Showing posts with label SWTPC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SWTPC. Show all posts

Monday, January 23, 2023

Modifying a 45 Year Old Computer To Make Music - The SWTPC 6809 Saga

video upload by

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Sunday, April 18, 2021

SWTPC PSYCH TONE - Super Rare 70's Programmable Synthesizer. Explored and Re-imagined


"Today i take a look at a really rare old piece of #DIY​ #Synthesizer​ #history​
Audio samples, builders livestreams and song available from this video here:-

I made the livestream running through the build public here :-​
Popular Electronics 1971 :-​
Shoutout to Fredrik for finding an online version of the Psych tone :-​"

See the SWTPC label below for additional posts.


SWTPC PSYCH TONE - Displaying a rare 70's programmable synthesiser


"A Little video on how I am displaying the SWTPC psych tone, a rare piece of 70's synthesiser history!"

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

SWTP Psych Tone vintage synthesizer composing machine 1972

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.

"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. 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.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Vtg 1970s SWTPC Psych-tone Melody Composer Synthesizer Project

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.
Rare SWTPC Psych Tone 1971 digital analog synthesizer sequencer triadex Muse electronic music Published on Apr 28, 2013 salvadory

Interesting note that this was the first digital sequencer synth prior to the Triadex Muse, the first digital synth.

"First of all my camera is terrible so my apoligies for audio and video-( my camera keeps shutting off even though the power is charged-)

However this is a very rare SWTPC psych tone music composer from 1971 with original magazine article- the only video on youtube as of now - my model is in very good full functioning condition and is a much sought after piece- a precursor to the famous and also rare Triadex Muse-

An interesting missing link in synthesizer development from the early age.... quirky interesting patterns and sound- design way ahead of its time in my opinion- plenty of switches and knobs to make things interesting!"

Note the Popular Electronics article at the end.

via this auction

Looks like a crusty, beat-up KORG Volca in a custom case with speaker. These do come up now and then. You can find some in the archives here. You can find pics of the inside/backside below.

Note the video above is not for this specific listing. You can see it is dated 2013. I found it searching for demos on YouTube. This is the first demo of the SWTPC Psych-tone posted on the site for that matter.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Build a 'Psych-Tone' Musical SYNTHESIZER Book from the Early 1970's!

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.

via this auction

"I'm pleased to offer here on Ebay a complete early 1970's magazine, featuring a cover story on how to Build a 'Psych-Tone' Musical SYNTHESIZER...or call it a 'Music Composer Synthesizer. Includes long description, a number of pages, and the Parts List, Circuit and schematic. This is the first time I have ever encountered this particular magazine and article, and it looks straight forward and not hard to build. Someone is going to love this one! You get the entire magazine and it is in excellent shape."

See the SWTPC channel label below for more.  These were from Popular Electronics.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

RARE 1970's Vintage SWTPC Psych-Tone Composer Synthesizer

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.
via this auction

"Originally sold as a kit.

Made by the Southwest Technical Products Corporation

Promoted in the July 1971 edition of Popular Science"

Monday, March 11, 2013

SWTPC Psych-Tone Composer Synthesizer

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.
via this auction
See this post for more details including and advert info sheet scan.

"This is a very vintage and VERY RARE (try and find another one!) "Composer-Synthesizer" made by Southwest Technical Products Corporation (SWTPC). This was sold as a kit (thus the homemade appearance) and promoted in the July 1971 issue of Popular Electronics.

Very few have survived, and even fewer in pristine condition. This one is not prisitne but it appears to be all there. It DOES make "tones" through the built in speaker and also outputs to the RCA jack when plugged in. However, I would hardly characterize it as "clean" (or very loud) sound. Some of the knobs and switches work, some don't. The "tune" sequencer works (proving that at least some ICs work) and changes the order and pattern of tones. The frequenty and pitch knobs seem to work, though again, the sound is nothing you would want to record! The circuit board is OK but appears to have been worked on and the soldering is nothing to be proud of, but hey, these were made by kids like me back then! The wiring is certianly a rats nest. It appears that somewhere along the line, the front panel was cut away and each wire was soldered to the corresponding wire coming from the circuit board. These solder joints are mostly in free air, and I re-taped them all before plugging it in. Whoever built it used sockets for all the IC's and most of the transistors so you can easily replace them if you wish. Many of the switches have combinations of resistors, diodes and capacitors dangling from the terminals, presumably to create tonal variations."

Monday, October 29, 2012

Vintage SWTPC Psych-Tone Composer Synthesizer

via this auction

Pics of the inside below.

"HARD TO FIND.. Vintage SWTPC Psych-Tone Composer Synthesizer ... These were sold in kit form back in the 1970's... Powers up but it seems like a lot of the buttons do not work. It will put out a tone and some of the buttons affect the sound of the tone ..So, it needs some work.. Has built in speaker for monitor or an output jack..."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Vintage SWTPc Psych-Tone Composer Synthesizer

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.

via this auction

Update via Bugbrand in the comments: "Here's linkage to some details about the project. A Don Lancaster design via Popular Electronics. Looking through, they mention that the Psych-tone is quite similar to the Triadex Muse. (cue drooling from people perhaps?!). The chips inside seem old-irregulars but they're standard things like flip-flops and logic gates so perhaps someone could make a modern version (no, I'm no putting myself forward)"

And via Peahix: [info sheet - added below]

"Warning: Operation of this device in the presence of anyone over thirty may be hazardous to your health."

Monday, October 31, 2011

Vintage RF Signal Generator And Composer Synthesizer

via this auction

Heathkit RF Signal Generator
SWTPC Psych-Tone

Update: the Psych-Tone was via Popular Electronics - click through for the schematics. via Benjamin.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Psych-Tone

This one in via Phil. Two shots pulled via this auction

Click here for a Popular Electronics article on the Psych-Tone.

Details from the auction:
"very similiar to the Triadex Muse this is a simpler odd creation from Popular Electronics, Feb 1971- issue is included with notes. weird synth. seems to be working, the attack , sustain, decay, controls don't seem to have much, if any effect, and is sold as is, as described. This thing is lots of fun, crazy patterns, you can freeze the pattern so it stutters. A very nice and fun piece and seems well put together, one slider cap is missing. more info on the psych tone here"


Switched On Make Synthesizer Evolution Vintage Synthesizers Creating Sound Fundlementals of Synthesizer Programming Kraftwerk

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