The Landscape Ferrous, New Device Coaxes New Sounds From Stringed Instruments

Designer Eric Pitra of Landscape has introduced a new handheld device, Ferrous, that offers a way to get new sounds from steel-stringed instruments like guitar, piano, bass, etc.

The Landscape Ferrous, created with Artist/Performer/designer Victoria Shen, lets you magnetically ‘strum’ strings, creating harmonically complex “ghostly sounds” not normally associated with these instruments.

Ferrous’ spinning disc contains six strong earth magnets. Adjusting the rotational speed of the disc will change which strings are most affected and their harmonic content.

If the disc is spinning slowly, lower strings resonate; if the disc is spinning quickly higher strings will resonate louder. The results can sound like an unknown instrument in a reverberated physical space, floating sine wave tones, or feedback.

Fluctuation of rotation speed by using the thumbwheel, rev button, touch-plate or control voltage input can create a soft strumming effect across multiple strings or shifts in harmonic content. New harmonics and overtones can emerge from both lower and higher strings as the disc spins faster. The distance at which Ferrous is held from strings affects how strongly they will resonate and their harmonics.

If Ferrous is placed near guitar pickups you will hear the heavy sounds of the magnets and the motor, with the resulting pitch based upon the disc’s RPM.

A large collection of audio demos are available at the Landscape website.

The Landscape Ferrous is priced at $180. There’s currently a pre-order waiting list on the website.


Leave a comment

Name: (Required)

eMail: (Required)