Just popped up on Etsy is this new oddly shaped and alarmingly named device called Oi, Kant! It’s from Optotronics, it’s handmade to order and is probably the first drum machine to be named after a German Philosopher. Last year they had a crazy octagonal sequencing machine going on but this is far more ambitious.
They call it a “Drum-ish machine” because they are not entirely sure if it qualifies, but let’s go with it. It has 3 voices, a drum, a bass line and a cymbal. It also has a resonant filter which can also be considered as a 4th voice. Everything can be controlled via the 4 in-built sequencers, all independent but synced to the same master clock. Either clocked internally or externally the Oi, Kant! doesn’t seem to mind. It also doesn’t mind if you want to access the voices externally.
There are outputs for each individual voice, but no mixed output. So if you want to hear the whole thing you might well need a little mixer. It’s a slightly weird oversight, or maybe it’s a deliberate decision in order to push you into integration with other gear.
The 4 sequencers have different personalities. The simplest is “Stupid Cunt” (I am sorry) which is an 8-step sequencer. Then “Cantinflas” is another 8 steps but bidirectional with a switch to push it into stuttering and weirdness. “Cantaloupe” and “Canterbury” are trigger sequencers based on shift registers. You add steps by pushing a button.
The “Can’t Touch This” drum voice is a simplified Twin-T notch filter circuit with decay and tuning controls. “Cantor’s Set” is a bass line generator based on a square wave 4046 VCO and notch filter. It has two CV inputs one for trigger and one for pitch. Controls are available for glide, distortion, pitch and filter. It invites experimentation. “Canteen” is the “enlightenment cymbal” based on XOR gates combined with a light dependent resistor which you can wave at or cover in some way to alter pitch. Finally, the “Tadeusz Kantor” resonant filter is loosely based on the Korg MS-20.
Judging by the video this thing is completely nuts and possibly illegal. Would Kant approve? Sure, why not.
Oi, Kant! is available now, takes about 1-2 weeks to build and ship and with cost £205 plus shipping.
- Oi, Kant! Etsy page.