Introducing Thee Inductor ver.II
The newest version was custom made for Brad Adkins. He requested 7 keys, and specifically for the tuning and frequency range controls to be mounted on the opposite side from the keys. Significantly, there are 4 tuning ranges for each key: Lo / Lo-Mid / Hi-Mid / Hi, assignable in any combination with the flip of a switch, one for each key. Also, the hand-made plexiglass keys are set up to be played with the right hand, the left for manipulation of other controls. Alo featured is an improved LFO, designed to offer a fuller pallet of attack/release decays, a 4-way switch giving four distinctly different characteristics. The LFO also has standard rate depth and shape controls all designed to work within tighter parameters, helping to maintain overall tuning stability. The same 2 filter designs from the original model are used, in this case one of them radically tweaked to go into howling feedback mode if desired. The guiding design philosophy for The Inductor MkII was clean lines and a musical design that kept it within tighter melodic tolerances
Thee Inductor (Prototype ver.1)
Thee Inductor is the introductory offering from Human Sound. It is a fully polyphonic hand wired analog synthesizer. It’s 6 keys actuate sawtooth waveforms which are each individually tunable over the full range of human hearing. Thee Inductor also features 2 full range squarewave oscillators, 2 assignable LFOs, (both with rate/depth/shape controls) and 2 resonant filters. There is also a tuner/aux output (with an attenuated input) that returns before the filter stage. In practice this allows for silent and precise tuning of the sawtooth section as well as the option of adding external effects (delay, phaser, etc), the return giving the player the ability to mix them in with the main signal. Significantly, this all returns before the filter stage, giving one the option of using the aux input as a filter input for any number of external instruments, such as drum machines or other keyboards.
NOW TAKING ORDERS
Each of the first units will be experiments unto themselves and each a little different from the others. The key materials will change (I would like to try wood), the filter sections will expand, the LFOs will be experimented with, and each will be housed in a unique box, not unlike the one you see above (an old portable record player). After the initial run the price will increase as the electrical and tonal characteristics are finalized, though I do plan to create the housing and aesthetic for each one by hand, ensuring that no two versions of Thee Inductor are alike.
If you are considering purchasing one of these fine machines, there are a few things to think about. First, are you left or right handed? The keys can be placed left, right, or center. I recommend that you play with your dominant hand. Meaning that if you are right handed the keys be placed to the far right, leaving the controls to be manipulated with your left hand. If you’re unsure, center placement is an option, though it makes whatever controls find their way to the sides (typically volumes/filters) difficult to access while playing.
Second, more keys can be added at a cost of $25 per, though the max number, for power consumption reasons, tops out around 10 or 12. With Thee Inductor, each key has it’s own oscillator (unlike conventional analog synths which typically have 2 oscillators and limited polyphony) so adding more keys is in fact adding more oscillators to the machine.
Also, it might be nice for some to at times “stack” the oscillators without having to use a hand to physically hold down all the keys, freeing up both hands for tone shaping and manipulation. To that end I’m working on an extra feature that mechanically flips up and holds the key(s) down for you. This can be added on-demand, cost to be determined as I finalize the design, though it should be in the $40-$50 range.
Last, I’ve been asked multiple times if I would build something with these sounds and options that is “normally” tuned. That fact is, it’s been done a million times already, and it’s been done better than I would likely ever do it. If what you want is a synth tuned to the western scale that works with the theory and fingerings you’ve already mastered, there’s many many many other builders that deserve your money more than I. Human Sound builds synths that you tune yourself, I find this concept both liberating and fascinating and hope that you do as well. If you’ve other ideas or thoughts, don’t hesitate to get in touch:
CUSTOM ORDERS ACCEPTED. Have an idea for a drone box? Want a 4 key fully tunable bass synth with a filter? Get in touch and we can talk about it!
AUDIO SAMPLE ONE – basic tone w/ filter sweeps
AUDIO SAMPLE TWO – LFO variations, ending with both LFOs being on at the same time