Therevox builds modern analogue synthesizers inspired by the Ondes Martenot early electronic instrument. The Ondes VCO recreates the building block of this historic machine.
The Ondes Martenot was originally designed in 1928 by cellist and radio telegraphed Maurice Martenot. Over time valves were replaced by solid-state electronics. And its from these schematics that Therevox has been working to tease out the oscillator into Eurorack form.
It pulls together the discrete triangle core oscillator with the wave shapers and mixing circuits that form the basis of the instruments’ sound. The Ondes VCO adds a 1 v/oct and octave switch and VCAs for two waveforms. There are three outputs which reflect the routing to different diffuseurs on the Ondes Martenot.
Switches are used to introduce different combinations of harmonics and waveform mixing. On the top row you have the output switches plus Tutti (T) to select a mix of all waveforms, and Gambe (G) for an asymmetrical square wave. On the bottom row, we have Octaviant (8) to bring in mainly 2nd harmonics and is fed by the left slider and CV input. Nasillard (N) is a fixed-length narrow pulse wave, Creux is a hollow, soft-clipped sound and Onde (O) is a unique and complex sine wave. Lastly, Petit Gambe is a mellow square wave with its own filter and takes on the right-hand slider and CV input.
This is a delightful rendition of a rare and undoubtedly legendary generator of sound. I love how it’s available in four colours which are all shades of the classic Ondes Martenot grey and cream.
The Ondes VCO is available to order now for $350 and should ship in September. I haven’t found any sound or video examples yet.
- Therevox website.