The Omnichord is an electronic musical instrument introduced in 1981 by the Suzuki Musical Instrument Corporation. It typically features a touch plate, and buttons for major, minor, and 7th chords. The most basic method of playing the instrument is to press the chord buttons and swipe the touch plate with a finger or guitar pick in imitation of strumming a stringed instrument. Originally designed as an electronic substitute for an autoharp, the Omnichord has become popular as an individual instrument in its own right, due to its unique, chiming timbre and its value as a kitsch object.
The Omnichord is the technological successor to an earlier instrument, known as the Tronichord, with which it shares many technical and functional similarities. Omnichords often feature preset rhythms with a tempo control which the player may use as accompaniment. Several models of the Omnichord were produced, which added MIDI compatibility, a selection of voices for the touch plate, effects such as vibrato and sustain, and chord memory. Some Omnichord musicians will play the instrument as a keytar, by strapping the instrument on both ends and playing it as if it were an electric guitar.
The Omnichord is still produced by Suzuki, but rebadged as the Q-chord. It features more modern versions of the original Omnichord's features.
- Brian Eno
- Daniel Lanois
- Joni Mitchell
- Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo)
- Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks)
- Jim James (My Morning Jacket)
- Brad Roberts (Crash Test Dummies)
- Dave Knudson (Minus the Bear)
- Tim Booth (James)
- Damon Albarn (Gorillaz)
- Ed Droste (Grizzly Bear)
- Matthew Murphy (The Wombats)
- Mark Foster (Foster the People)
- Oh Land
- Owen Ashworth (Casiotone for the Painfully Alone)
- Simon Jeffes (Penguin Cafe Orchestra)
- Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords)
- Stefan Olsdal (Placebo)
- Gregory Page
- Sergio Pizzorno (Kasabian)
- Donald Ross Skinner (Julian Cope)
- Blake Harnage (VersaEmerge)
- Sean Lennon
- Isabella Summers
- Zeena Parkins
- Catherine Pierce (The Pierces)
- Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel)
- Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran)
- The Magnetic Fields
- Hellogoodbye(Forrest Kline)
- Rune Brøndbo (sternklang, weebutee)
- Sharon Van Etten
- Robbie Robertson
- Amy Turnnidge (Theoretical Girl)
- Rebecca Sugar
- Tim Wanstall (Athlete)
- Alfred Darlington (Daedelus (musician))
- Elly Jackson (La Roux) (In For The Kill)
- Passenger (singer)
- Hills, Bruce (2 June 1982). "Device converts the musically illiterate into instant maestros". The Deseret News.
- Orensten, Evan (20 December 2007). "Suzuki Omnichord". Cool Hunting.
- Ollison, Rashod D. "Dixie Chicks: more edge to their roots". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 7 August 2006.
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