A SynthAxe is a fretted, guitar-like MIDI controller, created in 1986 by Bill Aitken and manufactured in England in the middle to late 1980s. A fret is a raised portion on the neck of a Stringed instrument, that extends generally across the full width of the neck The guitar is a Musical instrument with ancient roots that is used in a wide variety of musical styles MIDI ( Musical Instrument Digital Interface, ˈmɪdi is an industry-standard protocol that enables Electronic musical instruments Computers Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar) Bill Aitken may refer to Bill Aitken (politician, a Scottish politician Bill Aitken (traveller, a Scottish-born writer and traveller England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Year 1980 ( MCMLXXX) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar) It is a musical instrument that uses an electronic synthesizer to produce sound and is controlled through the use of an arm which resembles the neck of a guitar in form and in use. The name SynthAxe is a portmanteau of the words Synthesizer and Axe, which is a popular slang term meaning guitar.
The neck of a SynthAxe is bent upward from the body because there are two independent sets of strings. These strings are not made for creating sounds directly, but send signals to a synthesizer which produces the sound. The long set determine the pitch of notes played, through contact with the frets on the neck and by sensing the side-to-side bending of the string. The second set of strings for the right hand pass through round magnets utilizing the Hall effect for velocity sensitivity; these strings can be plucked or strummed to trigger notes. The Hall effect refers to the Potential difference ( Hall voltage) on the opposite sides of an Electrical conductor through which there is an Electric A keyboard made up of six keys can also be used to trigger notes instead of the strings. It also can be used with a breath controller to simultaneously manipulate the timbre and volume of the instrument.
When originally produced, the SynthAxe carried a price tag of 10,000 pounds (approximately $13,000 US dollars) and eventually sold for about $8,000. The Pound Sterling ( symbol £; ISO code: GBP) subdivided into 100 pence (singular penny) is the Currency 00. It was such a sophisticated and expensive piece of machinery that few were sold making it difficult to keep the company afloat. Eventually Virgin Games took over the distribution but let it go after a couple of years. Virgin Interactive was a successful and influential British Video game publisher.
Prominent players of the SynthAxe include Allan Holdsworth, Chuck Hammer, Lee Ritenour, Gary Moore, Future Man, and Al Di Meola. Allan Holdsworth (born August 6, 1946 in Bradford, West Yorkshire) is a British Jazz / rock Guitarist Chuck Hammer is an American Guitarist and Emmy nominated digital film Composer, known for seminal guitar-synth with Lou Reed, Lee Mack "Captain Fingers" Ritenour (born January 11 1952) is an internationally acclaimed guitarist recording artist composer and producer Gary Moore (born Robert William Gary Moore, 4 April 1952, Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a Northern Irish Guitarist. Roy Wilfred Wooten (born October 13, 1957 in Hampton, Virginia) better known by his Stage name Future Man (also spelled Al Di Meola (born Al Laurence Dimeola July 22, 1954 in Jersey City New Jersey) is an Italian American Jazz fusion and Latin jazz A SynthAxe formerly belonging to Lee Ritenour was heavily modified by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones percussionist Futureman into his primary instrument, a unique Midi drum controller known as the Synthaxe Drumitar. Béla Fleck and the Flecktones is a multi- Grammy winning primarily instrumental group from the USA, that draws equally on bluegrass, fusion Roy Wilfred Wooten (born October 13, 1957 in Hampton, Virginia) better known by his Stage name Future Man (also spelled The Synthaxe Drumitar is an instrument created by " Future Man " or Roy Wooten of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones.
Because it is no longer produced and difficult to locate used units (Holdsworth estimates that there are about 1,000 in existence, and only about 2-3 people who would be qualified to repair one), most musicians who desire a MIDI guitar controller often use more current alternatives, such as Roland or Axon systems that can convert a guitar's output to MIDI via 13-Pin cables and outboard devices. However, the lack of keys and breath controller peripherals for most modern MIDI-compatible guitar controllers allows the Synthaxe to endure as a niche instrument.