La Voix du Luthier (The Voice of the Luthier) has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of two unique speakers for electronic musicians.
The speakers are designed in the tradition of the diffuseurs of French instrument designer Maurice Martenot. Martenot is known for the expressive Ondes Martenot electronic instrument, and to amplify it, he created a system of three diffuseurs, each of which was designed to add a different type of acoustic resonance to the electronic sound.
La Voix du Luthier has created two wood resonating speakers, the Onde and Pyramid. These are powered resonators, with the sound directly emanating from 2 separate soundboards, similar to guitar soundboard, designed and tuned by a master luthier.
The Onde & Pyramid are not intended to transparently amplify your electronic sounds. Instead, they’re designed to resonate like traditional acoustic instruments and impart these acoustic resonances to your electronically generated sounds.
Here’s are some sound examples, created by composer & synth designer Edmund Eagan, using a Haken ContinuuMini synthesizer and a La Voix du Luthier Onde resonator. He used a stereo mic configuration to capture the sonic space created by the Onde. The video demonstrates how the Onde turns your synthesizer into a hybrid electroacoustic instrument:
Features of the Onde & Pyramid resonators:
- They generate a 3D auditory space, just like a traditional acoustic instrument (as opposed to traditional speakers being very directional).
- They are not sonically «neutral», but are not meant to be: they offer a colored sound carefully tuned by the luthier.
- They offer a highly dynamic sound: users report that all the transients, like the attack off sounds, mechanical noises, etc., are perceptually better than on traditional speakers.
- They enhance any electronic signal, imparting a carefully balanced acoustical environment into the source, immersive like an acoustic instrument.
- They have two fine wooden soundboards with oppositional placement that are complementary sounding, further enhancing the 3D experience. Each soundboard has a separate volume control allowing for fine-tuning of the tonal balance.
- They are designed to be able to transmit surface vibrations to your instrument, and offer a high number of possible mounting options to be attached to electronic instruments. This means that electronic musicians now can feel the vibrations of the sound they produce while playing, like any acoustic instrument player.
- Like acoustic instruments, they are interact with their environment, letting you take advantage of the specific tonal characteristics of a venue.
- They integrate electronic instruments with an acoustic ensemble.
- They offer an elegant wooden design (different finishes are available).
Here’s the official Kickstarter video:
Here’s a quick introduction from developer Christophe Duquesne at Superbooth 2018:
Pricing and Availability
Production of the Onde & Pyramid are being funded via a Kickstarter project. The resonating speakers are available to backers starting at €570 (about US $658).