THe world’s first electro-mechanical
Motor Synth is an analogue, electro-mechanical synthesizer that uses a system of electromotors as its main sound source.
Motor Synth is a new method of analogue audio signal generation, since controlled electromotors have never been used as the principal sound source for a commercial musical instrument, nothing like this has ever been built before!
Motor Synth produces sounds by accelerating and decelerating eight electromotors to precise rpm (revolutions per minute) that correspond with specific musical notes. The instrument’s eight-electromotor configuration makes it a four-note true polyphonic synth with two voices per key played.
The Motor Synth has two ways of producing its core sound.
Firstly, magnetic pickups are placed on each of its eight electromotors; the spinning coils result in a very industrial-sounding, over-the-top analogue tone. Think eight harmonious revving engines pumping out an intimidating noise!
Secondly, specially designed reflective optical disks have been attached to the shafts of each electromotor. Each disk contains a graphical representation of three standard audio wave-shapes. As the electromotors spin, the disks are set into circular motion, and each wave-shape is read by a dedicated set of infrared sensors, then converted into an audio signal. Thus, the wave-shapes on the reflective optical disks become precise musical notes, corresponding to the speed of the electromotors.