What if you could employ the slide and expression of the veritable pedal steel guitar as a synthesizer interface? Meet The Pedal Steel Synthesizer.
The Pedal Steel Synthesizer
It’s still in the prototype stage but guitar electronics company Merkaba Electronics hopes that there might be enough interest to warrant moving it into production.
The Pedal Steel Synthesizer is inspired by the Ondes Martenot electronic instrument invented in 1928 which created sound by moving a ring along a wire. It was played with a keyboard but you can see the similarities to the way a pedal steel guitar works.
This instrument uses their Sound Stone sustainer technology along with a slide bar, pitch bending pedal, delay and built-in analog filter. The strings, of course, become the oscillators in the synthesizer collected by a guitar pickup. They say this adds “lush harmonics and a very human quality to the sound”.
The pedal can change the chords between major and minor and strings can be muted to allow for solo notes.
It’s all looking rather rustic at the moment, although that could add to the “old-time” Pedal Steel charm. Watching the video I’m rather quite taken with the sound and possibilities it could offer. They say that they imagine a price of around $700-$1200 and would welcome input and interested people should sign up to their newsletter.
- Pedal Steel webpage.