MATRIXSYNTH: Starkey HSL-1 (Hearing Science Laboratory) SN 8011001

Monday, February 10, 2020

Starkey HSL-1 (Hearing Science Laboratory) SN 8011001

via this auction

Some pics of the inside below.

“Starkey Hearing Science Laboratory. This would have been used for controlled hearing tests and was sourced from the speech and language therapy department of a university, my interest in this item was from the point of view of creating electronic music.”

“From the early 1970s until the mid-1980s, audiologists used this instrument to perform sophisticated hearing tests and experiments. It wasn’t intended for making music, but that didn’t stop experimental musicians from exploiting the HSL’s potential as a synthesizer. It has three sine-wave generators, one square-and-triangle-wave generator, pink and white noise, three resonant lowpass/highpass/bandpass filters, and mic and line inputs for processing external audio. It also has a frequency counter, a gate sequencer, distortion, a probability circuit, various utility functions, and audio outputs that include one labeled Bone Vibrator, but no inputs for external keyboards. Users connect circuits using patch cords with mini banana plugs and control pitch and other parameters by turning knobs and flipping switches. Like most medical devices, the HSL was built to last.”

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