The ‘Acoustic’ Synthi AKS

French composer & synthesist Jean-Baptiste Favory shared this short video, demonstrating using an EMS Synthi AKS (1972) played and recorded through a La Voix du Luthier Onde acoustic resonator.

La Voix du Luthier has created two acoustic resonators, the Onde and the Pyramid, that are designed to be an alternative to using speakers to amplify electronic instruments. They are in the tradition of the diffuseurs of French instrument designer Maurice Martenot. Instead of being designed to reproduce sound accurately or ‘flat’, they’re designed to resonate, to become part of your electronic instrument and part of your sounds.

Favory uses the combination for acoustic performances, because the Synthi’s signal is not directly amplified by a speaker, but is amplified acoustically with the vibrations of the Onde’s wooden body.

You can read more about the Onde in our interview with creator Christophe Duquesne.

12 thoughts on “The ‘Acoustic’ Synthi AKS

  1. Onde seems to lose a lot of detail in the highs but is nice as a pure sort of traditional sounding board like a piano body. Listening to the Music Box video and doing a direct and through the Onde comparison clarifies the sound difference.
    As always the French bring us something traditional and future-forward at the same time. The connection with the Martenot is certainly worth investigating. Electronic instruments and different “resonators” is a whole world of new sound. Brilliant! Thank you!

  2. A good point being raised by a few here. I don’t think one can really experience the sonic characteristics of an Ondes Martelot without actually being present in the room. So making Youtube videos to demo the Ondes Martelot is pretty much pointless.

  3. I prefer a PM resonator so I can pick different models, modulate them and don’t need to run around with a microphone like an idiot. 😉

  4. I like the idea of a resonator speaker, but not at the price they’re charging (although I acknowledge the craftsmanship and expense of hand building these things) . I might look into building my own plywood box, then stick an amplifier in it.

  5. THIN wooden resonators add a lot to sound which is why so many musical instruments are made out of thin wood. The idea behind most speakers is the wood is THICK so it does NOT resonant, that way the speaker is louder and adds no sounds beyond the signal, but this is actually poorly advised since the focused directional one way sound is highly UNNATURAL, real sound is more onmidirectional so the wooden renounce of THIN speaker enclosures makes the sound a lot more omnidirectional hence natural sounding in exchange for a little less amplitude, a good trade.They who criticize the approach do so out of ignorance. In addition thin wood makes for a lighter speaker which is a good thing.

    In the days when most classical music was written all concert halls were made of wood which made the music many times more resonant. These wooden concert halls were phased out due to fire hazard, today’s heavy cement concert halls suffer greatly for the lack of wooden construction acoustically and have to use microphones and speakers.

    Thin wooden floors always make for the best sound in a listening space whether using speakers or real musical instruments so it is well known that wood amplification is important to superior sound, our love of technology makes us ignorant., many imagine speakers to be better than organic acoustics, no, wrong.

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