The Legend of Zelda Theme On Theremin, EWI, Piezo Drum Controller & ContinuuMini

The Legend of Zelda Theme On Theremin, EWI, Piezo Drum Controller & ContinuuMini
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Synthesist Randy George shared his arrangement of The Legend of Zelda theme, featuring a unique arrangement for theremin, EWI, piezo drum controller and Haken ContinuuMini.

The ContinuuMini is designed to be an entry-level version of the Haken Continuum Fingerboard expressive instrument. But it uses the same powerful synth engine, the EaganMatrix, which George is here using as a sound module.

Here’s what George has to say about the technical details:

“All three instruments you see are functioning as expressive MIDI interfaces for a fourth instrument, the Haken ContinuuMini (not shown in video) and its built-in synthesis engine, the EaganMatrix.

Instruments I am playing in this video:

Moog Etherwave Pro theremin. It is connected to a Teensy-micro-controller-based Control Voltage to MIDI interface.

AKAI EWI4000s wind controller. It is connected to a standard MIDI interface.

Piezo Drum. (my construction). It is made up of a inverted plastic storage container, a piezo contact microphone, two pencils as drum sticks, and it’s connected to an audio interface and Audio-MIDI translation software I wrote called MIDI Merlin.

All three interfaces route MIDI messages to an additional software interface I designed, called Haken’s Razor, that formats incoming data into MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) compliant MIDI, and outputs to the Haken ContinuuMini (via USB connection). Each instrument is coupled with a sound design in the EaganMatrix that is appropriate for its part in The Legend of Zelda theme arrangement.

EaganMatrix sound presets used: [Wind] VBrass 2, [Wind] Saxmosis, [String] Vln Vla Cel Bass Bridge, [Sound Design] Wind Beach. Thanks Eric Von Bayer, Edmund Eagan, and Christophe Duquesne for the amazing sound designs!

The MPE MIDI data from all instruments is also being routed to a visualizer to reflect the expression data as its being received by the EaganMatrix. The display is a customized version of the surface display of the Haken Editor, the app for editing EaganMatrix sound designs and interfacing the Haken Continuum via computer.

I tried to stay as close as possible to the melodic parts of the original 8-bit Legend of Zelda theme. This was pretty crazy in some spots. The EWI4000s and theremin have a few giant leaps that are unavoidable in order to stay true to the original. Thank you Koji Kondo for the Legendary composition!”

Making Music With A Vintage Vacuum Tube Piano Tuner

Making Music With A Vintage Vacuum Tube Piano Tuner
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In his latest video, synthesist Hainbach takes a look at making music with a vintage piano tuner, the Wandel & Goltermann STG-1 Stimmgerät from the 1950s.

“This beautiful measurement device is meant for tuning pianos,” explains Hainbach, “but has little 13-step keyboard and nice knob for volume, which makes it rather playable as a primitive monophonic synthesizer. A minor non-destructive hack allows even use through pedals and effects. This makes it a rather nice if accidental electronic instrument.”