Today I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a great device, the so called Subharchord, which was developed during the 1960s in East Berlin (GDR) by Ernst Schreiber. It somehow cannot be compared to a regular sythesizer. As I understood, it’s a subharmonic Sound Generator. Normally, sounds that are produced by conventional instruments and in the natural world are a combination of notes each with a different pitch. Each fundamental has various overtones (so-called harmonics). Subharmonic sounds are produced by dividing the frequency into subharmonics or, let’s say undertones. Subharmonic sounds do not exist in nature and differ from the sounds produced by conventional synthesizers. So, as you can imagine, it produces quite spacy sounds, mostly used for radio and television productions in the German Democratic Republic.
All together, there were only less then 10 Subharchords produced. Thanks to a tour to the Studio of electroacoustic music in the Academy of Arts in Berlin, I found this little beautiful fellow…
For loads of additional information, there’s this nice website.