abOmnichordUno

The abOmnichord family of instruments are my modified Suzuki Omnichords, featuring reworked touch interfaces and bends. I have worked on several of these. Each has had its own flavor of bends and interfacing, from all touch interface to interfacing aimed at modularization and interfacing with synthesizer control voltages.

The abOmnichordUno is one of the first Omnichords I bent. I dug this guy out of an antique store just off the highway in Indiana, on a trip to visit my grandmother. It was fully functional, original case and power supply, for less than a couple of burritos!

The modifications are pretty functional, not much geared towards the noisy end, all though they can be persuaded. The top row, labeled “Chord Tones” access the normally strummed tones. They defeat the envelope, however, and can therefore be sustained or tapped. One controls them by bridging the bottom and top rows with a finger. The “Flat” “Sharp” and “Pitch” pads control the pitch bending of the instrument, allow the performer to bend up or down the pitch by bridging the gaps from “Pitch” to either “Sharp” or “Flat.” The “Power Amp” pads allow amplifier feedback, from a light gain change to destructive noise. The “Drums” pads can control the tempo and timbre of the drums, allowing feedback and slowing or quickening of tempo via touch. Lastly, the “Chromatic” pads allow the user to access each of the 12 notes of a chromatic scale, by bridging the gap between the outer pads and the inner “Chromatic” bus.

It is a joy to play. I’ve disabled the hi hat on the drum machine, as it was annoying and in the more dramatic throes of feedback it became a nuisance. It does a lot of sounds really well, from a noise box to a casio beat, and all the folky goodness in between.

abOmnichordUno Top

abOmnichordUno Top

abOmnichordUno Board Detail

abOmnichordUno Board Detail