Vo-96 Acoustic Synthesizer

The story (sort of) starts here…

The best way to understand the Vo-96 is through the words of its inventor, Paul Vo

“With Acoustic Synthesis™ any acoustic musical instrument – any object that makes a sound – can be enhanced to bring out its hidden acoustic voice. Think also of  potential new instruments – playable objects of acoustic art.
So far I’ve worked mostly with vibrating strings. The musical instrument string is arguably the most ubiquitous means of making music. It’s also the most difficult to vibrate coherently using electronic control. One idea I had back in 1979 turned out to be a great solution. I was amazed to find it was still unknown and patentable 20 years later.

Starting with Bob Moog’s pioneering work we have gradually over the decades accepted and become familiar with using synthesizers to create an endless variety of sounds electronically. I’m saying we are now beginning to extend this idea into the physical realm. We can make the virtual become real. We can artistically create new sounds by bringing out modes of vibration that have up to now remained hidden within the material objects we call musical instruments. Through Acoustic Synthesis™ the same sonic exploration is possible for other acoustic instruments and even creative objects of acoustic art that no one has imagined – not just yet anyway.

Analog Synthesis. Digital Synthesis. Acoustic Synthesis™: it isn’t empty hype, this really is a distinctly different and new method of voicing instruments, designing new sounds, and making music.”

– Paul Vo









Note: Most of the Vo-96 videos were done with the Vo-96 mic’d with no processing. In both the “Improvisation” videos, I was recording using the guitar’s built-in piezo pickup and processing the output through a Line 6 Echo Pro.  In the video with the piano arpeggio in the background, the echoes were synced via MIDI clock to the arpeggio. I wanted people to hear that in addition to that, it also is a lot of fun when you use it with other gear. The Eventide H9 of course takes things to a whole different level. – Chris Stack



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“…an album of inspired soundscapes. Feel free to stream it first if you have any doubts. Rest assured that mere seconds into the first track, you will know that you are in capable hands.” - Ted Stahl

On “Xenography” a vast array of synthesizers, piano, nylon string guitar, Moog Guitar, shakuhachi and voices pure and processed, come together to create a soundtrack for travels to oblique destinations.

Learn more about my musical endeavors at chrisstack.com

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