The FingerPhone is a complete, fully polyphonic, 25-key touch synthesizer. It features:

  • Resistive sensing for pressure and area sensitivity that supports interaction with fingers, pens and other conductive and resistive materials and objects

  • Gold-plated maze pattern touch area for reliability and responsiveness

  • Independent tone generation for all 25-notes
  • Walsh Function Synthesis providing sine, square, pulse and other waveforms
  • A separate VCA for every key to modulate sound according to pressure and area change, aka Polyphonic aftertouch
  • Dedicated hardware provides zero latency responsiveness from the touch board. No scanning, no latency, no jitter, no voice stealing
  • All WaveForms are available separately panned into stereo according to pitch
  • Lightweight format is environmentally friendly and fits into a 14inch laptop case
  • Minimal mechanical components for increased reliability
  • Accessible components for repairability
  • Two Stereo Headphone output jacks for individual and shared listening
  • Line output jack with range of preset mixtures of the core waveforms
  • Input jack mixed to line output for playing along or daisy chaining a second FingerPhone for even more active touch keys
  • Trigger, Gate, Envelope and Octave Pitch for modular synth rigs
  • History by the designer, Adrian Freed

    I was fascinated as a teenager by the instrument that helped launch David Bowie's career, the StyloPhone. That instrument can only play one note at a time. I knew that if I build a circuit to sense fingers on a metal plate instead of a stylus, I could make a fully polyphonic instrument.

    That dream would have to wait a few years until I was 17 and able to build the sensing circuit, groove lines in a copper clad circuit board and arduously build the separate electronics for every key. When completed I discovered how interesting it was to be able slide chords around and swell the volume up and down with my fingers.

    Unfortunately back then, I couldn't solve the problem that the copper kept oxidizing and had to be sanded and polished before each playing session. This is solved with gold plating on the FingerPhone. I also discovered that I could change the loudness of individual notes by pressing firmly or lightly on the touch surface. That old prototype did not have enough sensitivity to be musically useful, which is why I developed the maze pattern for the touchboard of this instrument.

    I dubbed it the "FingerPhone" because your fingers are all that are needed to make it sound.

    Because chords can be formed and shifted comfortably, learning about harmony and improvising harmony is accelerated using the FingerPhone.

    The FingerPhone is played with intuitive, familiar gestures. Here are a few examples:

  • Single tones for a melody are made with a tap
  • Volume and tone quality are changed by pressing harder on a key, or alternatively, by laying more of a finger along a key segment.
  • Tremolo is done with a rocking motion
  • Grace notes are done by stroking Chord voicing is done by pinching
  • The unique sound of sliding a chord is a simple matter of establishing the chord with the fingers and sliding the hand along the surface.

    A Touch of Gold

    The FingerPhone surface you touch is real gold because:
  • Gold feels good to touch, and is not grabby or sticky like silicone
  • Gold is durable, which makes it long lasting
  • Gold is washable and sanitized with hand sanitizer or Isopropyl alcohol
  • Gold is hypoallergenic