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Manhattan Research Raymond Scott Clavivox

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The Clavivox is a vacuum tube oscillator instrument controlled by a three octave keyboard with a sub assembly circuit designed by a Bob Moog. The instrument was designed to simulate the continuous gliding tone of the Theremin but be playable with a keyboard.

The machine was fitted with three key controls on the left of the keyboard that controlled the attack of the note or cut off the note completely. The keys could be played with the left hand to control the envelope characteristics of the sound. Other controls on the Clavivox’s front panel were for fine and coarse tuning as well as vibrato speed and depth.

Technical Specifications
Type: Analog
Synthesis: Subtractive
Oscillators: 1
Waveforms: Square
Osc Modulation: Fader, Knob
Oscillator Notes:
Vacuum Tube Oscillator
Envelopes: 1
Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Sustain
LFO: 1
LFO Parameters: Sine
LFO Notes::
Vibrato effect
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: 1
Timbrality: 1
Tuning: Standard
Modes: Mono
Patches RAM: 1
Case: Keyboard
Case Details: wood case
Keyboard: 37 keys
Controls: Buttons, Faders, Knobs, Switches
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack
Audio Output Count: 1
Audio Output Notes: 1
Year Released: 1956
Design Notes:

Scott used the Clavivox in his commerical scores for sound effects, string, and, vocal sounds. The instrument had very similar tones and effects as the Theremin. The Clavivox was intended for mass production but the complexity and fragility of the instrument made the venture impractical.

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