THANK YOU !!
We have reached 100% of our goal in only 5 days ! Thanks for being so dedicated to support us !! €50K is the minimum so we can start the production of the Onde and the Pyramid, but going higher will help us to get better production tools, also meaning lowering the production costs. Therefore we decided to go for a stretch goal !
€80K - Battery holder for all Ondes !
If we reach this goal, every single Onde will be pre-equipped with battery holders (this is an option for now: for those have selected this option they will be able to edit their pledge and remove the option). Note that this includes the holder and charging electronics, but not the batteries themselves (you can easily purchase the 3 batteries online for a total of 10 to 15 €), since batteries is a hassle to ship !
Powered Acoustic Soundboard Resonator
La Voix du Luthier has designed two new speakers, both without speaker cones ! These are powered resonators, with the sound directly emanating from 2 separate soundboards (similar to guitar soundboard) designed and tuned by a master luthier (stringed instrument maker).
The Onde and Pyramid were unveiled at ContinuuCon (the Haken Continuum Fingerboard conference), held this year at the prestigious Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in central Paris, and then presented again at SuperBooth 2018 in Berlin.
These resonators, designed in collaboration with Haken Audio, give the sound of a luthier’s expertise in acoustics to any electronic musical instrument, guitar (acoustic-electric, or electric), electric violin, theremin or...Ondes Martenot.
What are the Onde and the Pyramid ?
With the Onde and the Pyramid, the sound directly comes from the vibrations of the 2 soundboards. There is no speaker cone inside, only acoustic exciters transmitting the vibration into the wood. It is the same principle as for a guitar: the strings themselves make very little sound, but they are transmitting their vibrations to the sounboard through the bridge, and what you hear is the sonic amplification via the soundboard. In our case the exciter is acting as the bridge and tansmits the electric "vibrations" to the wood.
Contrary to a traditional speaker which is very directional, the Onde and the Pyramid are omni-directional. It is a very dispersive and immersive sound. In spite of this immersion effect transients are not compromised, in fact users have reported that transients are more accurate than on traditional speakers. These resonators are not sonically «neutral», as they are not meant to be: they offer a coloured sound carefully tuned by the luthier. See the "The main characteristics" section below for more information.
Use them with your electronic instrument, guitar, violin, computer or smartphone ...
The Onde and the Pyramid can be used with any electronic instrument (synth, modular set-up, portable devices, iPhone/iPad, etc.) and any electro-acoustic instrument (electric guitar, acoustic guitar or violin with pickups, or any instrument having an analog audio out).
You can also use them to listen to any music (since they are Bluetooth receivers). However not being sonically neutral means that the sound you will get will be slightly different from the one you are used to. It is mainly a matter of taste, but it is usually recognized that they sonically augment a light and clear mix, and will be less interesting for heavy or a very compressed mixes.
They have been tuned to produce a sound level consistent with acoustic instruments, so you can play together with a piano and will still be clearly heard (even if the piano plays loud!).
How different are the Onde and the Pyramid ?
There are several differences between the Onde and the Pyramid. Most obvious is the shape and size but there are also differences in the technical specifications.
The Pyramid has a wider frequency spectrum range and is also a bit louder. The Onde has been designed to be easily portable and used in a variety of different situations (several positions for feet attachments, or directly attached to an instrument, or on specific stands, etc.), whereas the Pyramid has one single standing position, most likely sitting directly on the floor. Their sound colours are also slightly different (more oriented to the warmth of sound for the Pyramid, and with a slightly stronger focus on brightness for the Onde).
The Onde is provided with a Class-D amplifier, the Pyramid is provided with either a Class-D or an amazing very high end pure Class-A amplifier (custom designed by Luc Bourachot).
More than stereo: they naturally spatialize the sound !
You may wonder if you would need two to accommodate a stereo sound source. The answer is no: with the two soundboards and using a stereo input, an Onde or a Pyramid will give you a very immersive and spatialized 3D sound. It will be quite different from stereo but in ways even more interesting. However, if desired, you can still use two of them for more a traditional stereo sound spread and have a complimentary immersive sonic field.
It's a musical instrument !
The Onde and the Pyramid are not any more fragile than an acoustic guitar. The most "fragile" component would be the front soundboard, exactly the same for a guitar. Treat the Onde with the same care as any quality acoustic instrument, like a violin or guitar.
The Onde is provided with a soft case (or with an optional wooden hard case to go in the hold of a plane) that will allow to easily carry them: they are designed to be mobile!
How to use them
Two possible vertical standings: the Onde can stand on both of its flat sides thanks to the 2 provided tripod feet.
Onde flat: the Onde can stand horizontal thanks to 3 provided wooden feet. In this configuration remember that nothing should touch the soundboard: it would harm the sound and possibly be noisy from this direct acoustic coupling with the soundboard to another surface.
Attached to a synth: when securely attached to your synth (we are providing a whole set of mounting options), it will transmit the sound vibration directly to your fingers through your instrument's case!
On stands with a synth (or anything else): one of the mounting options uses necks that you can easily attach to the tubes of an X-stand or nearly any traditional stand.
With a guitar or a violin: vertical or flat, just connect (mono 6.35 Jack adapter provided)!
Through Bluetooth: turn on Bluetooth (or APTX) on your phone, tablet, or computer, connect to "La Voix du Luthier" and play your music!
With a Bluetooth backing track: while playing a backing track via Bluetooth you can still connect your instrument to the Onde via the jack input and play over the backtrack.
Outdoors (powering your USB powered synth) : with the battery option, you can power your portable synth or device via USB, go in the middle of the (deep) forest and play (1/2 to 1 day depending on the connected device and playing volume).
As a complement to a traditional HIFI or studio sound system: people are used to adding a subwoofer to a traditional audio system, just in that same way you can add an Onde! It will highly enhance your sound spatialization, and all the transients. You will hear things you never heard before.
Infinite number of mounting possibilities thanks to supplied Kodak mounts: the Onde is provided with 8 Kodak screw mounting points, meaning that you can use an amazing number of mounting options initially design for camera, GoPro, etc. and with a small 1/4 to 3/8 adapter also use all traditional music stand (mic stands, lighting stands, etc.).
Onde and Pyramid in action
The main characteristics of these resonators
They generate a 3D auditory space, just like a traditional acoustic instrument (as opposed to traditional speakers being very directional).
They are not sonically «neutral», but are not meant to be: they offer a coloured sound carefully tuned by the luthier.
They offer a highly dynamic sound: users report that all the transients, like the attack off sounds, mechanical noises, etc., are perceptually better than on traditional speakers.
They enhance any electronic signal, imparting a carefully balanced acoustical environment into the source, immersive like an acoustic instrument.
They have two fine wooden soundboards with oppositional placement that are complementary sounding, further enhancing the 3D experience. Each soundboard has a separate volume control allowing for fine-tuning of the tonal balance.
They are designed to be able to transmit surface vibrations to your instrument, and offer a high number of possible mounting options to be attached to electronic instruments. This means that electronic musicians now can feel the vibrations of the sound they produce while playing, like any acoustic instrument player!
Like acoustic instruments, they are deeply interacting with their environment, allowing to fully take advantage of the specific tonal characteristics of a venue.
They perfectly integrate with an acoustic ensemble.
They offer a very elegant wooden design (different finishing are available).
72 cm high, 57 cm width, 8 cm depth, 2.6 kg weight.
2*30W Class D amplifier driving 2 carefully selected wideband transducers.
Built following the traditional stringed instrument maker's know-how, integrating two sonically complementary soundboards.
Separated volume control for each soundboard.
Line level stereo in (3.5 mm stereo jack).
Bluetooth Audio (and APTX). Line level and Bluetooth can be mixed together.
Battery-powered option, with initial tests showing up to one full day of use between charges.
The Onde can supply power for two other USB devices during normal operation.
One permanent side opening, and one closable side opening allowing to tune the sound colour.
Eight Kodak screw mounting points allowing a huge number of accessory mounting possibilities.
Provided with 2 tripod feet (for vertical placement), 3 wooden feet (for horizontal placement) and a power supply.
Numerous possible options (see option section).
Top: 115 cm high, 46 cm width, 46 cm depth, 6.2 kg weight
Base: 52 cm high, 46 cm width, 46 cm depth, 9 kg with the Class D amplifier and 18 kg with the Class A amplifier.
Extended frequency range via it’s novel pyramid shaped design.
2 amplifier options:
- 2*30W Class D
- Transient details are enhanced by employing a very high end 2*40W Class A power amplifier driving 2 carefully selected wideband transducers.
Built following the traditional stringed instrument maker's know-how, integrating two sonically complementary sound boards.
Separated volume control for each soundboard.
Line level stereo IN (selectable between 2*6,35 mm mono jack or 2*RCA).
Complementary designed wooden base (which contains the amplifier).
Numerous possible options (see option section).
Explainations from the makers
Note that, when in French, subtitles are available for translation from French to English in these videos
Select your reward Level
If you want an extra gear at a Kickstarter price, select what you want below, calculate how much the items costs, and add the total to the reward level you select as "add on dollars/Euro" when you back the project.
Details to the add-ons
A right sided Onde is just the symmetrical of the left sided one (when you select the "2 Ondes" reward you get one right sided and one left sided Onde). The price for this add-on is mainly to cover the costs of managing the option.
The Onde can be battery powered, offering about one day of autonomy. Furthermore, the Onde has 2 USB power plugs, and this battery can power up to 2 additional external devices ! Note that depending on the shipping constraints, the battery may be delivered separately.
The Onde can offer a luxury finish, including a very high quality varnish, a very nice and carefully selected walnut tree veneer on the sides, marquetry work on the edges!!! Everything concerning the finishing is hand made and done with lots of care and expertise.
The Onde's hard wooden carrying case (suitable for checked baggage on an airplane) is for travellers: we have experimented it with flights to Germany, Norway, UK, etc. Its is rock solid and very nice looking (see here).
The instrument shelf is directly attached to the Onde (to be used when in horizontal position). It can hold plenty of different instruments and is a good way to make sure you will feel the sound's vibrations while playing (see here). Two shelf size are available 75*15 cm and 72*6 cm.
Additional mounting accessories are available to allow mounting on any instrument, X-Stand, etc. They are basically a set of RAM-Mount component carefully integrated with the Onde: It can be claws to attached on any tube, necks, suction cups for flat surface, base to be screwed on wood, etc. You will be able to select the exact parts you need through the enquiry after the end of the Kickstarter.
An amazing instrument stand has been designed by Edmund Eagan from Haken Audio: you can put up to 2 instruments on it (one regular and one small) and it looks amazing (see pictures below and several above). It has an adjustable heigth and can be used sitting or standind. It can also easily be extended, for example to add a laptop stand or an iPad stand (contact us for such extensions). It includes the instrument shelf option (described above), allowing an even larger type of use of the Onde. The instrument stand will be shipped separately from the Onde (shipping cost is included in the option price)
Add-ons for the Pyramid
Details of add-ons for the Pyramid
Note that for the Pyramid add-ons are only available on the Class A amplifier (no options for the class D amplifier).
Also note than a maximum of 3 options can be selected for a single Class A amplifier.
Double XLR balanced inputs (op-amp amp): high quality low noise balanced inputs for studio and long distance connections
Double XLR balanced inputs (Neutrik transformer): best possible quality low noise balanced inputs for studio and long distance connections
Bluetooth and APTX : to be able to receive Bluetooth audio or APTX with your Pyramid
Airplay/DNLA: to be able to receive Airplay audio and your Pyramid with your Apple devices
Dynamic microphone input: monophonic input (signal copied on both soundboard of the Pyramid) with impedance suitable for dynamic microphones.
Static microphone input with phantom power: monophonic input (signal copied on both soundboard of the Pyramid) with impedance suitable for static microphones and switchable 48V Phantom power.
Guitar input: monophonic input (signal copied on both soundboard of the Pyramid) with impedance and gain suitable for guitars.
2 additional Jack inputs: additional 6.35mm and 3.5mm stereo TRS Jack inputs (switchable, not merged with the others input)
2 additional XLR inputs - 2 additional RCA inputs (switchable, not merged with the others input)
Where are they built? Where does the parts come from?
All the woodwork will be done in France (Vendée - Sainte Hermine), and that's where we need Kickstarter to help us in building the production chain. The wood itself is coming from mountain areas in France, from northern Europe and from northern Canada. The electronic components are coming from Germany, France, Japan and China. The Class A amplifier is assembled (soldering, testing) in the Paris area, France (and possibly in Italy if increased assembly rate is required). The PCBs and the Class D amplifier are coming from China.
The global assembly and testing will be done in France (Vendée - Sainte Hermine) and this is also where the final shipping to customers will be done.
Listen to the Onde and the Pyramid
It is difficult to convey how amazing the sound of the Onde and the Pyramid is just through text, images and videos, but believe us, it is a unique and rewarding experience! During the Kickstarter campaign you will have the opportunity to listen to them if you are able to come to Soundmit in Turin on November 3/4, as we will have a booth there !
How will taxes and VAT be managed?
Taxes and VAT are different for each country, so they can't be included in the main price available for backers around the world. Therefore we manage them inside the shipping cost. To follow the international legal rules, we have included VAT in shipping cost for all European countries, but VAT is not included outside of Europe. This means that for non European backers, and if applicable in your country, you may have to pay VAT at delivery time (payment to the shipping company): please take this into account since VAT can be an addition 20% of the reward price.
What is included in shipping?
Obviously it includes the delivery of your reward! But this also includes the solid card box needed to safely carry the Onde or the Pyramid. Also, as explained above, for Europe, the shipping is also including the VAT (this is mandatory according to the law).
The Haken Continuum Fingerboard is an instrument that was born to be as expressive and as rewarding to play as an acoustic instrument. The uniquely designed sensitive and expressive playing surface has been symbiotically merged with its powerful synthesis sound engine to produce a truly unique playing experience. The Continuum is an electronic instrument that puts its player at the heart of a uniquely fluent, gestural and intuitive musical playing experience.
Connecting the Continuum Fingerboard to the Onde and the Pyramid was therefore totally natural to complement it with a truly acoustic sound, and a nice wooden resonator capable of transmitting the vibration to the musician's finger, putting him in an even deeper feedback loop with the sound.
The ContinuuMini is the latest creation from Haken Audio and has been designed to be a portable, flexible and a more affordable version of the family of Continuums. It can be powered by the Onde to make it truly portable! The ContinuuMini is also available through Kickstarter!
Our international team (USA, Canada, France) is the collaboration of worldwide recognized experts of different domains: stringed instrument making, electronic (analog and digital), sound design, music performance and composition, instrument production, web design and social media communication.
Marc Lucas - Master luthier (designer of numerous guitars and the innovative Cantate, concours Lepine awarded).
Christophe Duquesne (Anckorage) - Visionary and electronic circuit design. Liaison to Haken Audio.
Luc Bourachot - Amplifier design concepts and execution, specifically implemented for La Voix du Luthier.
Eric Mouquet (Deep Forest, grammy award) - Design review and testing, demonstration and promotion.
François Astier - Demonstrations, social networking and web design.
Haken Audio: Lippold Haken and Edmund Eagan - Connection with the Continuum, design review and stand design.
Why do we need Kickstarter
We have completely managed the early steps via our own free time and personal funding. We can already provide the Onde and the Pyramid in a “one at a time” manner for a small local market, but each requires several days of work. We think this luthier's speaker is of high interest to musicians everywhere in the world.
We need support to build our specific production chain and associated tools (about 12 dedicated tools needed for the Onde and 15 for the Pyramid) in order to lower the prices, and to be able to produce a high number of devices, while still keeping the quality of hand crafted items. We feel that the support from end users, as proposed on Kickstarter, is the best way for us to achieve our current goals.
Onde Martenot tribute
The Ondes Martenot was invented in 1928 by the French cello player Maurice Martenot. It is one of the earliest electronic instruments. It can be played with a keyboard or by moving a ring along a wire, allowing a continuous control of the pitch. It is used in a lot of classical and pop-music compositions (Olivier Messiaen, Radiohead, Daft Punk, etc.).
The Onde Martenot has its own resonators (instead of traditional speakers): one based on a gong, and the famous palm using strings tuned to all 12 semitones of an octave. So the Onde and the Pyramid are obviously inspired by the work of Maurice Martenot (and the Onde name is a clear tribute to Martenot), providing additional resonators using different technics than the ones used up to now. We really hope that Ondists will also make a nice use of the Onde and the Pyramid.
Risks and challenges
Producing a hardware product is never easy. Our previous experience in building stringed and electronic instruments, and the production experience from Haken Audio makes us better prepared for the unforeseen challenges we may encounter during the tooling, manufacturing and testing processes. We will automate as much a possible the wood work, but we want also to keep the quality of hand crafted device: for each tool we will built, balanced decisions will be needed to achieve this goal.
We have anticipated buying sufficient number of tree trunks to craft all the soundboards (yes we start from tree trunks, red cedar and spruce), but if the campaign appears to be a high success we will need to buy more ! But as works need to dry, this may lead to some later delivery for late backer.
And as for all productions, we will have to always keep our eyes on important topics like :
- Quality testing, to avoid unwanted resonance or touch of cables on a soundboard (immediately noisy,
- Keep availability and low prices from our providers,
- Manage worldwide shipping, taking into account that these are musical instrument, as fragile as a guitar is.
Our target shipping dates depends on which level you backed. We would love to ship earlier and we will do everything we can to make this happen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (41 days)