MATRIXSYNTH: RIP Stanley Lunetta

Sunday, July 24, 2016

RIP Stanley Lunetta


Stanley Lunetta passed away on March 3 this year.  The first I heard of it was via Chuck Stephens in the comments on Ray Wilson passing away, posted yesterday. Lunetta was known for his Lunetta CMOS synth used in a number of synth DIY projects. You can find a collection of his work featured here on MATRIXSYNTH.

On his passing via The Sacramento Bee:

"Percussionist, composer, sculptor and much-loved icon of the local music community Stanley Lunetta relentlessly explored avant garde music while maintaining a legendary career. He died March 3 from brain cancer in Sacramento.

Lunetta played drums for Music Circus, missing only two weeks of performances until his retirement in 2008 after 54 years. He also served as the music contractor who assembled orchestras for Music Circus from 1973 until his retirement. He also was the principal timpanist for the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra, Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, Sacramento Opera and Sacramento Choral Society and was an instructor of timpani and percussion at UC Davis and Chico State."

On Lunettas via MsModular:

"The Lunetta is an electronic instrument that uses primarily CMOS chips for gates, Boolean logic, and mathematical functions for sequenced sounds. A Lunetta is basically a simple rhythmic modular musical computer that makes abstract sounds in sometimes unpredictable ways. It is a beautiful experimental synthesizer.

Lunettas are most typically DIY instruments, although there are a few small boutique manufacturers that sell them. ElectroLobotomy for example sells a few simple Lunetta synthesizers on Etsy.

The most beautiful part of a Lunetta is that one can make one for themselves and experiment with its functionality and layout. The guide for making a Lunetta can be found here: Intro to Lunetta CMOS Synths. The introduction goes into Stanley Lunetta’s concept, and provides an introductory guide for making them. Every Lunetta though is made a bit differently, as they often reflect the makers preferences."

The image above is via electro-music.com. Stanley Lunetta's work was frequently discussed on the electro-music.com forums. I highly recommend doing a search on Lunetta there.

Updates via Chuck Stephens in the comments:

"Thanks for posting this. Stanley and Ray were huge! Their work showed me the direction to take when I started learning to build circuits. My lunetta synth has influences from both men, as well as Eric Archer, Forrest Mimms, Reed Ghazala, etc.- we stand on the shoulders of giants!

BTW- My lunetta cost less than $100 and has 36 modules (so far!). It's built into an old rifle case I found in a dumpster and the panels are cut from 4" square PVC fence posts from Home Depot. Steel nuts and bolts and alligator clip test leads handle patching duties. Save more- work less!"

Here's a noise piece from my lunetta synth:


Buster-Jangle by nepchune from chuck stephens on Vimeo.

"This is my Lunetta noise synth run through a Ross Time Machine digital delay. I love the sounds this thing makes. The video features Honey Boy the Cat doing what he does."

And here's a song from the same rig:


Confidence is High by nepchune from chuck stephens on Vimeo.

"This is 90-95% Lunetta with a tiny dab of Kaossilator and Korg R3 (the explosion sounds and the 'pip' on the fast part) and an Arduino based 'auduino' granular synth for the lead (say what you want about Arduino- this little granular synth sounds great and provides a nice 'live' element). The Lunetta part forms the basis of the song and it is completely unedited- this is how it came out of my machine. I used two of Eric Archer's Mini Space Rockers for the percussion sounds and they are completely Lunetta controlled. The drum sounds are routed through a Ross Time Machine digital delay and the spacey bass sound is created by routing my lunetta-integrated Atari Punk Console through a Korg Pandora guitar processor. The other 7 Lunetta voices are unprocessed. This track is the closest I've come to integrating my interest in generative music and my skills for arrangement and song writing. I set out to create a traditional song structure and sound and I'm really pleased with it. It shoes that a Lunetta isn't just a noise machine- although I love noise, too. I love what my Lunetta makes possible. Lightning in a bottle!"

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this. Stanley and Ray were huge! Their work showed me the direction to take when I started learning to build circuits. My lunetta synth has influences from both men, as well as Eric Archer, Forrest Mimms, Reed Ghazala, etc.- we stand on the shoulders of giants!

    Here's a noise piece from my lunetta synth- https://vimeo.com/100950585

    And here's a song from the same rig- https://vimeo.com/101062886

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BTW- My lunetta cost less than $100 and has 36 modules (so far!). It's built into an old rifle case I found in a dumpster and the panels are cut from 4" square PVC fence posts from Home Depot. Steel nuts and bolts and alligator clip test leads handle patching duties. Save more- work less!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for sharing this. I updated the post with the videos and comments in tribute.

      Delete

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