Antique Equipment, Homebrewing, News, Test Equipment

Making Music With Test Equipment


Thanks to my good friend Justin KE8COY, I am posting a very interesting link about a fellow who is using old radio test equipment to make music.

The video is very interesting, as is some of the background information he gives about the early history of synthesizers which actually used radio test equipment. That was something new to me. I confess also to being a bit jealous that this musician knows more about operating the old test equipment already than I do! But I digress. (Ahem!)

Here is a bit of info from the site:

In his latest video, German synthesist Hainbach explores an early electronic music technique – making music with test equipment.

Here’s what he has to say about the live performance:

In which I go to the roots of electronic music by playing laboratory tools, among them a 26kg sine generator.

I have had a fascination with test equipment ever since I heard Stockhausen’s early works at university. The challenges the composers of that time faced were unique, both musically and technically. So when I first visited the Waveform Research Center in Rotterdam run by Dennis Verschoor an idea started in the back of my head, that I put into reality over the past two weeks: to have my own test equipment setup to compose on.

This is the very first piece I made with this setup. I still have lots to learn, but I am looking forward to expanding and combining this with tape techniques.

You can watch the video here:

Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll make some music with my old test equipment. That would surely amuse my musician wife! Cheers!


  • Reply Justin KE8COY 01/31/2019 at 3:31 pm

    Hey, Robert… thanks for putting this out there, but I thought you should know you making music with test equipment wouldn’t amuse just your wife. It would amuse all of us!

  • Reply Justin P Moore 01/31/2019 at 3:39 pm

    Kidding aside… yeah, the very early electronic music was all built up from scratch using oscillators, sine wave generators, etc. The soundtrack for the original Doctor Who was recorded all of this kind of equipment to tape and then spliced together into the song -before there were even four-tracks.

    Check out these pictures of the BBC radiophonic workshop for more test equipment being pressed into musical service:

    And here is a BBC documentary about Delia Derbyshire who worked at the radiophonic workshop and created the Doctor Who soundtrack. It really is a fascinating story:

    …and I’ll be happy to make some test equipment music with you!

  • Reply Jennifer Gulley 03/23/2019 at 3:29 pm

    Glorious writings AND I will attest to Robert’s incredible musicianship. Wife
    pick that key! 🐩

  • Reply Robert 03/23/2019 at 3:47 pm

    I’ll have you all know I sing in a very special key — my key!! 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer 07/17/2019 at 10:21 am

    Which often swings between e-sharp and c-flat. Wife

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