tube <77> vco

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The VCO presented here is a direct derivative of the original oscillator invented by Friedrich Trautwein in 1932. And it perfectly demonstrates why I`m so cynical about the music world: the Mixtur-Trautonium oscillator was a true VCO, invented at a time when even the Theremin was a new and radical concept. All this shows the academic and popular musical scene at its worst,

tube <77> vco
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

for if Trautwein had received some encouragement, he and his collaborator Oskar Sala might have persisted with development. And they might have invented the voltage-controlled synthesizer, at a time when Bob Moog and Don Buchla were still sucking on their pacifiers! History might have been very different, if only the average musician were not so stuck in relentlessly rigid thinking. The term "synthesizer" might have appeared, 30 years before it actually did. (Instead, a few instruments were built by Telefunken; Sala did some movie soundtracks; a few composers wrote a few pieces for the Mixtur-Trautonium; and it was basically ignored outside Germany. ) Are things so very different today Even though vacuum tubes are enjoying a considerable surge of popularity in the recording studio, with the electric guitar, and in the home of the audiophile. the electronic keyboardist continues to march grimly forward, hopelessly wedded to whatever the latest digital technology is. This closed mindset seems amazingly like 1932 to me, only distorted in a funhouse mirror. DSP chips have replaced flutes and trumpets. The VCO is simply a relaxation oscillator built around a "thyratron" tube. This device is not a vacuum tube, but contains a tenuous mixture of xenon and other gases. It`s an on-off device, having only two operating states. "Thyros" is Greek for "door", so it`s a "door tube"; either open or closed. The thyratron dates from the...

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