With over 16 years of research into what makes the ondes Martenot a singular electronic instrument, this revolutionary compact design from Japan brings accessibility, ease of transport and playability to Maurice Martenot's original vision.
With Ondomo you can bring the music with you anytime and anywhere, packing an impressive list of features into a fully contained instrument that's just 64 cm wide (just over 25"). Equipped with a powerful built-in speaker, all you need is a power outlet to instantly connect to the haunting, unmistakeable characteristics of sound that the ondes Martenot is famous for.
It is with the goal of sharing this expressive, dynamic electronic instrument that inspired the creator to devote himself to this legacy of love.
+ 4 octave keyboard with lateral movement for natural, expressive vibrato
+ Ring controller for continuous control over pitch across full keyboard range
+ Highly expressive 'touche d'intensité' for minute control over instrument volume
+ Martenot-inspired tiroir (control box) with timbre, mixing and pitch controls
+ Analog oscillators hand-soldered and assembled in Tokyo, Japan
Techniques and Expression
Like a stringed instrument wherein the position of the left hand determines the pitch and the right hand the expression and volume of the instrument, the Martenot splits its controls for sound creation between your two hands. The pitch is controlled with the right hand, using either a ring attached to your index finger or the keyboard, and the left hand controls the dynamics and articulation with the touche d'intensité and the timbral controls of the tiroir.
Design and Considerations
Each part of the Ondomo was painstakingly designed to accurately reproduce the highly sensitive elements of the ondes Martenot. From the touche d'intensité, often referred to as the "soul of the instrument", to the keyboard with its unique lateral vibrato.
Unlike most keyboard instruments, simpling pushing the keys does not produce any sound. The dynamics and articulation are controlled using the sensitive touche d'intensité - a clear, oblong button highly sensitive to even the tiniest pressure.
Find out more about the rest of the tiroir's controls in the other links on this page.
The tiroir is a hybrid of several generations of Martenot's designs, and offers a wide variety of timbral and momentary pitch controls, in addition to the impressive four output mixer.
Recreations of Martenot's diffusers / speakers (Palme, métallique, etc.) are on the horizon - we will share any information on these developments as soon as they begin.
Tone and Volume Adjustment
The balance, or mix, of the waveform outputs (① - ④) can be changed by adjusting the volume of the N, C, O, and G timbres individually using a small flat-head screwdriver. Fully turning the volume adjustment clockwise will silence it, and fully turning it counterclockwise will set it to its maximum value. By default, O is maximized, and N, C, and G are set to an equivalent volume.
Furthermore, you can fine-tune the following waveforms by adjusting the small knob on the top of the Tiroir’s control panel.
⑤ N This changes the period of the pulse wave. Turning this knob clockwise will result in a more distinctive, nasal tone, but the sound will be more susceptible to cutting-out in the higher frequencies.
⑥ C This changes the amount of the peak-limiting of the waveform. Turning it fully clockwise will result in almost the same timbre as Gambe, and turning it fully counter-clockwise will result in almost the same timbre as Onde
Additional Drawer Controls
① Touche (Touch)
This is used to control the volume of the sound during performance. It remains silent until pushed and the volume is adjusted with very careful application of pressure.
② Clavier / Bague (Keyboard / Ring)
Used for switching between the keyboard and ribbon performance modes. When the LED is lit, the ribbon is enabled, and when unlit, the keyboard. On start-up, the keyboard performance mode is selected by default.
③ Octave selection
Four ranges of octaves can be selected and used: C1 to C5, C2 to C6, C3 to C7 & C4 to C8. The corresponding LEDs will indicate which octave range is selected. The middle button switches between the two middle octave ranges.
④ Tuning knob
Used to adjust the tuning of the keyboard. With the reference position at 12 o'clock, it has been adjusted so that A = 442Hz.
⑤ Gamelan buttons
While being pressed, these buttons immediately increase the pitch by adding 2 semitones, 4 semitones, and 7 semitones (from left to right respectively). Each button works independently, and it is possible to increase the pitch by various semitones up to an octave by using them in combination. These buttons work in both keyboard and ribbon performance modes.
⑥ P switch
Changes note priority when two or more keys are played at the same time. The keyboard has high note priority when the LED is lit, and low note priority when is is not.
⑦ K switch
Selects the “click envelope” mode when using the keyboard. When the LED is lit, playing the keyboard will sound the note immediately, and as soon as the key is released the note will end.
It is possible to connect a total of 4 outputs, and by adjusting the use and intensity of each diffuser (speaker) from the Tiroir, you can achieve various ambiances.
① D1 Adjusts the output volume of the main internal speaker.
② D2 Adjusts the output volume from the powered-output ¼” jack (※) on the left side of the Tiroir
③ D3 Adjusts the output volume from the right channel of the dedicated ¼” line output on the left side of the Tiroir.
④ D4 Adjusts the output volume from the left channel of the dedicated ¼” line output on the left side of the Tiroir.
(※) As Ondomo was designed to connect to its own specially-made diffusers, connecting directly to musical instrument amplifiers, etc. may result in damage to the connected equipment.
Waveforms: Pulse Variable, Sine, Square, Triangle
Osc Modulation: Keyboard, Oscillator, Pedal, Pitch Wheel, Ribbon
Polyphony & Tuning
Keyboard: 49 keys, Non-weighted, Plastic
Controls: Buttons, Knobs, Sliders, Motion Control, Pedal - Control, Pedal - Volume
Display Type: LED
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Stereo Main
Control Features: Manual ring contorller
Year Released: 2017