable performance device.

    1. Spoken like a true luddite!

      The form factor isn’t sexy, because it’s a one-off prototype, but it should be obvious to anyone that actually watches the video that this does things that would be impossible with external effects and a regular mic – ranging from the acoustic options like the slide to the quarter tone scale button to the in-tube pressure mic to ability to control effects without moving your hands from the trumpet.

      A product engineer could make this look a lot prettier – but my guess is that there are even more luddite trumpet players than there are in the world of electronic music, so there probably would not be a market for such a thing.

      It’s cool that Neil’s following his dream, creating a new instrument that pushes the envelope and creating music on it that sounds interesting.

      1. Yes, he brought his idea to fruition amd he should be commended for it. But this device himders the most important thing about a performer and his chosen instrument, the ability to get the most accurate tone and expression. If he wants to do electro-brass and be a one man orchestra, he can go the route of Ableton with a Launchpad ( or similar device). Better still, get a couple of guys and have fun with your performance. This contraption hinders the centuries it took to accomplish the perfect tone with a brass instrument. To do this you need both of your hands, one for the valves and the other to open and close the adjustmen little “pipes” in the trumpet. I am sure that a more ellegant design can come out of this, but it will surely not be a trumpet with a mounted ellectronic unit.
        I am sure he is a good player and he must be strugling on how to get the most of his left hand.

      2. Oh I find this very sexy indeed. In a non-aesthetic aesthetic way its a lovely mix of steam-punk and cyberpunk. Yes, it does look a tad impractical to play, but it adds to the aesthetic of the scenepreformance. The whole pont of all these controls on the actual instrument is of course to be able to manipulate the sound and video as he plays, _like_ he plays. For this it can not be done with controllers away from his hands since he uses both hands ond the trumpet. Where you put your controllers and what part of your body youuse to work them, decides much of the final product.

  2. The instrument is really clever. Having the valves to switch between harmon mute, or the slide bell is wild. The 3rd valve for quarter-tone shift is hilarious and delightful.

    As someone who can occasionally get obsessed with those kinds of concepts, I can really appreciate someone who gets it FINISHED, makes it WORKABLE, then PUTS IT TO USE!

    If you just took the acoustic parts it is brilliant. The electronic applications also seem quite well implemented.

    This is the most bad-ass trumpet I’ve ever seen. FTW!

  3. I love the concept of the acoustic part with switched trumpets. Can’t say the same about the addition of electronic synthesizer. All in all, the implementation seems to work for the musician, and this is all that matters. The demo performance sounds brilliant

  4. So happy to see Ben Neill still at it – i was first enthralled with his stuff over 15 years ago with his ‘Goldbug’ Album, and loved the combination of Drum & Bass and psychedelic trumpet.

    Is the latest stuff in the same vein? I hope so… cheers for the post!

  5. At first I thought ‘great, another noise making Frankenstein’, but it’s actually an interesting instrument-hybrid with a lot of musical performance potential. Cool.

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