The underside of the instrument,
showing the hidden pulleys, 10-turn pot, and tension spring.
The Volume control section.
With cover on, and Q125 Signal Processor
The blue cables carry the pitch signal in and out, and the black
and orange cables carry the audio in and out.
I replaced all the original single-turn pots with 10-turn pots,
for better fine-tuning.
The finished Martenot Controller.
The keyboard (although it can be played), is really mainly there
for visual reference,
when sliding the Ring which is anchored to the center of the string.
(click photo for more detail)
Another view of the finished
instrument. I used a small piece of pvc pipe for the ring,
with some black Velcro inside it , to snug it tighter to my finger.
(click photo for more detail)
I put together a dedicated module system, JUST for the Martenot.
This way, I don't have to tie up my whole modular synth with a
patch for the Martenot:
1) I plan to add a foot pedal on the floor, for adding
volume dynamics, in additon to playing the volume (articulation)
button on top.
(I've since done this... works great!)
2) I'm considering adding a trigger microswitch,
so that when I depress the hand volume button,
it sends a signal to my big synth for adding special effects.
3) I'm also considering adding an additional slider pot
to the lever mechanism,
that will be able to sweep a filter, at the same time as when
the volume button is being depressed.
This could add variable brightness, when playing some notes louder
Quite a lengthy discussion about my instrument has been taking
place at Electro-Music.com.
I've joined in the discussion, and shared a lot of info here.
Extreme thanks must go
to my father, Darrell Countryman, who painstakingly built this
instrument to my specs.
I wouldn't have it, without him. Also, thanks to Roger Arrick,
Morbius and Lorin Parker for their technical advice.
View the YouTube video, Part Three.
Other YouTube Videos:
You might be interested in viewing my first YouTube video,
featuring an early (but different) prototype of the Martenot.
My second YouTube video
(getting closer, design-wise) is here.
Pulleys:The four single-sheave pulleys
were purchased from Edmunds Scientific.
Potentiometers: Three 100-K, 10-turn pots were used in
this project. All three replaced the original pots of the Q125,
that I mounted near the volume button, and deep inside the instrument.
You can buy the pots online from Mouser Electronics here.
String: 1mm nylon sash cord (used for Venetian
blinds) was purchased at my local Pacific
Ring: I cut a piece of 3/4" pvc pipe for
the finger ring, purchased from Lowes' Hardware.
Spring: The tension spring was also purchased
Wood: I purchased about $50 of nice 3/4"
and 3/8" oak from Lowe's, as well.
Volume Control: The volume control section was taken
from a Rogue
VP-201 volume pedal for guitars. These pedals seem to be discontinued
All in all, I'd estimate
my materials costs to be about $150 - not counting the Q125
signal processor from synthesizers.com.
FYI, I am not in the
manufacturing business. I encourage you to build your own.
Let me know if you do!