Synthesist Bertolt Meyer shared this video, which documents his quest to turn his prosthetic arm into a bionic modular synthesizer interface.
Meyer was born without a lower left arm and has a robotic prosthetic hand that’s controlled by signals generated by the muscles in his arm. While it’s great for many tasks, though, the prosthetic arm doesn’t offer enough fine control to accurately and quickly change settings on a synthesizer.
Meyer decided to see if he could come up with a better solution and, with the help of Chrisi from KOMA Elektronik, created a unique tool for thought-controlled synthesis – the SynLimb.
Here’s what he has to say a out it:
Together with Chrisi from KOMA Elektronik and my husband Daniel, I am in the process of building a device (the “SynLimb”) that attaches to my arm prosthesis instead of the prosthetic hand.
The SynLimb converts the electrode signals that my prosthesis picks up from my residual limb into control voltages (CV) for controlling my modular synthesizer. The SynLimb thus allows me to plug my prosthesis directly into my synthesizer so that I can control its parameters with the signals from my body that normally control the hand. For me, this feels like controlling the synth with my thoughts.
Meyer’s prosthetic arm not only removes barriers to performing live, but also opens the possibility that he can explore new ways to directly connect with synthesizers and sound.
You can preview Meyer’s latest track below and hear more at his SoundCloud page: