Neglected, weird instruments

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Skipwave
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Post by Skipwave » Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:46 pm

My weirdest is a Bowed Psaltry, built by my Dad. He has all kinds of wierd ones, like Banjo-Uke, Mando-Bass, and a one-of-a-kind piano scale string thingy in a suitcase/box.

I also have a berimbau. Not so weird or uncommon, but really fookin' cool. Wish I got more use out of it.
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Cellotron
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Post by Cellotron » Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:19 pm

My favorite weirdo keyboard has to be the Optigan - kind of a cheezy organ that actually read samples off of an optical disc - http://www.optigan.com

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Steve Berson

joel hamilton
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Post by joel hamilton » Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:54 pm

Cellotron wrote:My favorite weirdo keyboard has to be the Optigan - kind of a cheezy organ that actually read samples off of an optical disc - http://www.optigan.com

Best regards,
Steve Berson
I have loved the optigan for so long!

I cherish mine. A lot...

s00p3rm4n
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Post by s00p3rm4n » Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:32 pm

Damn you for having optigans...

I have a tremeloa and a ukelin. And a baritone ukulele. No, it doesn't make any sense. I probably have weirder in my dad's attic somewhere, hiding with the ukelin and shuddering in the darkness of complete obscurity.
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Post by junkstar » Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:22 am

Not necessarily weird at all, just not used very often, I dig my Melodica. Works like a charm when you want a sort of harmonica sound (and cannot play a harmonica) that is expressive and flexible. Lots of fun, and throws listeners off everytime.

mjau
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Post by mjau » Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:50 am

junkstar wrote:Not necessarily weird at all, just not used very often, I dig my Melodica. Works like a charm when you want a sort of harmonica sound (and cannot play a harmonica) that is expressive and flexible. Lots of fun, and throws listeners off everytime.
Hell yes - melodica. I've got one too.

stinkpot
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Post by stinkpot » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:00 am

Singing bowls can be a lot of fun.

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Post by joel hamilton » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:40 am

s00p3rm4n wrote:Damn you for having optigans...

I have a tremeloa and a ukelin. And a baritone ukulele. No, it doesn't make any sense. I probably have weirder in my dad's attic somewhere, hiding with the ukelin and shuddering in the darkness of complete obscurity.
Break out the ukelin!!!

I use mine on more things than you would imagine. It is amazing to just bow out the chords to a song and only mic the sympathetic strings for an eerie "glow" around an electric guitar, or vocal line. I like playing stuff in that takes the place of 'verb sometimes. Maybe WITH verb as well. The ukelin does that SO well.

dynomike
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Post by dynomike » Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:45 pm

i just inherited a ZITHER!

Yessss. Can't wait to get Bill Lawrence to build a pickup for that badboy... lol. What is it, like 50 strings?

Mike
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matyas
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Post by matyas » Thu Dec 22, 2005 5:18 pm

Always wanted an Ondes martenot, ever since I discovered Messiaen at 14 (and I'm also a big Radiohead fan). Unfortunately they're about the most rare instrument in existence, and there just aren't that many players. I've looked into the Analogue Solutions French Connection Ondes Martenot controller (custom made for Johnny Greenwood), but it's expensive and it still doesn't give you the real OM sound (that comes from the 3 cabinets).
But I have gotten to play some really cool unusual instruments over the years (and the celesta that some people were raving about is also one of my faves - been looking for one of those for years.) I played early music in high school and college and Indonesian gamelan in grad school, so that gets me recorders (from garklein to great bass), krummhorns, shawms, baroque oboe, harpsichord, suling, bonang, kenang, saron, and gong.
Stuff that's in my collection now: mey, zurna, autoharp (with the chord buttons removed), glockenspiel, suling, and some more "normal" stuff as well....
Other cool stuff that I would love to have: any old harmonium/pump organ (a few people have mentioned those), tuned gongs, 10-string guitar, lute, Heckelphone...

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bowling-name
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Post by bowling-name » Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:44 pm

Has anyone ever heard of a Celitic war horn which was often made to include a boar's head? I think the instrument is called a "Carnax." There was something about it some time ago on NPR where they interviewed a guy who was making and playing reproductions of this instrument. As the horn is not really 'tuned,' the sounds were very unusual and I imagine would be rather terrifying in the context of handheld combat.

I also would like to pick up a microtonal guitar.

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blackdiscoball
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Post by blackdiscoball » Sat Dec 24, 2005 8:52 pm

Im a little surprised to not have heard it mentioned yet but maybe its not weird enought but I have a tenor guitar. Its one of the cheaper stella's but I had never seen one till I bought it.

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konabuzz
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Post by konabuzz » Sun Dec 25, 2005 8:00 am

lightning_electronics wrote:
mjau wrote:Ondes martenot - ever since I heard Jonny Greenwood rock it on Kid A.
i dig those. it was the first instrument i wanted to build, as far as having an oscillator whose pitch was controlled by a string that you moved with a finger.



Erm.......wouldn't that be most any stringed instrument (guitar,etc.) ? Or are you saying that this is something akin to a guitar synth where the string controls a VCO?
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ubertar
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Post by ubertar » Sun Dec 25, 2005 9:57 am

beard_of_bees wrote:Dean Drummond is the keeper of the Partch Instumentarium..talk about awesome weird instruments..

http://www.newband.org/instruments.htm

Ubertar..hes a guy on here..makes a bunch of really cool string instruments..
Hey Geoff. I met Philip Arnotauff (sp?) a while back in Seattle. He was one of Partch's original "disciples" and had a few of the instruments. Cool stuff. He was a real character... very strong opinions. He was ranting about how Mozart and Beethoven were "whores". :D

Some pics of my instruments: http://www.ubertar.com/instruments
You can hear some here: http://www.ubertar.com/sounds

I played some of those on Joel H's "book of knots" disc that'll be out this summer or thereabout-- the mechanical monk, alumitar, m'birangi and electric saron. Some of those are also on a piece I did with Daniel Johnston's "electric ghosts" group... it should be out in March, I think.
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
hand-made version to raise money for manufacturing... kind of like kickstarter, but you get a fully functional item now

Album!
https://paulrubenstein.bandcamp.com/album/one-eye-awake

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ubertar
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Post by ubertar » Sun Dec 25, 2005 10:04 am

bowling-name wrote: I also would like to pick up a microtonal guitar.
I've made a bunch of microtonal guitars. One had movable frets, but now I use it fretless. The others have frets set to specific scales:

Image

The guitars my students are making this year are two-stringed guitars with movable frets, so they can be microtonal, or not.

These definitely aren't as "professional" as the ones in your link, but they sound good, IMO. Here's a song featuring the 14 tet guitar (using a 7 tet scale): (tet = tone equal temperament)

http://helstab.com/music/ubertar/7tet.MP3
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
hand-made version to raise money for manufacturing... kind of like kickstarter, but you get a fully functional item now

Album!
https://paulrubenstein.bandcamp.com/album/one-eye-awake

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