MATRIXSYNTH: Solartron Atari Axe Synth Theremin

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Solartron Atari Axe Synth Theremin

images via this auction.

"Up for auction is " Solartron ", a custom built, one of a kind, Experimental Synth Theremin Midi Controller. I recently sold Solartron's big brother, " Zontar ", here on Ebay for $ 1,500, so for those of you who missed Zontar, here is your chance. The band Mute Math uses a much simpler version of this device, and this unique proto-type is being offered to the most discriminating electronics collector. Solartron is actually two separate electronic devices which can be controlled independently, or simultaneously for additional sonic madness, all housed in a space-aged frame.

The first function of Solartron is as an experimental Midi Ribbon Controller. These controls are located in the middle section of the device. The black knob on the left hand side of the front panel is the Midi Rate, or Speed knob, which also provides Arpeggiator-Type patterns. The black knob in the middle is the Master Volume control. The green push-button to the right of the Master Volume is the " Rate Burst " control. This control instantaneously increases the Rate or Speed. The green button on the lower portion of the middle front panel is the Power On/Off Switch for the Midi Controller, and the black knob on the right hand side of the front panel is the Midi Patch Selector, which allows you to switch the Midi Patch Program on the fly. The Midi Controller section is powered by a 9-volt battery, located on the left side panel, an LED light indicates that it is powered up, and the Midi Output Jack is located on the right hand side panel.

The second function of Solartron is a Light Sensitive Photocell Theremin. The Photocell Theremin is housed in a small Red Dome, located in the top portion of the device, directly above the Midi Controller section. The green button to the left of the Red Photocell Dome is the Photocell Theremin On/Off Switch. The Photocell Theremin operates off of the same 9-volt battery as the Midi Controller section.

A third feature of " Solartron " is quite unique, and was not offered on " Zontar ". The lower section of Solartron features a Red Radioactive Symbol on clear plexiglass, and behind the plexiglass are Red Flashing LED lights. The upper portion of Solartron also features a row of Red Flashing LED lights behind a clear plexiglass panel. A green button on the left side panel near the Theremin Controller activates the Red Flashing LED lights, and are independently powered by a 9-volt battery located on the left side panel. A large Black Knob is located on the right side panel, and with this knob you may control the rate, or speed at which the Red LED Radioactive Symbol and row of LED's flash. This is a very cool feature, which allows you to sync up the rate of the flashing Radioactive Panel and LED lights with the rate or speed of notes generated by the Midi Controller Ribbon or Photocell Theremin. This would be quite effective visually in live performances, yet can always be shut off with the power button if not required.

Solartron features guitar strap lugs, which enables the user to strap Solartron on like a guitar. Solartron is approximately the length of a guitar, yet weighs less due to it's lightweight, aluminum housing. Solartron features a silver/gray post on the left-side of the neck which is decorative in nature, but also serves to stabilize and balance the neck portion of the device. Please note that Solartron sounds and reacts differently with each Midi device, which can be considered part of it's charm. If you wish to hear sound samples of Solartron, please send an e-mail, where I can direct you to the appropriate site."

If anyone has the link, feel free to comment.


  1. I think I remember seeing this auction several times before. Either that or there are a lot of people selling these electrokraft midi controllers on ebay.

  2. The most awful looking thing ever.



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