August 22, 2007

Design: Fotosis No. 005

Fotosis instrument No. oo5 will be a hybrid guitar / synth, but not 80's keytar style. Actually it will have everything our previous instruments had with a special sort of experimental guitar added to the control panel. That means square wave noise maker section, optical theremin, passive ring modulator and a weird stringed instrument all in one. The picture on the left is my first drawing of the proposed device. I suppose it'll look and play a bit like a lap steel guitar.

The guitar has two rails running parallel to and just below the strings. These allow the player to insert a third bridge at any location they like or place a platform / fretboard under the strings on which the can mount objects to play the instrument as a prepared guitar. There will be two handmade high output pickups (similar to the ones I made for this instrument) located at both bridges. Each pickup will have independent volume control and its own 1/4" mono output to increase the experimentation potential of the device. The instrument can be played into the ring modulator and made to sound nothing like a guitar at all.

We will be starting construction in the next week or so after we catch up on our current orders and will post images of the design and construction process here.

The sound clip below was a test I did a while ago to determine what sounds would be produced by such a device. I simply plucked the strings with one hand and adjusted the controls on the square wave section of Fotosis No. 002 with the other. The embed is a bit slow give it a few seconds to get working but the file can be downloaded here if you still have trouble.

This picture is of the setup used to produce those sounds, notice the chop stick rammed under the strings. This acts as the third bridge.


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