Fancy a vintage Quintron Drum Buddy analog synth drum machine? 2


Stumbled across from a series of links, I’ll be honest that I’m not sure what I’d do with this, but it looks amazing. It’s a truly unique object, and it’s up for auction on eBay — current bid is US$5,000 so you need to be fairly serious.

What does it do? Well, let the seller explain (because I sure can’t):

“Up for auction is a brand new Quintronics DRUM BUDDY, a one of a kind light activated analog synthesizer / rhythm machine hand crafted by New Orleans musician and inventor Quintron. The basic principal of operation is that there are cadmium sulfide light sensors hidden inside the colored tubes around the rotating black can and as the light holes pass them by, the various oscillator sounds are charged, filtered, bleeped and blooped in a variety of different ways.

Each of the 4 oscillators is represented by a different color and each has been designed to complete a total rhythm kit, much the same way that the different elements of an acoustic trap set go together. The Blue pipe is the “kick drumâ€?, the red is the “snare drumâ€?, and the green is the “organ oscillatorâ€?. This green oscillator is raw VCO melodic organ tone controlled by “generalâ€? and “fineâ€? tuning knobs for playing songs in a whole new way – no chromatic scales on this instrument. The yellow is the “spaceâ€? or “scratchâ€? oscillator which is plain un-effected, eerie sine wave tone which increases and decreases directly depending on the amount of light that is shed upon it.

There is a 10 turn / 10K potentiometer wired to control the spinning can motor speed. This allows the player to precisely beat match DRUM BUDDY rhythms to DJ records, drum machines, railroad crossing signals…whatever. There are also various oscillator filters, on / off switches, and momentary buttons on the top panel and a general volume mixer on the front. There is also a light dimmer on the top panel which is a way to uniformly change the overall sound of all oscillators together. At its core the DRUM BUDDY is a straight up old school analog synth (built from scratch with the finest components) with a VERY unusual activation system which allows the player to create a variety of different fixed rhythms or to “scratchâ€? the different sounds by using the momentary switches and spinning the can by hand.

In addition to the sound synthesizing capabilities of the DRUM BUDDY, it is also a signal processor and can filter any instrument THROUGH to produce a strange ethereal bubbling effect onto the original signal. This is called the “WOBBLE FEATUREâ€?. There is a bypass on the top panel for this feature and the best thing about this new 2008 addition is that the wobble feature is a totally separate circuit from the DRUM BUDDY synthesizer sounds so that you can play BOTH at the same time and they will be in perfect rhythmic tandem….the possibilities for new sounds and rhythms are endless.

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ABOUT THE CABINET: The cabinet was built by New Orleans furniture maker Marvin Hirsch out of 100% virgin pecky cypress. The wood for this particular one came from the original Cypress harvest (sometime between 1880 and 1930) and the tree itself could have been hundreds of years old when it was cut. The pecky dark streaking is quite rare and is the result of a fungus that only effects older cypress trees. This special swampy wood is a living antique and most certainly predates the purchase of Louisiana by the United States in the early 1800s. Only 10 cypress Line Drum Buddies were built and there are no plans to build any more ever.

The Drum Buddy up for auction here is serial #1 and was originally intended to belong to Quintron (he decided to keep serial #6 with a strange cracked knot in the back as well as #10 – a green sinker cypress cabinet). All Drum Buddies in the world (less than 50 total and only 10 Cypress-Line) except this one here have found homes. This is it for a long long time….possibly ever. The cabinet is truly one of the most beautiful ever made and very unique.

Profits from this sale will go to the New Orleans Musician’s clinic. Please visit to learn about their tireless effort to provide health care to noninsured New Orleans musicians.

This Drum Buddy comes with two different cans – a “TWO STEPâ€? can and a “SLOW RIDEâ€? can as well as a manual, power cord, and a static DRUM BUDDY DUSTER for cleaning the instrument. Also included will be a special kit for instructing how to cut your own cans! You will also receive the original broadcast version DRUM BUDDY INFOMERCIAL on Vhs tape and a rare signed test pressing of the original DRUM BUDDY DEMO lp.

So there you go. Pretty impressive. Interested bidders only have until 5th February.

Auction page (via Make:)

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