MATRIXSYNTH: SWTP Psych Tone vintage synthesizer composing machine 1972

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

SWTP Psych Tone vintage synthesizer composing machine 1972


"This is a cool box. The Psych-Tone were a featured article in Popular Electronics, and offered as a kit from SouthWest Technical Products. This has tempo, pitch, volume controls. Plus a lot of other knobs and switches to reprogram the system. Attack Decay Sustain sort of work, but it's more oriented toward musical note improvisation than synthesis. There are many switches and knobs for pattern control, etc. I believe the manual/article is still online.

I added reverb to the sound of the box."

Note, it's actually SWTPC. You can see the small c in previous posts here. I thought this might be an auction demo, but I only found the listing below of another one. If this one does go up and I see it, I'll post it.

An intersting side not is there were a ton of other SWTPC products. You can find some on eBay here. SWTPC stood for Southwest Technical Products Corporation. You can find some info on them on Wikipedia.

via this auction

"For your consideration is the extremely rare SWTP Psych-Tone Composer-Synthesizer. The unit seems to work fine, though the output on the internal speaker is very low. The external output works fine.

Please see our other listings. All proceeds from sales here go to keep the Vintage Synthesizer Museum open during this time of social distancing.
Thanks. Keep safe and healthy.

The Psych Tone was an early electronic music algorithmic composer and synthesizer presented in the February 1971 issue of Popular Electronics Magazine. It uses a 6-bit , to produce a repeating pseudo-random sequence up to 63 notes long. Three taps are made off the shift register, those are weighted, and summed to drive a Voltage-Controlled Oscillator to produce a pitch. Then an envelope is applied.

The Psych Tone is incredibly rare. It was a complex project, not many people built them, and it is difficult to find a working unit today. And that's a shame, because this was a remarkable device and we can learn much from it. So I recreated the Psych Tone in software, from the schematics, so it can be appreciated."

Pic of the backside inside below.

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