Ekkoflok
Audiovisual explorations and handmade electronics

HEX

Hexaphonic witchcraft synth

Download HEX schematic PDF



Introducing HEX

A synthesizer, a choir of six oscillators joyfully singing along or against each other, producing an output spanning from harmony to cacophony, all by the touch of your skin.

"Hex" is the greek word for "six" and close to the Danish word "heks", which means "witch". It is about time we throw some witchcraft in our electronics and honour the wise women of the past and the present.

Electronic engineering is in many ways rather conservative, but fortunately there are cracks in the surface - like sticking your fingers inside a circuit or "starving" a circuit to intentionally prevent it from operating predictably. HEX is such a circuit - you play it by extending the circuit with your fingertips (or other conductive matter), and force it into chaos by cranking the "starve-control". Let the circuits starve and spare the abundance for the Humans in need.

Like human beings HEX is a mood swinger of sorts; it's mood changes rapidly from harmony to chaos - blindly obeying the orders of the starve control. If the electrodes are the limbs of HEX, the starve-control is the brain - or maybe rather a parasite of sorts, taking control of an otherwise well-behaving instrument. Luckily it seems that HEX is perfectly happy with returning back to a normal state again after a trip into chaotic territory; thereby reducing the starve-control to a humble way of controlling the timbre - it's not a filter, nor a wave-folder, but it surely does alter the timbre in a non-linear and most importantly pleasing manner.

Starving circuits is not a new thing; it has been exploited in fields of circuit bending for ages, and interestingly it is also a well-known trick among guitarists to emulate the sound of a fuzz pedal with a dying battery - by limiting the current flowing from the battery. However it is not something you see on the front panel on the average Behringer synthesizer (yet?!).


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