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Dewanatron Novitiate Educational Synthesizer

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Commissioned by the Bob Moog Foundation, the Novitiate was designed for teaching electronic music synthesis to beginners.

The front panel’s four sections oscillator, modulation, filter, and envelope, each demonstrate a primary synthesizer function. A button in the oscillator section triggers the oscillator independently of the other sections, generating four waveforms and covering the entire range of human hearing and beyond. Pressing another button in the modulation section routes a separate modulating oscillator to the main oscillator. The modulator’s continuously variable frequency ranges from a slow pulsation to rates beyond human hearing, enabling vibrato and FM effects. Pressing a third button lets you hear the effect of the Novitiate’s resonant lowpass filter, and a fourth triggers an ADSR envelope generator. Level knobs let you apply the envelope to control filter frequency, amplifier volume, and modulation depth.

Housed in a furniture-grade poplar cabinet, the Novitiate has 1950s sci-fi movie styling that’s best be described as “futuristically retro.” Special touches include a control panel finished in blue-green metal-flake glaze, chicken-head knobs, oversized rotary dials, and buttons that look exactly like doorbells. Built-in speakers reveal a surprisingly powerful stereo amplifier onboard. The instrument also has two headphone jacks with independent volume knobs and two main audio outputs. Instead of the usual power switch, the Novitiate has a lock and key for turning power on and off, ensuring that it would be useless to anyone who might consider stealing it.

Although the Novitiate is a true analog synth in the Bob Moog tradition, it lacks any kind of keyboard or MIDI connection. As it turns out, those features are unnecessary for teaching the basics of synthesis. If desired, however, it does have control-voltage and gate inputs for connecting modular synthesizer gear, including an analog synth keyboard.

Technical Specifications
Type: Analog
Synthesis: Subtractive
Oscillators: 1
Waveforms: Saw Up, Sine, Square, Triangle
Osc Modulation: Envelope, Knob, LFO, Oscillator
Envelopes: 1
Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
Filters: 1
Types: Low Pass, Resonance
LFO: 1
LFO Parameters: Saw Up, Sine, Square, Triangle
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: 1
Timbrality: 1
Tuning: Standard
Modes: Mono
Case: Desktop
Controls: Buttons, Knobs, Modulation 1/4" Jacks, Switches
Display Type: LED
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Mono Out
Audio Output Count: 2
CV Ports: CV IN, Trigger In
Year Released: 2011
Year Discontinued: 2011
Units Made: 1
Used By
Moog Foundtation, Marc Doty
Design Notes:

Designed by Brian and Leon Dewan for the Moog Foundation.

Product Links
Company Product Sites:
[+] www.dewanatron.com
[+] moogfoundation.org

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