|1.2 THE SYNTHOPHONE - SOME BACKGROUND|
|The design of the SYNTHOPHONE goes back to the pre-MIDI times of 1981, where the first prototype (a wood stick with Boehm-like keys) was designed by Martin Hurni. It was connected to a dedicated analog synthesizer system. This first stage of the SYNTHOPHONE was followed by a real alto sax with keys connected to a switching system to give a more realistic playing feel. At ARS ELECTRONICA '84 contest, the first prize was given to the design of the SYNTHOPHONE for it's "most original and future-oriented development in the field of electronic sound production." At about the same time, MIDI was to become a standard, and so the next prototype was MIDI-equipped, although a separate hardware unit was still necessary to convert a sax into a MIDI-controller. A later model then was self-contained: the processor was put into the bell of the sax. This new SYNTHOPHONE was built in late 1986 and then refined to be produced by SOFTWIND INSTRUMENTS.|
|The instrument of today is a fully equipped MIDI controller, which connects to any modern synthesizer, DYNAMIC HARMONY was implemented as a software update and further new software features can be added through (EPROM) chip exchange, which in most cases are done by musicians themselves.|
The sax is here to stay, and therefore you should expect your SYNTHOPHONE to have a long musical future, too. It is your, the performer, who can give us a very valuable feedback on the design and additional features of the SYNTHOPHONE, so please do not hesitate to send us a few lines, outlining your ideas and your suggestions. Thank you for your cooperation.