French Connection ring and other questions

Posted: 11/8/2006 6:00:25 PM
Jari Jokinen

Joined: 11/8/2006


This is my first post here. I hope it is not too much off-topic.

I am soon purchasing "French Connection". It is an Ondes Martenot like analogue controller made by Analogue Systems:

I am concerned about its "one size fits all" ring. A real Ondes Martenot ring seems to have some clever mechnanism inside, which makes it "fit" regardless of finger size. I guess this improves accuracy. I can't try before buy, but the simple and seemingly rather large ring of French Connection makes me wonder. How can I make a good vibrato or small adjustments, if the ring is too big for my finger? Analogue Systems told me it will be difficult to replace. Any proud French Connection owners here, who would like to comment?

Another thing, which don't appeal to me, is the low note priority a la Moog. I can handle it, but high note priority feels more logical to me - perhaps, because I see analogy to Swedish key-fiddle or nyckelharpa.

Also, depending on the Controller Select Switches, one of the three controller devices (button, slider, keyboard) is always inactive. Analogue Systems says there is a technical reason for this. Anyway it seems a waste. I could definitely use them all simultaneously.

Unfortunately Analogue Systems don't do customization to French Connection on these features. My questions were kindly answered though.

Best regards
Jari Jokinen
Posted: 11/8/2006 6:23:57 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Perhaps you could wrap yarn around the ring in order to keep it slipping on your finger.
Posted: 11/9/2006 6:19:58 AM
Jari Jokinen

Joined: 11/8/2006

> Perhaps you could wrap yarn around the ring in order to keep it slipping on your finger.

That would propably help. Still, there must be reason, why the mechanism is used.
Posted: 11/9/2006 8:32:34 AM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

Hopefully you will find a way to make it fit.

Either that or maybe a replacement can be found for it.

As far as the high-note/low-note priority thing, I think high would make more sense but you will get used to whichever way it works.

I used to feel that the volume antenna on a theremin was counter-intuitive but it makes sense now.
Posted: 11/9/2006 1:34:20 PM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

Just put some sort of foam/padding inside the ring. That should solve the problem.

P.S Are there any audio files of this instrument on the net?
Posted: 11/9/2006 1:57:07 PM
Jari Jokinen

Joined: 11/8/2006

Certainly the looseness of the ring can fixed with foam for example, but there is propably a reason, why, for example, Claude-Samuel LĂ©vine uses the ring mechanism. It might be just cosmetic though. Anyway, the feel is certainly very important in this kind of instrument. One is going to spend a lot of time sliding that thing...

I haven't found any audio files of French Connection, except some dead links. Here are some .mov files demonstrating a real Ondes Martenot. Lots of playing techniques!
Posted: 11/10/2006 12:24:32 AM

From: Seattle

Joined: 4/19/2005

I have a French Connection. SOme of those dead links were probably to me, as I used to have some sound files. Can't find them right now!

The ring on this one is solid, but that is no problem. WHen you slightly bend your finger, it jus stays there. Not a problem. Fun instrument. Much easier than theremin, and some good sound capabilities.

What modules are you ordering? I will have to go look at mine, but they are AS.
Posted: 11/10/2006 12:30:25 AM

From: Seattle

Joined: 4/19/2005

There are some great Ondes Martenot videos on google. Start here:

If that wraps, just go to and search for ondes martenot.
Posted: 11/10/2006 6:27:18 AM
Jari Jokinen

Joined: 11/8/2006

> SOme of those dead links were probably to me,
> as I used to have some sound files. Can't
> find them right now!
There is dead link(s) at Analogue Systems Yahoo forum. If you find your sounds, please post them again! I am interested.

My modules:

Cwejman (The basic modules - expensive and limited availability):
- VCO-2RM; Dual VCO with ring modulator
- MMF-1; Multi mode filter
- VCA-2P; Stero panning vc amplifer

Analogue Systems:
- RS165; Audio mixer
- RS230; CV buffer / inverter
- RS380; Modulation controller (VCLFO, noise, S/H, VCA)

- A-101-2 Vactrol Low Pass Gate
- A-104 Trautonium Formant Filter
- A-113 Subharmonic Generator
- A-138c Polarizing Mixer
- A-139 Headphone Amplifier
- A-180 Multiples 1 (x 2)
- A-190 MIDI-to-CV/Gate/Sync Interface
- A-199 Spring Reverb
- 84+76HP Suitcase

That might be too much at once... They haven't arrived yet.
Posted: 11/10/2006 6:33:43 AM
Jari Jokinen

Joined: 11/8/2006

This is interesting, because Ondes Martenot is heard alone. Many tricks are demonstrated.

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