Analog Synthesizer - The Duck

The Duck is an analog synthesizer built between 1981 and 1986 in Commack, NY.

Keyboards were not easy to come by as electric components. This keyboard was the manual from a Conn electric organ recovered from a fire and found in the rafters of a pipe and reed organ manufacturer in Hicksville, NY. The keyboard scanner is built from discreet logic producing a monophonic last-note-played algorithm. The circuits were all hand-wired on prototype boards. The sound-producing technology is primarily based on a suite of chips manufactured by Solid State Micro Technology (SSMT).

The Duck was sitting in a unheated warehouse in Albany, NY for many years. It's now in Milford, MA, somewhat reconditioned, almost all keys are playable, and most of the sound-producing circuitry is working, although in a very temperamental state since many of the solder joints and switches and potentiometers were degraded through the years. 

What does it sound like? In 1986 over two weeks I created these fragments. The equipment stack included the Duck, Ensoniq Mirage, Roland (I think Juno-60) and a drum machine. Mixed on a Peavey board directly to cassette tape.
Duck01 Duck02 Duck03 Duck04 Duck05 Duck06 Duck07
Duck08 Duck09 Duck10 Duck11 Duck12 Duck13 Duck14
First Performer on the Duck - Sam McArthur having a great time! August 2015.

David Asher
Milford, MA

1 comment:

  1. What a great evening! Thanks for demonstrating and explaining the wave forms and giving me a chance to hear Sam play the Duck.