Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
chuck

New British invention: the futuristic piano (Hans Zimmer approved)

Recommended Posts

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/27/tech/innovation/hans-zimmer-seaboard-future-piano/?hpt=hp_c5

There's also other new instruments like

The Reactable

The Fingerboard Continuum

The Swarmatron

We'll wait and see until we hear this instrument on film scores (with the exception of the Swarmatron which was already used in a film score.)

893_zpsc516d2d4.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually the Fingerboard Continuum was used by our own Johnny "Curly" Williams in the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I saw this a few days ago. Looks like a cool instrument, visually, and I loved Zimmer's demonstration of the sounds. Let's see if it catches on. I doubt there's a new Moog in the making, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I recall, the use of the continuum in KOTCS was fairly well publicized at the time, even though its presence in the score is decidedly subtle, bordering on unnoticeable.

Personally, I like the idea of these sorts of instruments. As much as I love piano (or indeed a traditional electronic keyboard), it can indeed be frustrating to be stuck with each note corresponding to a single pitch with a single type of decay. Post-attack manipulation of pitch, timbre, and/or dynamic level is an attractive concept; so many other instruments can do that.

But on the whole, I tend to prefer acoustic instruments over electronic ones. So I will only be TRULY excited when someone figures out how to achieve this sort of interface in a purely acoustic setting. The "fluid piano" is an interesting step in that direction, but it only allows manipulation of pitch, and only in a fairly cumbersome way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually the Fingerboard Continuum was used by our own Johnny "Curly" Williams in the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008.

Really?! Which cues?!

It is the electronic synth effect associated with the Crystal Skull's Theme, that wailing slightly undulating electronic sound. It is featured throughout the score.

Um, "Call of the Crystal", for example?

Yeah mainly this.

As I recall, the use of the continuum in KOTCS was fairly well publicized at the time, even though its presence in the score is decidedly subtle, bordering on unnoticeable.

Personally, I like the idea of these sorts of instruments. As much as I love piano (or indeed a traditional electronic keyboard), it can indeed be frustrating to be stuck with each note corresponding to a single pitch with a single type of decay. Post-attack manipulation of pitch, timbre, and/or dynamic level is an attractive concept; so many other instruments can do that.

But on the whole, I tend to prefer acoustic instruments over electronic ones. So I will only be TRULY excited when someone figures out how to achieve this sort of interface in a purely acoustic setting. The "fluid piano" is an interesting step in that direction, but it only allows manipulation of pitch, and only in a fairly cumbersome way.

I just read this article (I googled this gadget and related stories) and the inventor of the thing said that they were going to integrate it into the orchestra rather than try to bring it out in a noticeable way. Although I find it rather wryly funny that they claim it is used in a "revolutionary" way with the orchestra. Randy Kerber was apparently the person who sought the instrument out for JW and learned to play it in a month and Kerber's skill with Onder Martenot gave him a good advantage in learning to play it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding of the continuum fingerboard is that it's simply a synthesizer with a unique keyboard that allows one to glide between pitches in a way similar to the ondes martenot. The quality of the sound is whatever synth patch is selected - a synth ondes martenot or theremin in the case of KotCS. It might have been used in place of a real ones martenot for cost effectiveness, or Williams/Kerber felt that the synth sound was more controllable than the real sound.

To be clear: the theremin and ondes martenot are not acoustic instruments; they are electronic instruments that use electricity to generate tones which are then amplified. They have been around for about a century. But they are not digital instruments; they can't be "programmed." (I should be crucified for the simplicity of that explanation).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...