MATRIXSYNTH: Dewanatron machines and the Swarmatron

Monday, September 04, 2023

Dewanatron machines and the Swarmatron

video upload by Robotussin Vintage Synths

"Here's the Swarmatron and its creators Brian and Leon Dewan, talking to Detroit Public TV about 10 years ago.

I posted about the Swarmatron about a year ago. It's an analogue synth that creates a tone using eight oscillators all playing slightly different frequencies. The pitch is controlled with a ribbon at the front. The difference between the 8 oscillators is controlled with a span control, from tightly aligned to woozily detuned. It's designed to produce a sort of cacophony, almost like multiple voices singing at once.

It's best known for its use by Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor on their soundtrack to "The Social Network", which won an Oscar and changed a lot of minds about the sort of movies that could use electronic scores.

Leon and Brian Dewan are cousins and together they run Dewanatron, which makes a family of instruments like the Swarmatron, the Novitiate – a one-off they made for the Bob Moog Foundation. Their instruments are unique, expensive, beautiful and very unusual. In the video you see another of their machines, which has two keyboards that face each other so two people play it at the same time.

I also found some great footage of the Novitiate they made for the Bob Moog Foundation on the YouTube channel AutomaticGainsay, which is a great resource for synth reviews and videos. I've posted more videos of the Swarmatron, the Novitiate and other Dewanatron instruments on my YouTube and on the subscriber section of this channel.

The Dewans, whose family is originally from Syria, spoke to a Detroit Public TV show about Arab Americans."

See the Dewanatron label below for more.

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