The World's First Step Synthesizer

Beilfuss introduce their synth with sixteen steps simply outlining the waveform      07/05/09
The World's First Step Synthesizer

The Beilfuss Synthesizer Company from Chicago have introduced what they are describing as the world's first step synthesizer. Here's what they have to say about it...
This thought-through system is the optimization of flexibility with controllability for keyboard. The step synthesizer brings new, never before heard, electronic sounds to music.
Unlike any analog or digital synthesizer's controls, the patented tone control consists of sixteen steps simply outlining the waveform as set by the Signal Controls you see at the left of the control panel. Similarly, the envelope and filter contour transients and their time intervals are also set by the Signal Controls for rhythms or extended notes. You may easily add prompted, parallel voicings, combining settings of both sides for complex notes.There are 32 controls and 142 pushbuttons for direct programming. Dedicated LED pushbuttons always read out their side of the full eight octave, split keyboard. Five octaves of transposition are possible.
Pricing and Availability:
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    10 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
    abc    Said...

    is this a jock

    07-May-09 11:59 AM

    abc    Said...

    is this a jock

    07-May-09 11:59 AM

    madmax    Said...

    No, but this is:

    07-May-09 12:19 PM

    Karplus    Said...

    Choose sixteen points for a wavefore was ried before in the Korg DWGS 8000, 6000. The 16 steps were set in stone then but it gave you a great variety of sound using the analog controls of the back end.

    07-May-09 01:39 PM

    anemic    Said...

    xoscillator in Kyma can do that (with lot's of points), with interpolation and without.

    07-May-09 03:38 PM

    Peter Ullrich    Said...

    This is patented? The German magazine ELO built this in the 80ies! A picture and the article is one my website:

    08-May-09 04:24 AM

    Sammy James, Boston    Said...

    What is great about this is that the Beilfuss showed up in Keyboard Magazine's GREAT book -- Vintage Synthesizers (page 102 in the 2000 edition with the red cover, or page 92 in the original 1993 edition with the white and yellow text on the front cover). Keith Willaims, from Illinois, debuted this synth in 1984 with a projected street price of $6,000. He claimed that in year 1999, the synth would cost twice the original projection.

    If this thing costs $12,000, you had better believe that it will either be a huge success or a miserable failure. But if history shows us anything, it is that sometimes, waiting isn't a bad thing. This Williams guy has been at it for close to thirty years. How many of us can claim that our ships are still waiting to come in? I hope that he makes it.

    I'm betting that he will.

    08-May-09 07:19 PM

    Sammy James, Boston    Said...

    Peter Ullrich Said... This is patented? The German magazine ELO built this in the 80ies! A picture and the article is one my website:


    You may be correct, and the product that you display on your site may have been patented as well. As for who patented what first, it is impossible for me to know. Patents can sometimes appear to steal from one another; the patent for each product can have the same exact result, while each has a different underlying technology. In this case, it is possible that both inventors received a patent on a product that does exactly what the other does -- albeit through different methods, each of which may be independently patentable.

    Also, there is no way to know based on the information given to us whether Williams invented his product first. We would need to know whether he filed for a patent, say, during the 1970s.

    Finally, unfortunate as it may be, inventors in different countries may come up with the same idea, and patent a product only in the country of origin. Of course, it is also possible that either Williams stole the idea from the article that you show on your page, or that Williams published an article that we haven't seen that was similiarly stolen by ELO. Again -- I'm not personally disputing what you wrote here. I'm simply offering some possible explanations that avoid culpability on either side.

    13-May-09 02:42 PM

    Sammy James, Boston    Said...

    One final note:

    Patents expire after 17 years.

    (I should have remembered and posted that first... I could have avoided the dissertation taht I just wrote... ah, well...)


    13-May-09 02:45 PM


    I heard this "thing" back in the 1980s. When I read about it, and that it was in Chicago, I decided to go check it out, since I live in Indiana. Keep in mind, I had bought one of the first Yamaha DX-7s and I had also heard a prototype of the Kurzweil K250 at Gand Music in Chicago. I drove to this guys house on a Saturday morning. He lived with his mom. I was a few minutes early and he was still in his bathrobe. The instrument sounded very dry. Changing the sliders made it sound like it was producing different types of pulse waves. Since there was no dual voices to detune, or built in chorus it just sounded bland.

    22-May-09 07:31 AM

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