Perhaps one of the most mysterious musical instruments of all time, the Ondes Martenot or Martenot Waves was designed by Maurice Marteno in 1928. The original, unreliable lamp design was finalized, and later models remained in production until 1988. An interesting overview of the tools can be viewed on Youtube.
Marteno Waves has been used in numerous movie scores since 1931; One is Shostakovich, Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Ghostbusters (1984), A Trip to India (1984), to modern films by Amelie (2001) and Oil (2007) by radiohead composer Johnny Greenwood.
Thomas Bloch is perhaps the most famous musician playing this instrument worldwide; when great musicians and producers are inspired by the sound of Marteno Waves, they often turn to him. Radiohead, Tom Waits, and Damon Albarn all worked with him.
Thus, we knew that Thomas was the only person who could help us recreate this bewitching instrument … The
instrument generates sound using oscillators, as in a conventional analog synthesizer, but with its unusual control methods that give the instrument its unique character. The most famous is the metal ring that is worn on the finger of the right hand. The ring is not used when playing the keyboard, as are the tape controllers we are used to.
When Ondes is switched to “ring mode”, the ring becomes the only means of determining the pitch, this is a very skillful technique, in particular if you want to play any sound at all, you must simultaneously control a transparent, rhomboid-shaped device known as touche d’intensite. ..
Touche d’intensite is a large button in the drawer of the instrument, by pressing and tapping it produces the instrument timbre, in fact, it controls the volume envelope of the instrument. The Touche d’intensite is controlled by the left hand, while the musician uses a ring or keyboard to receive the melody.
Near the touche d’intensite there are several switches and dials that control the oscillators and create the timbre of notes – as well as send signals to three speakers …
• 24 bit 48 kHz sampling.
• 2.5 GB library with Kontakt NCW compression
• Phase-locked original oscillator samples
• Original speaker cabinet modelling: convolution impulses taken at close, far and room settings for each speaker. D2 speaker modelled at various decay time settings.
• 90+ Sound Design snapshot presets
• Comprenhensive MIDI control user setup
• MPE MIDI support
• Ondes Martentot
• Ondes Martenot MPE
• Poly Ondes