Ebay of the Day: Triadex Muse

In the late 1960s, when all synths were big black boxes that looked like electronic test equipment, two MIT professors invented this thing: The Triadex Muse. It's often billed as the first digital synth, but it's not really a synth - it's a sequencer, or at least a composition machine. The sliders affect the musical notes, not the sound produced (although you seem to be stuck with the on-board sound - it won't connect to anything else). As the Synth Museum says: "The exact logic behind the composition engine is rather technical, and not exactly intuitive." One of the MIT professors was Marvin Minsky, the artificial intelligence legend who advised Stanley Kubrick during the filming of 2001 - ultimately, he's the father of Hal 9000. There's a very primitive 'virtual Muse' program here. Only 280 Muse machines were ever produced, so it seems odd that 0.7% of them are on Ebay at the moment: this one for $1,299 and this one starting at $999.

My God -- I'm not sure why, but seeing a picture of this at 7:55am shocked me awake, almost like it was a picture of my ex-wife (but much more pleasant) -- I remember this thing from waaaay back, I guess I must've seen pictures in Popular Science or Popular Electronics?
I've been watching the used Triadex market for a few years now, sad as that statement is. They nearly always come in waves, as though one for sale triggers someone else to sell theirs as well.

Collectable 'n cool? Oh yeah.

Indispensible gear? Worth it for the $$? Eh, just download & enjoy the emulator for free instead.
here is the emulator
Oh, dear. I should get around to fixing mine; it's been in pieces for over a year, now. there's a short (well, a break, I guess), somewhere and it only works if I twist the circuit board....
Ha! I guess I re-invented the wheel back in 1975. I authored an article in 73 Magazine called "the sound of random numbers" that used the same technology: it was a 16-bit shift register (Johnson Counter) circuit controlling a VCO made from a 555 timer.
Holy smokes! I used to own one of these! Someone gave it to me in return for cleaning out their basement in Brookline, MA. I was young and stupid and let it slip through my fingers. No idea where it is now. Oh well.
fishtown pete bought 2 of these at a flea market 1970(?) for $10 each - me and kuetemeyer drilled holes in the case to install jacks for clock out to synch up some other stuff - the boxes and fishtown pete both got lost sometime around 1980 (?)- i could not figure it out then and the emulator is
just as mysterious
In the early 70's a store called Bldg 19 in Hingham, MA. had loads of Triadex Muses for sale, piled on a large table, (Bldg 19 is an overstock/insurance stock type store) and were selling for about $25.00 apiece as I remember, no info, instructions or documentation on them. Apparently a lot did not work. I bought one that worked as did a couple of friends. We were in garage bands and were always looking for different sounds to use. This unit did make cool sounds, but was more of a stand alone unit, as opposed to hooking it through something else like a guitar or keyboard. We got bored with them in a few months and either traded or sold them. I was always curious of what they were about. Just a bit of historical info.
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