French Connection ring and other questions

Posted: 7/11/2007 7:19:45 PM

Joined: 1/8/2007

Also I think most would find the ring easier to control than the Tannerin's slider, especially for vibrato. Vibrato is very nice on the FC since you basically do the same thing as on a violin-- keep your finger touching one place but roll it side to side rapidly.
Posted: 10/12/2007 8:42:55 AM
Jari Jokinen

Joined: 11/8/2006

I received comments from someone, who has studied Ondes Martenot at conservatory and has knowledge about the mechanics of the instrument. He has also briefly tested the French Connection:
- "The ring was crappy (all Martenot or Ondéa use a ring that fits the finger, different devices are used, but it is essential that the ring perfectly fits the finger so that you can make a good vibrato.)"
- "The wire was made of plastic and kinda elastic, wich is not really good for expression."
- "The "button" didn't offer any mechanical resistance so many rythmical effects couldn't be produced."

Judging by some Ondes Martenot videos, it is easy believe this. But like I said, I don't regret my purchase. Hopefully there will be French Connection Mk II and other high quality alternative controllers in the future...

Best regards
Jari Jokinen
Posted: 10/12/2007 2:48:49 PM

Joined: 1/8/2007

I find the flexibility of the wire to be a good thing because it allows you to move your finger slightly up and down and in and out, which seems better than being restrained to stiff one-dimensional back and forth movement. It allows you to use more muscles is thus probably easier on your hand after playing a long time.

Can you elaborate on the issues with the button? The button is spring loaded... what do you mean by "mechanical resistance"?

Posted: 10/13/2007 4:23:30 AM
Jari Jokinen

Joined: 11/8/2006

monroe wrote:
> I find the flexibility of the wire to be a good > thing because it allows you to move your finger
> slightly up and down and in and out...
From videos it can be seen, that this can be done with Ondes Martenot too.

> Can you elaborate on the issues with th
> button? The button is spring loaded... what do
> you mean by "mechanical resistance"?
He said: "The "button" didn't offer any mechanical resistance", which is inaccurate, of course. I guess, the bottom line is: "...many rythmical effects couldn't be produced".

I haven't touched a real Ondes Martenot, but quoting myself: "Judging by some Ondes Martenot videos, it is easy to believe this."

Best regards
Jari Jokinen
Posted: 10/13/2007 5:40:09 PM

From: Seattle

Joined: 4/19/2005

I was at a concert with Ondes player Thomas Bloch. He tried my French Connection and I tried his Ondes.

He is a nice man, and may have been being nice to me.. but... it seemed as though he thought the French Connection to be a suitable substitute for the impossible to find Ondes. He studied the ring, and thought it clever, but not sure he liked it nor not. He said he would recommend it to his students, given how hard it is to find anything else!

I tried his Ondes.

The remark made earlier about the elastic string... the real Ondes has a mechanism to allow the string to stetch. It's like a pulley on a spring. Non-issue to me.

As to the button.... I didn't really notice a huge difference mechanically. But... it did feel as though there was a finer level of control.

I did feel a huge difference in the size of the keyboard, the keyboard vibrato, and especially in the sound. So far I only have two modules.. vco and vca. Very basic. His system is so much nicer... and those speakers and various switches allow for SO much range of sound. THAT was amazing.

I added another video, showing how to set up a VERY basic French Connection... at the request of some viewers.

Posted: 10/13/2007 7:59:16 PM

Joined: 1/8/2007

Sidecars, I recommend getting a Moog low pass filter. (Analogue Systems RS100). It sounds really good and gives you a lot of tonal options.
Posted: 10/14/2007 4:23:02 AM
Jari Jokinen

Joined: 11/8/2006

Interesting comments. Did you try, if you could play faster with the Ondes Martenot button (I would assume so)?

Your next module should indeed be a VCF. Then perhaps a formant filter and a spring reverb. You can put other manufacturers Eurorack modules to your system, if you are careful.

About the linear/logarithmic thing you mention in the video: Which option more closely resembles the response of Ondes Martenot? (I will soon have the option to semi-logarithmic too with a Cwejman VCA-4MX.)

Ondes Martenot sound is really special! No VCO-VCF-VCA magic will be up to the task I am afraid.

Best regards
Jari Jokinen
Posted: 12/1/2007 9:09:07 PM

Joined: 12/1/2007

Hey Monroe>

You mentioned that you have a french-connection and you've opened it up. You said that the position of the ring is determined using a digital optical encoder, etc.

I was thinking about building an ondes martenot controller (specifically just the ring/string portion), but doing it totally analgue. I'd love a few pictures from inside the French Connection (or even better, the Ondes Martenot) to get a starting point.


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