Triadex Muse [1972]⁣

A sequencer-based synthesizer designed by Edward Fredkin - an early pioneer of digital physics - and Marvin Minsky - a cognitive scientist and author of several texts concerning AI and philosophy.⁣ They developed the synth at MIT.

What an interesting looking machine! Looks like it could've come straight out of a 1970s retro futuristic sci-fi film.

According to an article on Edgadet, at the time of the Triadex Muse’s creation, Marvin Minsky was moonlighting on the set of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, teaching Kubrick about Artificial Intelligence as he created Hal. One of the movie's characters from 2001, Victor Kaminski, was even named in Marvin Minsky's honor.

Designed to replace a radio and “improvise” melodies, the Triadex Muse uses eight 40-position slider switches which control a series of digital logic circuits using complicated algorithms. It produces a sequence of notes based on different parameter settings, including four sliders that control Volume, Tempo, Pitch, and Fine Pitch. Vintage Synth Explorer says it could potentially take you years to loop back around to the beginning of the sequence you started, so give yourself some time to use this machine.⁣

Apparently, only 280 of these were ever made.

synthhistory [at]