Hohner Electra-Melodica Analog Wind Synthesizer

The instrument

The Electra-Melodica was created on the basis of a prototype by Ernst Zacharias. About 500 units of the original model were produced in 1966-1967. The instrument is the first commercially distributed pale synthesizer.


The construction of the circuit corresponds to a monophonic organ. The tone generator is a multivibrator circuit that produces different timbres via filter circuits. The blow transducer is an orifice on a diaphragm that is moved by the blow pressure. For stepless variation of timbre, there is WauWau pusher which works with bulb, orifice and photosensitive resistor. The aperture is moved by pressing the button. The actual timbre shaping is done by a series of filters that can be controlled by means of six different registers. Depending on the pitch played, the six timbres are named clarinet (bass clarinet, tuba), brass (trumpet, trombone), strings (violin, viola, cello), oboe (English horn), flute (saxophone, horn) and saxophone (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, horn). (Source: Andreas Swoboda)