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ondes martenot
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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:12 am    Post subject: Re: Good alternate to left hand expression on Martenot Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Infrablue wrote:
My mod to an Eowave ribbon controller.


Very cool. Very Happy

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Dana Countryman



Joined: Feb 03, 2009
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Location: Planet Fred

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:42 pm    Post subject: Ondes Martenot film music....
Subject description: Ondes Martenot film music....
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Hey --

Just wanted to share this with you.... My wife and I were watching the film "My Left Foot" the other night, and I heard the Ondes Martenot in the score!

http://youtu.be/3RMrAvoLiA0

Elmer Bernstein wrote the music. Ann Millar played the Martenot.

Another great film that uses the Martenot is "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie". Really wonderful, and amazingly, the music was composed by the creepy Rod McKuen...

-Dana Countryman
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egasimus



Joined: Feb 11, 2011
Posts: 112
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:04 am    Post subject: Re: Good alternate to left hand expression on Martenot Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Infrablue wrote:
hitchhiking

Laughing good one!

Care to share any build details about that squeeze sensor? It's pure genius.
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Dana Countryman



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Posts: 41
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: Good alternate to left hand expression on Martenot Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

egasimus wrote:
Infrablue wrote:
hitchhiking

Laughing good one!

Care to share any build details about that squeeze sensor? It's pure genius.


I agree --- I really like that concept. Mark's the guy to ask, he came up with that idea....

-dc
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Infrablue



Joined: Dec 29, 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Good alternate to left hand expression on Martenot Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, it's funny why I even did it as a squeeze synth.

I'm not good at electronics, but I wanted to show how effective it would be to have a volume control in the ring hand. I think most people would more easily be able to rig up a pressure sensor for the thumb and another finger or ring... but I happen to have an EVI with an analog breath control. So the easy way for me to show this concept was to just run a surgical tube into the mouthpiece of the breath controller and then into the squeezer.

And that then had great comic value as well.

I know the early Crumar EVI's made analog breath by actually inflating a normal red balloon, which then moved a lever. I had one and it was as sensitive and fast as any breath control out there, even more advanced types.

So I recommend for musicality just doing a pressure sensor... but if you do really want a squeezy synth, maybe rig up a balloon to be inflated by a tube and a squeeze bulb (from the baby section of Walmart). The squeeze bulb actually turns out to be a better feeling foot pedal as well. lol Because it's smooth exponential pressure and not an ankle swiper/hinge.

But in real application, anyone with an analog breath controller will end up realizing just using it with your mouth and tongue articulation is always much more effective than the squeezer.

But it's a fun concept and I guess it would free up your mouth for yodeling and mouthing to a tech in live performance to turn up your stage monitor.
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frijitz



Joined: May 04, 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:04 am    Post subject: Re: Good alternate to left hand expression on Martenot Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Infrablue wrote:
But in real application, anyone with an analog breath controller will end up realizing just using it with your mouth and tongue articulation is always much more effective than the squeezer.

Indeed! Good to see someone else exploring this approach.

http://www.electro-music.com/forum/topic-32246.html

Ian
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Infrablue



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Posts: 122
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:13 am    Post subject: Re: Good alternate to left hand expression on Martenot Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

frijitz wrote:
Infrablue wrote:
But in real application, anyone with an analog breath controller will end up realizing just using it with your mouth and tongue articulation is always much more effective than the squeezer.

Indeed! Good to see someone else exploring this approach.

http://www.electro-music.com/forum/topic-32246.html

Ian


You are someone who would know this for sure, Ian! I think breath control, especially analog is one of the most powerful secrets in synthsis.

Incidently, do you have any recordings or youtube of your Stealth/Son of Stealth instruments?

Thanks! Mark
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frijitz



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: Good alternate to left hand expression on Martenot Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Infrablue wrote:
I think breath control, especially analog is one of the most powerful secrets in synthsis.

Yeah, pretty depressing how little people know or care about expressive control. I had some fun using breath control with a ribbon, but I got distracted by other projects. I'm hoping to get back into it more.

Quote:
Incidently, do you have any recordings or youtube of your Stealth/Son of Stealth instruments?

There are a couple of short clips on my site:
http://home.comcast.net/~ijfritz/sy_close.htm

Ian
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TheAncientOne



Joined: Dec 26, 2006
Posts: 146
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:32 am    Post subject: Re: Martenot method of control Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

whoandcar wrote:
TheProf wrote:
****************
I did form a few impressions, however. I think that it might have been a Beat Frequency Oscillator type device, and that the cord was operating a variable capacitor, altering the tuning of one of the oscillators. I think the same effect was had with a smaller unit attached to the keyboard, to allow the famous 'moving key vibrato' effect.
****************

You are right, that is the description found on many internet sites. But I am very intrigued on how could Mr. Martenot achieve a good pitch linearity back in 1928, since at that time there were no exponential control, fundamental in translating a linear finger motion into exponential pitch... Dou you get the idea?


Exponential control is not vital: I notice violinists and trombone players have been getting along without it just fine.
If you take a look at an old fashioned air-spaced tuning capacitor, you will notice a set of moving vanes and a set of fixed ones. By varying the shape/profile of the moving vanes, quite a wide range of capacitance versus rotation angle curves can be generated. This was often done to 'linearise' the tuning scale of valve, (tube), radios. I think this was what Martenot did. Also, if you look at the frequency vs capacitance curve of a lot of RF oscillator designs, they are not linear anyway. I'll take a look at some likely configurations and see if I can post some curves.

I think the oscillator was a BFO type, where two radio frequencies, one fixed, and the other variable by the ribbon, are mixed to provide sum and difference frequencies. the sum is well out of the audio range, and is filtered out, the difference is in the audio range, and is the sound you hear, (this is the way the Theremin works too, though in this case, the capacitance variation is provided by the hand distance from the aerial).

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Infrablue



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Posts: 122
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Good alternate to left hand expression on Martenot Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
There are a couple of short clips on my site:
http://home.comcast.net/~ijfritz/sy_close.htm

Ian


Loved listening to these, Ian. Great stuff!

and a bit off topic...

I've read your site and posts a little before but somehow never realized about the chaos stuff you do. 2 nights ago I clicked on the chaos link on your site, not thinking you intended it as something for music/synthesis. WOW! How amazing!

So I then read through all the chaos posts here and muffwigglers also. I'm just in total awe of your work and the resulting modules. Just really mind expanding stuff. It was funny because part way through reading your chaos stuff on your site I was thinking, "This guy REALLY needs to make modules based on this work" and then eventually found them. Now I'm really going to need a Chaotica module.

Inspiring work, Ian. Thanks so much!

Last edited by Infrablue on Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Infrablue



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Exponential control is not vital: I notice violinists and trombone players have been getting along without it just fine.


Interesting you say that, Mike. I'm also a trumpet player and also have a slide trumpet (or soprano trombone). It is true that humans can adjust to exponential controls just fine. Dana's first Martenot used an extended arm on a pot that did cause a curve.. actually parabolic it seemed. And it made me think it could be worth it to draw out an exponential keyboard just to keep a more direct control on the pot. But it seems the pulley do just fine.

I told Dana about my thoughts on making a round keyboard or even a steering wheel martenot and he showed me this kind of thing already existed and he even made one long ago. (Wendy Carlos's Circon and the Wobble Organ).

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.


Now I'm having thoughts just for fun making a Circon that has finger guides like the Martenot along the top edge. I'd the put a ring at the tip of the arm attached to the pot. It could possibly be an accurate and vibrato friendly controller with no pulleys and directly controlling a pot. Dunno but worth trying.

I still also am working on my own ring controller Martenot style and it's getting closer. Using a ten turn pot and pulleys like Dana's design and combining with the electronics of the Moog EP-2 expression pedal.

I also have been thinking of making a controller out of an airplane/flight simulator steering wheel along the same lines. Maybe pulling up and down would be VCA and turning the wheel for pitch like a Circon. Then if you wanted to-- those controllers have all kinds of buttons you could patch to a synth for stuff. This one WOULDN'T be musically accurate but it would be pretty funny and fun for sound effects.

I think when it comes down to it, the controller I'm most excited about along these lines will be a ring/martenot controller on the pitch with breath control on amp/filter and trill keys on the side for precise steps in pitch when needed like on my Trill Ribbon.

Last edited by Infrablue on Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Infrablue



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here's my Trill Ribbon... I want to get up a good youtube demo soon.

It's basically an Eowave with my own keyboard image... velcro attached to the wooden board there. Also velcroed on there is a box of keys... trill keys.. that change the pitch in different intervals. Up a step, half step and third... and then more keys that act as those on a Steiner EVI, since I have that learned already. I think adding even just 2 or 3 Trill keys to a ribbon really adds a lot. The Nano Control is going to control format filters and other stuff through Silent Way, once I get get it going... but that part is just some extra stuff to set and leave between patch changes... not for real time control so much.

Here's a wave of my first test of the ribbon with trill keys... also breath controlled... has a few parts with some fast multi tonguing on the breath.



Here's the Trill Ribbon so far...

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
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TheAncientOne



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That is a great piece of work. I managed to accidentally discover a similar effect to your 'trill' keys when messing with a home built version of the Synthis AKS keyboard, in the early 80's, adding more pitch offset keys, initially to allow me to use the sequencer to do do pitch shifts, then realising that they could add trill to the notes you were playing in 'live' mode.

I think your implementation is elegant, and very effective. The piece of music you attached was haunting and very violin like at times. I enjoyed it.

I did a version of the circular controller, as detailed on Wendy Carlos' site. One thing I'd add is that it makes sense to use a good quality sealed pot, and one with a certain amount of shaft friction, (adding an adjustable friction device might be even better). The first pot I used was a 'loose' feeling conductive plastic one - it just didn't feel right. I changed to a Spectrol cermet pot and it felt much better. Mine was just a lash up to try the idea out. I love your idea of finger notches, and some kind of ring.

(edited for Typos)

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Last edited by TheAncientOne on Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Infrablue



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you so much, Mike. Makes me happy you liked it. I tried the trill keys just in curiosity and it really added more than I'd expected. I'm way excited to practice and develop new techniques with them... and also to try them with a Martenot ring.

It is just interesting how many ways are out there to control synthesis. So many buried in the past. I didn't know of the Martenot until just last year and still discovering more. Fun exploration.
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frijitz



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Good alternate to left hand expression on Martenot Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Infrablue wrote:
Now I'm really going to need a Chaotica module.

Thanks! I originally thought that voltage control wouldn't be that useful, but after many demands for it and some more experimenting I changed my mind. Chaotica is definitely the way to go as far as what I have done. Now what could you do controlling it with an Ondes....? It would certainly be visceral!

Ian
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frijitz



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Martenot method of control Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

TheProf wrote:
Exponential control is not vital: I notice violinists and trombone players have been getting along without it just fine.

As a one-time struggling cellist I understand what you are saying. Remember, though, that there is always a limited frequency range involved for a given string or wind column. If you want to go over, say, four octaves that would be a factor of 16 change in note spacing!

Ian
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frijitz



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Martenot method of control Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

For something different, I see that lessemf.com has a conducting fabric ribbon that they suggest using with a slide ring to make a voltage divider. Anybody thought about this?
http://www.lessemf.com/fabric.html (Almost to the bottom)

Ian
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Infrablue



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:07 am    Post subject: Re: Martenot method of control Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
For something different, I see that lessemf.com has a conducting fabric ribbon that they suggest using with a slide ring to make a voltage divider.


This is interesting Ian. I may order one. At $7 I should be able to secure a budget for this.

Would it be possible to just use a finger as the wiper of the pot instead of the metal ring? A fabric ribbon could be quite nice. Would it just take grounding yourself in the circuit?
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whoandcar



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:16 pm    Post subject: Ondes Martenot
Subject description: Button expression controller
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I came with a crazy idea:
One can attach a "two axis accelerometer" such as ADXL-311 (at an angle of 45º) to the expression button lever, and connect the x- and y- axis to a differential op amp, in such a way that when the button is level, no voltage come from the op amp, and when you press the button one axis inceases voltage, the other decreases, and the amp output will be proportional to the angle.
To be precise, the output voltage is the sin of the angle, but for small angles it will be linear enough!
You will not have aging or alignement issues, other than an initial offset adjustment, and the response is clean, fast, precise...
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Infrablue



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

whoandcar, sounds great! ... put up a vid?
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whoandcar



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Infrablue wrote:
whoandcar, sounds great! ... put up a vid?


I said "it's a crazy idea". Only that, an idea. But one that's promising...
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mosc
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Infrablue wrote:
Here's my Trill Ribbon...


I like the looks of this and it sounds great.

Splendid! thumb up

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Infrablue



Joined: Dec 29, 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Infrablue wrote:
Here's my Trill Ribbon...


I like the looks of this and it sounds great.

Splendid! thumb up


Thanks so much! Still practicing the approach and fairly soon should have the Martenot version going... tests went well but need some refinements.

Pullys working great though and I was worried about that part... I did break a ten turn pot after just a handful of minutes of testing with sound and pullys. But it was very NON linear and so I needed a new one anyway... so ordering the one Dana used. But it's coming together.

I must say though, it was my first experience playing a Martenot type set up and it really felt natural and a nice way of playing. Definitly worth doing in comparisome to a ribbon in my opinion and I wasn't sure that would be the case.
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Infrablue



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Working on making just the ring/pully part of a Martenot controller, I've really gained an appreciation for the Therevox. I was going to get one but funds I planned on using fell through so if ever it'll be in a while. I just think it's a legendary instrument and is really just done right.

http://therevox.com/


Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
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Infrablue



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My Trill Ring controller so far... my own take on a Martenot. No keyboard reference image/holes yet. Like my Trill Ribbon will use trill/note keys and breath control.

I decided on this design because I really like having it show the full pulley loop. Looks interesting when played and is light and portable and can be played on the lap comfortably.

Like on my Trill Ribbon, I'm going to have the range much wider... maybe up to 8 octaves depending on the feelable note holes... I just like the vibrato response that way and the dives and rises possible. I asked my violinist dad and he said the normal/ideal note width on a violin is about a finger width. Of course that changes over range on a violin. So we'll see how this applies. In my test I had 3 or 4 octaves and the pot was horribly non linear. Ordering a better one (the one Dana used).

I've moved the ten turn pot to the top left pulley to give more contact with the nylon string. The ring will be just on the bottom of the loop in the middle of course. I'll have the first short test video up soon.

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
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