|Classification||Electronic musical instrument, Synthesizer|
|Inventor(s)||Suzuki Musical Instrument Corporation|
|Tronichord, Autoharp, Keytar|
The Omnichord is an electronic musical instrument introduced in 1981 by the Suzuki Musical Instrument Corporation. It typically features a touch plate known as "SonicStrings", preset rhythms, auto-bass line functionality, 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 SonicStrings with a finger in imitation of strumming a stringed instrument. The SonicStrings may also be touched in one place to create a single note. Originally designed as an electronic Autoharp, the Omnichord has become popular, due to its unique, chiming, harplike timbre and its value as a kitsch object.
The Omnichord and its prototypes, the Tronichord and Portachord (the latter two never reached full production) share many technical and functional similarities. Omnichords feature preset rhythms with a tempo and volume control, as well as an auto-bass line feature, actuated by a button, which the player may use as accompaniment. Several models of the Omnichord were produced that added MIDI compatibility, a selection of voices for the SonicStrings, vibrato, 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 a Keytar.
The Omnichord is still produced by Suzuki, but rebadged as the Q-chord. It features more modern versions of the original Omnichord's features such as PCM sampled sounds, and more rhythms.
- Damon Albarn
- David Bowie
- Brian Eno
- Scott Doonican
- Jim James
- Daniel Lanois
- Cyndi Lauper
- Natalie Maines
- Ali McGregor
- Mark Mothersbaugh
- Lael Neale
- Amanda Palmer
- Rebecca Sugar
- Taylor Swift
- Amon Tobin
- Jane Weaver
- 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. Archived from the original on 7 September 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- "Daniel Lanois on 'The Making Of' Brian Eno's 'Apollo'".
- "Long Stories liner notes". Nomark.
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