Music

Synths of the 70s provide inspirational flavoring for hand-made music workstation

The Voxarray 61 modular synth/workstation from Sweden's Love Hulten
The Voxarray 61 modular synth/workstation from Sweden's Love Hulten
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The ball-topped handle that's used to open the lid of the Voxarray 61 doubles as a pitch/modulation controller
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The ball-topped handle that's used to open the lid of the Voxarray 61 doubles as a pitch/modulation controller
Digital audio modules are connected using patch cables plugged into a matrix
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Digital audio modules are connected using patch cables plugged into a matrix
A Sennheiser dynamic microphone is plugged into the spot left vacant by the ball-topped handle that's used to open the lid
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A Sennheiser dynamic microphone is plugged into the spot left vacant by the ball-topped handle that's used to open the lid
The Voxarray 61 is constructed using ash, walnut and steel
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The Voxarray 61 is constructed using ash, walnut and steel
Parameters are altered using funky orange and white knobs
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Parameters are altered using funky orange and white knobs
Digital audio modules are connected using patch cables plugged into a matrix
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Digital audio modules are connected using patch cables plugged into a matrix
Parameters are altered using funky orange and white knobs
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Parameters are altered using funky orange and white knobs
A colorful oscilloscope sits dead center in the upper part of the Voxarray 61
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A colorful oscilloscope sits dead center in the upper part of the Voxarray 61
Volume is raised and lowered using a slider to the right of the MIDI keyboard
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Volume is raised and lowered using a slider to the right of the MIDI keyboard
The ball-topped handle that's used to open the lid of the Voxarray 61 doubles as a pitch/modulation controller
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The ball-topped handle that's used to open the lid of the Voxarray 61 doubles as a pitch/modulation controller
The lower portion is where you'll find the unit's 61-key, semi-weighted MIDI keyboard
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The lower portion is where you'll find the unit's 61-key, semi-weighted MIDI keyboard
The Voxarray 61 modular synth/workstation from Sweden's Love Hulten
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The Voxarray 61 modular synth/workstation from Sweden's Love Hulten

Digital music creation hardware these days can come in all shapes and sizes, but there's still something almost magical about the boxy look of synthesized tone creators of yesteryear. Sweden's Love Hulten has drawn on iconic designs from 40 years ago to create the Voxarray 61, a modern sonic laboratory encased in vintage-looking real wood gorgeousness.

Artist and traditional craftsman Hulten focuses on merging the old with the new for his creations, which have previously included mini arcade machines, computers shaped like hi-fi amps and a high-tech workbench. In the case of the Voxarray 61, he's dived back into the 1970s for his inspiration and combined a number of modern hardware modules to create and attractive, colorful and (judging by the demo footage) a great-sounding synthesizer/workstation.

Digital audio modules are connected using patch cables plugged into a matrix
Digital audio modules are connected using patch cables plugged into a matrix

The main clamshell body is constructed from ash and measures 120 x 80 x 20 cm (47 x 31 x 7.8 in) when closed. The lower portion is where you'll find the unit's 61-key, semi-weighted MIDI keyboard and funky orange-colored controls. A ball-topped handle is used to open or close the lid, but also unscrews and doubles as a pitch or modulation control when inserted in the appropriate slot to the left of the keyboard.

The underside of the lid is home to various analog and digital audio modules, which are connected using patch cables plugged into a matrix on the left, and a pair of Behringer speakers – though private performances are made possible courtesy of a 3.5 mm headphone jack. A colorful oscilloscope sits dead center in the upper part, surrounded by parameter-tweaking knobs.

Beating away at the heart of the box is a Meeblip Anode monophonic synthesizer, a PianoBox Mini MIDI module, overdrive/distortion from Boss, effects processing and looping courtesy of TC Electronic and hardtune/correction from TC Helicon. Behringer tech is also used for the audio interface.

Parameters are altered using funky orange and white knobs
Parameters are altered using funky orange and white knobs

Completing the aesthetic is a custom-made Sennheiser dynamic microphone that's screwed into the lid where the balled handle was before being given sonic-tweaking duties. The Voxarray 61 is mains-powered and the instrument rests of a four-legged steel stand.

Though some of Hulten's other projects are made for sale, there's no indication that the Voxarray 61 will join them or how much it would cost if it did. You can see it in action in the video below.

Source: Love Hulten

Voxarray 61 - DIY modular synthesizer

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