Hands On With The Suzuki Portachord, The Precursor To The Omnichord

In his latest video, German synthesist Hainbach takes a look at the Suzuki Portachord, a rare electronic instrument that was the precursor to the more common Omnichord.

These types of instruments were originally intended to be accessible electronic folk instruments. They’ve become popular with ambient artists, though, inspired by their use by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois on albums such as their 1983 album Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.

Here’s what Hainbach has to say about it:

“The Suzuki Portachord was the first in the family of Omnichords, teaching instruments that became beloved oddity instruments. David Bowie, Brian Eno, Depeche Mode and many more played these, usually slathered in effects to bring out their nature as wonderful texture and ambient instruments. The Portachord is the rarest of all of them, as it was quickly abandoned in favor of the more featured OM-27.

In this video, I show you all its functions, demo how it was used, and make a track with it. I also touch upon other Omnichord variants, like the OM84 and the Folktek Mod.”

6 thoughts on “Hands On With The Suzuki Portachord, The Precursor To The Omnichord

    1. Artiphon instrument 1 comes somewhat close: you can program the frets for one finger chords and then strum the six nipples, or you can just press the frets. It has polyphonic aftertouch and tilt.
      Their orba comes one step closer, as it has internal sound, but only has eight pads, so it outputs the chords in a minor or major scale and can not be strummed.

  1. This video is awesome, I’ve been inspired to make an Android app that does the same thing but with MIDI. The portachord interface is literally a flat touch sensitive surface, so a phone or tablet should be perfect!

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