Ontario-based synth designer Mike Beauchamp shared this sneak preview of his upcoming Therevox ET-5 synthesizer.
The ET-5 is the latest in his line of Therevox instruments, inspired by the Ondes Martenot (1928) and the Electro-Theremin (1950). Like earlier Therevox instruments, the ET-5 is played by moving a finger along a reference keyboard, giving you continuous control over pitch, and pressing dual pressure-sensitive keys on the left of the keyboard, giving you continuous control over the volume of each oscillator.
New features in the ET-5 include:
- The ET-5 features completely redesigned Intensity Keys that provide a progressive tactile feel, allowing more nuanced control of the two oscillators.
- The ring has been completely redesigned, with a significant reduction in friction for faster glides, slides and expressive bends.
- The length of the fingerboard has been increased by over half an octave.
- A new 3.5mm Patch Panel allows complete reconfiguration of the the ET-5’s controls to any parameter on the synthesizer. Mults are also provided for advance routing, splitting and adding signals. The Patch Panel also makes it easy to integrate with Eurorack gear, and 1/4″ CV outputs are also provided to control large format and vintage gear.
- Next to each intensity key is a new slider/fader control that replaces the “hold knobs” on the ET-4.3, allowing the levels of the oscillators to be held without using the intensity keys. These sliders generate a control voltage that is available to be mapped on the Patch Panel, putting the control of any parameter under your fingers.
- The fingerboard is now also pressure sensitive. This is a feature that has been requested for a long time and took a lot of work to get right. Like the new hold sliders, the fingerboard pressure can control any parameter through the Patch Panel and the control voltage is also available as a 1/4″ output on the side of the ET-5.
- The new FX loop also has a wet/dry mix CV control available on the Patch Panel, designed in a unique way that that preserves the trails of your reverbs and delays.
- A dedicated 9V power output on the Therevox can power your guitar pedals directly as they are inserted into the ET-5 FX loop.
- The level control for the FX loop is now also a gain control for a custom-voiced saturation stage before the new 3-pole filter.
- The spring reverb circuitry has been redesigned to reduce noise and increase frequency response.
- A built-in tuner lets you tune the analog oscillator to any interval.
- In addition to MIDI over USB, the ET-5 now has a 5-pin DIN MIDI output to directly control other gear. The two intensity keys work on separate channels, allowing the ET-5 to independently control two synthesizers at the same time, or blending separate voices on a single synth.
- You can now also “freeze” the pitch of Oscillator 2. When this is enabled, pressing down on the fingerboard will grab and hold the pitch in that position ,allowing for easily changing drone notes and polyphonic melodies.
Beauchamp says that the ET-5 design was driven by feedback from existing Therevox users.
“Being able to see how our customers use their Therevox and how it integrates with their music-making environment informed the design of the ET-5. Also the local synthesizer collective meetings have been a great resource for hands-on experience with new and vintage synthesizers.
These meetings refined my taste in filters and contributed to the design of the new 3-pole filter, and were definitely responsible for the inclusion of a 5-PIN DIN MIDI output being added to the ET-5.”
Pricing and Availability
Details on pricing and availability for the Therevox ET-5 are still to be announced. There is a contact form on the Therevox site if you want additional information or to get on the wait list for the ET-5.