Notables: Where Design and Music Converge

gas
design

#1

Design can and should be an fundamental part of instrument making even though few makers consider it a relationship worth nurturing. Since this is a home for owners of the most spectacularly beautiful and functional instrument designed, perhaps there are people for whom design is (almost) as dear to their lives as music. Maybe a salt shaker isn’t so trivial–you must commit an entire day searching for an artful salt shaker before you part with your money; maybe Moog’s instruments, as fine as they sound, have always bothered you, appearing as if designed by a high school wood-shop teacher; or maybe your turntable needs to sound good, look good and work well.


Teenage Engineering is the best embodiment of good design amongst instrument makers for me, but there’s a minority of makers who also make things and make with care.

If there’s any interest, perhaps this could be a place where we post music-related creations (instruments, home audio, etc) created lovingly, holistically–design isn’t an afterthought, it’s elemental to it all.

Here’s a few to start.


Ableton Push 2
Thoughts on its design merits.
https://www.ableton.com/en/push/



Future Audio Workshop’s Circle². A different aesthetic approach to UI design than the OP-1, but appears just as intuitive, instructive, engaging and immediate. Also uses a new type of synthesis.
http://futureaudioworkshop.com/start/



People People’s Transparent Speaker. Also the worst hiding place for Hide & Seek.
http://peopleproducts.co



Koma Elektroniks. Effects. There are infrared sensors for modulation.
http://koma-elektronik.com



Bowoo. Case for our buddy.
http://bowoonyc.com/shop/all/teenage-engineering-op-1-canvas-felt-carry-case/



Modor NF-1. Digital synth with knob-per-function interface. Also, it rhymes with Hodor.
http://www.modormusic.com
Some nice sounds demoed here: https://youtu.be/RrbOODOKN_s

#2

i really like the design of this little thing…



#3

As a guitarist, I have to ask: does the Fender Stratocaster count? I cannot think of any instrument that was so well designed.

It is reliable, beautiful, cost-effective and parts are easily replaced. But most of all, it is a great sounding and fantastic instrument that has been used to record some of the best tracks of modern music in a wide variety of style.

If you compare it to what was offered when it was created, this thing was so futuristic that its design is still considered modern nowadays. And it was over 60 years ago…


#4

Great thread idea! Design is my day-job so this is something I care/nerd-out about a lot. Its all about how form and function work together.


Here is my rather odd list in no particular order:


Synths

OP-1 (well, obviously!)

VCS3 (looks like a science lab, sounds like a science lab)

Macbeth Elements Synth (simply incredible looks and sound)


Guitars/pedals

Fender Jaguar (this is my token odd-ball choice, please feel free to mock)

Fuzz Face (extreme sound, extreme shape!)

Echoplex (all its flaws are its strengths which is just crazy)


Amps/speakers

ToneKing Falcon (new/old seamlessly working together)

OD-11 (should have been on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey)


#5

Here is the Macbeth Elements


elementssynthesizer

#6
@LibertineLush - good shout for the Mordor - I have yet to hear it properly otherwise I’d include that too. @LAUNE - wow, that Grendel is seriously nice-looking!

#7


Really like how Bastl Instruments took the traditional metal rack and turned it on it’s head and came out with this wooden beauty.



#8

Iris 2 is my favorite new synth/sound design VST. I love the clean design. https://www.izotope.com/iris

7_5


#9

Great thread!

Monotribe and Volca Sampler really float my boat, I really enjoy how they are far more flexible than their “limited” designs would have you believe, yet still remain a joy to use and sound excellent.

Grendel drone commander and TB-303 are also faves of mine, for largely the same reasons.


#10
As a guitarist, I have to ask: does the Fender Stratocaster count?

The sounds of its vast palette and storied history is unassailable. For me, I’m not so fond of the shape. The “horned” upper body looks oddly considered, a bit like the cape collar of a Halloween costume. I had a Strat a long time ago. I do remember it felt great in your hands. The solid body coupled with the contouring of the body felt like something meant to be held.


Great thread idea! Design is my day-job so this is something I care/nerd-out about a lot. Its all about how form and function work together.

I find that quite enviable! What kind of design do you do?

VCS3 (looks like a science lab, sounds like a science lab)

Macbeth Elements Synth (simply incredible looks and sound)


Guitars/pedals

Fender Jaguar (this is my token odd-ball choice, please feel free to mock)


Amps/speakers

ToneKing Falcon (new/old seamlessly working together)


I love the look of the VCS3 too. It reminds me of some of Dieter Rams' work--or maybe that's a lazy reference to a guy who's referenced too much. Its patch board matrix system looks very interesting. Would like to try how that works/feels.

The Macbeth Elements Synth! I completely forgot about that one. I'm very fond of when relatively compact synths include a diminutive keyboard of some type to preserve the small footprint, like the Elektron Analog Four. Sexy synth, unsexy price.

Yea, the Fender Jaguar. I'd rather play with a jaguar. :p

I saw this little turntable recently. I think it would go well with the ToneKing Falcon.



#11
Really like how Bastl Instruments took the traditional metal rack and turned it on it's head and came out with this wooden beauty.

I like it too; it looks warm, welcoming and quaint, even though it's a modular.

Iris 2 is my favorite new synth/sound design VST. I love the clean design. https://www.izotope.com/iris

For me, the greatest appeal of that sort of design is the real time display of waveforms and modulation. Unfortunately, amongst hardware synths, only the OP-1 and the Modal Electronics synths have such a aural-visual design. It’s so educational and engaging to have that information, I wish it was on more synths.


Great thread!

Monotribe and Volca Sampler really float my boat, I really enjoy how they are far more flexible than their “limited” designs would have you believe, yet still remain a joy to use and sound excellent.


I’ve developed some affection for the Volca series over time. Cute, clean footprint. And looks quite fun; I’ve watched so many videos of them in action. I’m often tempted to go for one, given how cheap it is.

#12

Cool thread. I think the Elektron devices are really beautiful -


#13

And the new synths by Modal Electronics


#14
And the new synths by Modal Electronics

The functionality and modulation information provided by the big screen on their synths is massively appealing to me.


#15
Turntable by Yakir Buaron.
http://www.yankodesign.com/2015/07/23/stript-and-turnt-2/


#16

Fender Jaguar (this is my token odd-ball choice, please feel free to mock)

I’m in absolute love with the Jaguar! So much so that I have 2 of them…okay 1 is a clone. It is the best looking guitar to me. And not only that, but it plays well too. I’ve only played a few guitars that I’ve liked better, but those are way too expensive and don’t look as good.


#17
Turntable by Yakir Buaron.
http://www.yankodesign.com/2015/07/23/stript-and-turnt-2/

WANT!


#18

I love these Incra Squares



#19

I also love this plane. But I’m not rich, so never in my lifetime.


#20
As a guitarist, I have to ask: does the Fender Stratocaster count?

The sounds of its vast palette and storied history is unassailable. For me, I’m not so fond of the shape. The “horned” upper body looks oddly considered, a bit like the cape collar of a Halloween costume. I had a Strat a long time ago. I do remember it felt great in your hands. The solid body coupled with the contouring of the body felt like something meant to be held.


Great thread idea! Design is my day-job so this is something I care/nerd-out about a lot. Its all about how form and function work together.

I find that quite enviable! What kind of design do you do?

VCS3 (looks like a science lab, sounds like a science lab)

Macbeth Elements Synth (simply incredible looks and sound)


Guitars/pedals

Fender Jaguar (this is my token odd-ball choice, please feel free to mock)


Amps/speakers

ToneKing Falcon (new/old seamlessly working together)


I love the look of the VCS3 too. It reminds me of some of Dieter Rams' work--or maybe that's a lazy reference to a guy who's referenced too much. Its patch board matrix system looks very interesting. Would like to try how that works/feels.

The Macbeth Elements Synth! I completely forgot about that one. I'm very fond of when relatively compact synths include a diminutive keyboard of some type to preserve the small footprint, like the Elektron Analog Four. Sexy synth, unsexy price.

Yea, the Fender Jaguar. I'd rather play with a jaguar. :p

I saw this little turntable recently. I think it would go well with the ToneKing Falcon.


I’ve designed book covers, infographics, websites, branding etc over the years. Lots of stuff really, some pays my bills, some is for fun… Good shout for Dieter Rams, a utterly brilliant designer. I know its a small detail but I love the vernier dials on the VCS3 - the Macbeth Elements has them too.


You’ve accidentally just sold me a new record player :slight_smile: