Custom Synthesizers

keyboard-2

I love building with repurposed things. I have also always had a passion for jazz and electronic music. Early in my engineering career, I was fortunate enough to work with a couple of people who knew how the early synths similar to those of Robert Moog or Don Buchla were built (I used those two names only because the are highly recognized, but in reality there were a dozen or so companies building synths). In 1978, I worked on my first synth after taking home an unfinished DIY mini-moog-ish thing that my colleagues had started. I eventually got it working, played with it and sold it several years later. It was cool, fun and extremely out of tune most of the time. In short, it was a glorified noise maker. After all, back then synths were a lot harder to make and information was only found in amateur electronics magazines or engineering journals.

My artistic endeavours went on to explore other paths and opportunities, and only recently I have returned to electronics and a re-examination of synthesizers. These days there is a ton of information readily available to assist anyone interested in building synths that work quite well. I then decided to take all of what I know from engineering and computing and mash it together into techno-art sculptures and performance projects.

The synths I build are not specialized computer interfaces or MIDI synthesizer controllers. They are musical sculptures that can be played. Each one of these unique pieces are individual synthesizers that can be used in a solo performance, connected to each other to make a chain of sound or used in concert with other types of musical instruments & analog synths. Some of my projects include using parts scrounged from old military aircraft, telephone & industrial equipment or everyday items. Sometimes I find an old, beaten up instrument that many people would think of as trash. I like to think there is beautiful sound and finish still within it.

Synthesizer Projects