New Device, The Landscape Ferrous, Coaxes New Sounds From Stringed Instruments

Designer Eric Pitra of Landscape has introduced a new handheld device, Ferrous, that offers a way to get new sounds from steel-stringed instruments like guitar, piano, bass, etc.

The Landscape Ferrous, created with Artist/Performer/designer Victoria Shen, lets you magnetically ‘strum’ strings, creating harmonically complex “ghostly sounds” not normally associated with these instruments.

Ferrous’ spinning disc contains six strong earth magnets. Adjusting the rotational speed of the disc will change which strings are most affected and their harmonic content.

If the disc is spinning slowly, lower strings resonate; if the disc is spinning quickly higher strings will resonate louder. The results can sound like an unknown instrument in a reverberated physical space, floating sine wave tones, or feedback.

Fluctuation of rotation speed by using the thumbwheel, rev button, touch-plate or control voltage input can create a soft strumming effect across multiple strings or shifts in harmonic content. New harmonics and overtones can emerge from both lower and higher strings as the disc spins faster. The distance at which Ferrous is held from strings affects how strongly they will resonate and their harmonics.

If Ferrous is placed near guitar pickups you will hear the heavy sounds of the magnets and the motor, with the resulting pitch based upon the disc’s RPM.

Here’s an example of Ferrous being used with an acoustic piano to create sustained drones:


A large collection of audio demos are available at the Landscape site.

Pricing and Availability:

The Landscape Ferrous is priced at $180 USD. There’s currently a pre-order waiting list on the site.

10 thoughts on “New Device, The Landscape Ferrous, Coaxes New Sounds From Stringed Instruments

  1. Finally a worthwhile and needed evolution of the Ebow.

    I wish they had made video to give us a better understanding about how to play with it (pretty sure there will be in a near future).

  2. Sounds just like picking the strings of a piano’s harp after it’s been removed from from the piano… same resonance, same sustain decay, even the same tinny under tone… (I know because I use to dismantle pianos to savage the wood.
    But that said, it does have the advantage of being easier to transport. lol!!
    Could be used for horror movie sound tracks.
    But whatever

  3. Does it sound like the spinning discs occasionally touch the strings in the demo?
    I’m not entirely sold on that…I use an Ebow on my lapsteel guitar and I’d love to try this thing on it….

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