P-ART JOURNAL

41

 

NEW TRAUTONIUM

©Photos with permission from the Doepfer Homepage

The Trautonium is an electronic musical instrument invented by Friedrich Trautwein in the thirties in Berlin, Germany, with enhancements made by Oskar Sala in the fifties which led to the well known MixturTrautonium. (Look in P-ART Journal #22 < click)

Dieter DOEPFER (Doepfer Musik-Elektronik:) is developping the Trautonium modules. He reports:

"Oskar Sala [see P-ART Journal #22] has collaborated with us to finish a new trautonium, because the actual amount of playable trautoniums is very small.

Our prototype is the Trautonium model in the Technischen Museum Vienna. We built the electronics for the Trautonium, i.e. the manual electronics and the sound generation unit. The upper section (the 19 inch frame) contains the manual electronics, the prototype of the subharmonic oscillator (A-113) and some A-100 modules (VCO, VCAs, Noise, Mixer, Filter) required for the Trautonium sound generation. The mechanical and structural parts (i.e. the wooden cabinet and the manuals) are built by Hauck Museumtechnik, Hassfurt (Germany). The Trautonium can be divided into two logical sub-units: the control unit and the sound generation unit.. The design of the A-113 is very close to the subharmonic generator of the Mixtur-Trautonium of Oskar Sala. At this point we would like to thank Oskar Sala and Prof. Hans-Joerg Borowicz (Berlin) for the kind assistance during the development of the Trautonium modules. The mixture setting - i.e. the 4 divisors for left, middle and right foot position - can be stored as a preset. Each preset consists of the 3x4 = 12 divisor values. 99 presets will be available within the module. The sound generation of the first Trautonium was a sawtooth-like frequency generator. In the Mixtur- Trautonium the frequency of a master oscillator is controlled by the string manual. The string is stretched at a distance of some cm above a conductive metal plate(2). A small pressure applied to the string with a finger causes a connection between the string and the plate. Four independent frequency dividers generate 4 new frequencies - the so-called subharmonics - from this master frequency. The output of the frequency generator was fed into two parallel resonant filters. A combination of 4 subharmonics is called a mixture. In the Mixtur-Trautonium 3 different mixtures are available for each manual.

The new Trautonium modules should be treated the same as all the other modules of the A-100. Of course one could build up a re-creation of the "original" Trautonium from the new modules. But you could just as easily control the subharmonic generator from Theremin, Light or MIDI and modify the sound with a frequency shifter, vocoder and 3 Shepard controlled phasers."

Look at www. doepfer.de to obtain the last info.


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