One-Man Chorus All By Himself! (Jan, 1942)

One-Man Chorus All By Himself!

PROFESSOR F. A. FIRESTONE of the University of Michigan demonstrates a device which gives him ten voices. He places a curved glass tube in his mouth and goes through the motions of singing, while he plays a nova-chord. An electrical field translates his unsung words into the sound of the novachord, and the music comes out sounding like a chorus of ten voices! It’s good for breaking leases.

  1. DrewE says: January 13, 201210:53 am

    What a bizzare headline. If you aren’t working all by yourself, you aren’t doing a one-man anything.

    This sounds like it’s probably an early incarnation of the talk box. I don’t know what’s going on with the “electrical field” that’s translating the sounds–maybe just the MI writer not understanding (or not being told) what’s going on.

  2. EMFalk says: January 13, 201211:24 am

    Actually pretty cool instrument. This guy has a restoration project site with samples at the bottom of commercial recording: http://www.discretesynt… Neat stuff!

  3. fluffy says: January 13, 20121:45 pm

    “Breaking leases?” Does that phrase have an archaic meaning of which I wasn’t aware?

  4. Toronto says: January 13, 20123:53 pm

    Fluffy: If you wanted out of a lease, you threw a loud party and your landlord would kick you out. That way, you weren’t liable for the rent for the remaining term.

    I’d love to hear Professor Firestone perform Frampton’s “Do you feel like we do?”

    (For the teenagers in the crowd, Peter Frampton played his guitar through a tube in his mouth, sort of the opposite of this gizmo, in 1976.)

  5. Hirudinea says: January 13, 20124:54 pm

    @ EMFalk – Thanks for the link, that sounds pretty funky.

  6. fluffy says: January 13, 20125:09 pm

    Okay, so I guess landlords were a lot more strict about keeping their other tenants happy back then.

  7. Synthman says: January 13, 20125:37 pm

    The Hammond Novachord was a polyphonic synthesizer way, way ahead of its time. Only about 1200 were made from 1939 to 1941. It was a very complex instrument for its time. It used tubes to generate sound and not tone wheels like Hammond’s organs. Google it and read about it. Very interesting. Then listen to some of the sample sounds from it. Amazing! It wasn’t what I was expecting it sound like. Very rich strings on par with some of my gear, old or new.

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