Gamechanger Audio Intros Motor Synth, The First Electro-Mechanical Desktop Synthesizer

Gamechanger Audio has introduced Motor Synth, an analog electro-mechanical synthesizer that uses a system of electromotors as its main sound source.

Motor Synth produces sounds by accelerating and decelerating eight electromotors to precise rpm (revolutions per minute) that correspond with specific musical notes.

The instrument’s eight-electromotor configuration allows for four-note polyphony, with two voices per key played.

The Motor Synth has two ways of producing its core sound.

  • First, magnetic pickups are placed on each of its eight electromotors; the spinning coils result in ‘a very industrial-sounding, over-the-top analogue tone.’
  • Seconnd, specially-designed reflective optical disks have been attached to the shafts of each electromotor. Each disk contains a graphical representation of three standard audio wave-shapes. As the electromotors spin, the disks are set into circular motion, and each wave-shape is read by a dedicated set of infrared sensors, then converted into an audio signal. Thus, the wave-shapes on the reflective optical disks become precise musical notes, corresponding to the speed of the electromotors.

Motor Synth features familiar analog envelopes and filters alongside arpeggiation, cross and LFO modulation, sequencing, and multiple polyphonic mode facilities, as well as a looping system that allows users to layer rhythm and melodies.

Motor Synth can be played out of the box via eight built-in control keys and four floating tuning/frequency knobs. Performers and composers can connect any MIDI controller, like a keyboard or DAW.

The Motor Synth developers plan fund production of the synth via an IndieGoGo campaign, which is expected to launch at the end of May, 2019.

34 thoughts on “Gamechanger Audio Intros Motor Synth, The First Electro-Mechanical Desktop Synthesizer

  1. One word comes to mind: gimmicky, which seems to be Gamechanger’s credo definitely. I confess the concept is interesting from an academic/experimental point of view (like with their plasma distortion), but to turn it into a commercial product… meh. The audio demo definitely didn’t impress me.

    Oh, and a retro 80’s-looking trailer, how inspired!

    1. their product trailers don’t really do justice to the products, i have the plasma pedal and it has an amazing sound aside from the really cool plasma tube, thinking this could be the same.

    2. Those of us around in the 80’s might not agree…Yeah, tons of V8 musclecars EVERYWHERE in the 80s. All with 400+ HP…..LOL.

      1. Mom owned nothing but musclecars in the 80s and 90s….and now since I gave her my 2014 Mustang….but that is a modern-day Dodge Challenger in the video…probably just a few years old.

    3. Product looks cool, demo is garbage with all those samples on top. Marketing people tend to be bears of very little brain, though.

    4. If I told you that I wasn’t impressed with you and didn’t like you….
      How much would you care and be affected by that?

      On a scale of 1 to 5:

      1: You’d care less than a mosquito fart.
      2: You’d care about the same as a British conservative health minister about the health and well-being of NHS patients.
      3: You’d care about the same level as someone who was just given a brand new Porsche by a random stranger.
      4: You’d care only slightly less than Jesus.
      5: You’d care more than Donald Trump discovering his Twitter account had been hacked and photos replaced with SNL comedy clips.

    1. I had a line frequency modulator (400hz surplus military gear) for my Hammond C3. Pitch bending a Hammond is pretty nifty!

  2. Between this and the volca nubass… I guess we are just going to keep seeing gear with display windows with colored lights in them?

  3. I like the concept kind of in the same way that I have wanted for a while to build a string based synth that would be like an ebowed guitar/autoharp with keys that runs through standard subtractive synthesis – this is pretty much the same concept but motors instead of strings

  4. “reflective optical disks have been attached to the shafts of each electromotor. Each disk contains a graphical representation of three standard audio wave-shapes. As the electromotors spin, […] each wave-shape is read by a dedicated set of infrared sensors, then converted into an audio signal.”

    So does that mean that the sound we hear is not produced by the motors, but rather by a sensor that reads symbols printed on the motors and converts them into sound? That doesn’t sound as fun as just hearing the motor itself.

  5. Hats off for the instantaneous production of irrational GAS – the most explosive type. Alas, for the price and mechanical energy expended, irregardless of the sound it better clean my house and answer my door as well! I’d be interested to know what the minimum slew rate is across extremes of the note range (I.e. How long does it take a motor to speed up to produce a stable note?)

  6. Wonder how they’re going to handle maintenance and repairs. The main thing I’m concerned about is the longevity of the motors, and how they’ll fare on the road if it’s part of someone’s live rig. Concept is actually pretty cool, I like the dirty, fuzzy tones, but as a commercial product, for 1200 Euros, those motors better be serviceable and have been tested for long periods of use.

  7. What I learned from this comments section: People complain, but not about anything substantive.

    When I complain, its to help the product….like asking for more outputs, or not having the keys protrude out so they are easy to break off.

    1. yep ppl are pretty negative these days, there is so much unhappy stuff happening at this moment it spills over from politics and religion to family to neighbors on and on to everyday pleasures like learning about a unique new synth.

  8. Absolut heißes Teil!!! Leider kann man nirgendwo einen Preis ausfindig machen.
    Auch habe ich dieses Gerät noch nirgends im Laden bzw ausgesuchten Fachhandel entdecken können. Und das in einer Großstadt wie Düsseldorf?!?
    Zu gerne würde ich das mal “auseinander” nehmen ?

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