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Electronic Musical Instruments

Current Projects

The Haydn Step Sequencer

We spent several years developing this rather cool instrument and, on paper at least, Haydn was well-specified and did everything it was supposed to.

Sadly, by the time we felt the instrument was ready to launch, the market had moved on and there were better and less expensive sequencers available. USB, and Midi-over-USB, in particular had become an essential feature and Haydn didn't have USB. Worse, some of the components we'd carefully and thoughtfully chosen because they were the best available had suddenly ceased to exist.

Consequently, Haydn #1 was effectively abandoned. The software we developed for the product was ported to another platform and the protoype instrument was stuffed in a box out in the garage.

It's actually a realy nice little sequencer. Easy to work with. Easy to navigate. The timing was rock solid and it looked really good too. It belongs in a studio, earning its keep.

Anything less is a waste.

Click here to visit the Haydn Sequencer Page

The Plasma Synthesiser

Another rather wonderful instrument was the Plasma Synthesiser, which we developed all the way up to a full prototype. Like Haydn it was put on display at various trade shows and seemed popular. Alas, the microprocessor at the heart of Plasma suddenly became difficult to source and the synthesis model began to sound stale and dated. Worse, the audio lacked clarity compared to more modern instruments. The sound might have been acceptable in, say, 1993 but not in 2015.

Sadly, the Plasma project was shelved and dumped in a box.

Again, a waste.

However, skip forward a couple of years and a new family of microprocessors appeared on the scene. Faster and with a well-supported and well-specified sound synthesis library already in place and USB as standard, we discovered that with a little bit of effort we could kick-start Plasma all over again and, whilst it would never be a full product - its specification is way behind even the most basic of current synthesisers - at least the initial effort would not have been wasted.

Better still, as we went deeper and deeper into the new sound engine, as more and more developers delivered extensions to the original library, we discovered that we could make Plasma sound absolutely amazing - certainly as good, if not better, than many instruments already out there. How about a polyphonic FM synthesiser with sample playback and cross modulation all going through a very flexible filter setup coupled to amazing effects processor, and driven by a built-in sequencer?

Sounds good, right?

Click here to visit the Plasma Synth Page


This is about Waste. Wasted time. Wasted effort. Wasted resources. Waste is the worst by-product of the industrial process.

We don't like Waste.

We're going to resurrect and re-develop past projects then take them to their logical conclusion. And maybe learn from our mistakes, too.

Also, because these projects are not products (there's a difference), we're free to talk about them, free to discuss aims and objectives, free to discuss progress. There's no veil of secrecy, no hidden goals, no need to keep everything under wraps for fear of commercial ruin.

At the end of this process maybe, just maybe, these wonderful legacy instruments might inspire another group of enthusiasts, maybe get them building their own instruments and, thereafter, encourage them to start playing with sound and music. Or maybe they'll help someone on their way to an engineering qualification. Who knows? I guess that's the fun of it.

Ultimately, these boxes represent a period of time in my life. They represent a small chuck of my enthusiam and my energy. Those are my most valuable resources and I'd hate to see the fruits of those precious commodoties stuck at the back of a cupboard or hidden away in the attic, or worse, dumped in a landfill site as just another piece of consumerist garbage.

Best wishes,
David & Infection Music / Unreal Devices

Demoing Haydn Sequencer

Synthfest, Sheffield 2017

Plasma Synth (far left), Haydn Sequencer (centre), Zyra Sequencer (right)

Synthfest, Sheffield 2017


Contact Unreal Devices

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Please note that our hours are (for the time being) Monday - Thursday : 1830 - 2030, Friday : 1830 - 1930.
The office is closed Saturday and Sunday, and all major holidays.