Ellitone E Synthesizer and Sequencer System
The Ellitone E is a Music Synthesizer and Sequencer that
delivers a wide spectrum of new sonic experiences powered by an
Experimental new approach to Musical Sequence Composition and
-The Best place to start down this Rabbit Hole would be the E Demo Video 1 - an artistic demonstration of the tones and textures made possible with this machine. This video does not explain any functions or concepts and can best be thought of as my 10 minute EP of music made exclusively with the E - recorded direct - no overdubs or added audio effects.
Demo Video 1 :::: life cycle of a dream -
-The 2nd Demo Video is a 20 minute walkthrough of the E Operating Guide - filled with video examples of each parameter in action and 50 visual slides to help illustrate the experimental new concepts and functionalities working within this musical device
Demo Video 2 :::: Operation Walkthrough -
-The E Operating Guide can also be Viewed and Downloaded as a PDF Here
-The Printable PDF Reference Charts for Paths, Scales, Rhythms, Triggers, and Modulation Patterns can be Viewed and Downloaded Here:
-now that the necessary demo videos and technical resources have been presented, let us dive now into the very question:
'what exactly is the E and what makes it different?'
the initial idea for this musical instrument was to somehow find a way to break away from the struggle of composing musical sequences by hand. practically every musical sequencing device available today provides the user with a blank canvas for which to compose upon. the user starts with nothing but a pencil tool and an endless blank piano roll grid before them. the user must begin entering notes into the empty piano roll - slowly building chords and melodies one note at a time until a song begins to take shape.
personally, i have always found this first stage of music creation to be very tedious...aggravating at times.
i thought it would be cool if i could instead be working with a 'musical composition engine' - this engine would instantly generate complex patterns of notes, chords, and rhythms using a built-in knowledge of musical theory.
it was decided to create the 'musical theory engine' to operate much like a virtual rubiks cube. each colored side of this 'cube' representing a different musical composition element: scales, chords, voicings, rhythms, and tonality. the user 'twists' and 'rotates' the 'cube' by editing the values of 33 control parameters. as the 'cubes' colored sides begin to mix together, interesting interactions between the musical theory elements they represent take place. these interactions are then translated into a highly flexible stream of polyphonic notation data. this stream of note data is then fed directly into a 12-voice digital wavetable audio synthesizer.
it was quickly realized that assembling sequences in this manner resulted in musical passages that were far more strange and far more beautiful than anything i could have ever entered by hand from scratch.
- the best part about this 'musical theory engine' is that it requires 0% knowledge or understanding of musical theory to operate. the user will quickly discover intricate melodies, complex chord structures, and mutating arpeggios just by 'playing around' with the 33 control parameters. although the E has the sonic power of a wall-sized modular synthesizer system, it has been designed in such a way that even a complete synthesis novice can pick up, learn, and master this device using only their ears and a knack for experimentation as their guide.
The E also boasts a powerful new approach to parameter modulation. Every single parameter can have its very own modulation sequence attached to it. this mod sequence will animate a parameters value to jump between several values automatically - everything from chord type to waveform selection, envelope times, and even delay feedback time can have a unique modulation sequence. with these global modulation capabilities, the E has the potential to become the ultimate autonomous 'auto-music' generative sound device.
the E features a 12-voice polyphonic digital wavetable synthesizer with unique waveblending functionality - the 12-voices each consist of 2 seperate oscillator layers (24 oscillators total). the 2 layers (A&B) each have their own waveform shape, tuning ratio, and envelope settings. choose a waveform for each layer from a library of 128 custom waveform shapes. the waveblending function (waveblend) performs an automated 'morph' between the A & B waveform layers. waveblend can be used to achieve many interesting evolving tones and textures.
- the 12 synthesis voices then run into an audio effect section consisting of a lowpass filter and tape-styled delay. this digital delay effect being "tape-styled" means that the audio traveling within the feedback path is downsampled and darkened (filtered) every time it passes through the feedback loop. this effect can add an extra layer of endless lofi motion using longer delay times and a bizarre type of ambient reverb when using shorter delay times.
the interface of the E is quite obviously inspired by portable video game consoles. with a D-pad on the left (cursor) and Increase/Decrease buttons on the right, the control layout makes for an extremely fast sound editing experience.
- under the hood: the E is powered by a 32-bit processor that outputs noise-free digital audio at 16-bits, 44.1 kHz. the synthesized digital audio is streamed from the processor to a high fidelity headphone pre-amplifier. The final audio is output to an 1/8 inch (headphone) audio jack located on the back of the device. also located on the back of the device is a 2.1mm DC barrel jack for powering with a wall adapter (7.5V Included). The E can also be powered by (6) AAA batteries that are inserted directly into the back of the device.
every E is hand built in my southern Missouri workshop:
-included in the box will be: E device (with leather binding), a 7.5 volt DC wall power supply, 1/8 inch stereo audio cable
section (1) - sequence
section (2) - notes
section (3) - tonality
section (4) - modulation
frequenctly asked questions:
Q: can the E be synced to my other gear with triggers or clocks?
A: the E is entirely a stand-alone instrument. no syncing or clocking options.
Q: can i save my patches?
A: no you cannot. the E is designed to be a rocket ship through sonic space - not a workspace for ideas to grow over long periods of time. the E generates a new randomized patch every time it is powered on - you always start from there -
ending words- creating this machine has been an extremely rewarding journey. i could not be more excited to start work on the next big idea. the support i have received from hundreds of experimental musicians around the world has made it possible for me to devote everything i am to synth designs and dreams. thank you!