Mentalis

Photo of Mentalis

Mentalis by Arius Blaze.

Release date: 11-09-2014

Price: $1200

Waiting period: 1 to 3 weeks

There are only 25 of these being made and there will likely be nore more. Therefore, there will be the possibility of 25 complete triads.

Current video represents Mentalis as a solo instrument. Future video will show it within the triad, where it's capable of taking on new form. 

Part of the Materia/Mentalis/Aether triad of instruments.

The breakout box is sold seperately.

As a standalone instrument, Mentalis is designed specifically for drone. With Aether and/or Materia it becomes any variety of rhythmic things that are specifically not drone ;) Pass Aether through your body and into Mentalis' patchbay for processing, control Materia with the internal vactrol-based modulation, link the circuitry of Materia and Mentalis for unique oscillation and use Materia's sequencers to trigger the oscillators.

The analog synthesis of Mentalis is rich and deep and runs through an analog delay to create ever-changing fields of sound. It is, in essence, DIY synthesis experience designed to be experimented with. It is also a means, by default, for teaching some simple concepts of how basic building blocks of synthesis function and it is necessary that the player dive at least a bit into these idea lest the machine not make any sound at all. With that, understand that unpatched Mentalis mostly doesn't do anything but make some noise. It does allow Aether to pass through the depths of its circuitry and it does a fine job of that, but it is otherwise a mind that's never made the connection. Therefore, it's entirely necessary to route and reroute, plug twist, add and subtract to get just what you like.

Specifically there are two independant vactrol-based modulations, CV and four knobs that are all patchable to determine function and sound shaping. Patching is clear as everything is color coded so you know what's going to what. Therefore there are thousands of ways to generate sound and shape them and no wrong way to do it. Finally, the sound is sent through the internal analog delay where it gets nastied up.

For more DIY experience a small collection of components is included to allow you to build your own circuits on the removable patchbay. Turn Mentalis into a complex optical theremin, add components to alter the complexion of the sound or simply add more lights for asthetic purposes. Add parts, jumper and see what happens. 

There are three patchbays;

- The left patchbay is routed to the internal synthesis and has 17 points to connect however the player likes, adding any photocells, trim potentiometers, resistors, etc one likes to make for more possibility (though it's not necessary). Patching can be done directly to generate sound but it's nice to also patch to...

- The right patchbay represents four knobs, two modulation and CV input. The four knobs are of two different values to ensure that a range with synthesis generation/alteration can be had. The modulation interconnects any two points and functions from extremely slow to speedy.

- The center patchbay is removable and allows the user to make more complex circuits or flush out ideas to later be revisited...Like an old form of a memory card.

Included is an extra patchbay, plenty of patch cables, an array of components (Led's, photocells, resistors, capacitors, etc.), power supply.

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If you've purchased Materia or Aether (or both), a master power switch will be included as well as power jumpers so the Mentalis can act as the central power hub for all.

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To clarify;

- Aether oscillators pass through hands without audio cable.

- Aether CV controls Materia synthesis.

- Materia sequencing controls Aether, which is synchronized to Materia triggering but which can run on different timing.

- Materia can send Aether's sound back into Aether to use effects and mix with or without unaltered internal synthesis.

- Materia triggers Mentalis synthesis and travels through Mentalis circuitry to create new sounds.

- Mentalis accepts patching from Materia and allows the use of either modulation or any 4 patchable knobs.It also contains a removable patchbay to create a primitive memory for either or both Mentalis and Materia.

- Mentalis has a single touch plate which offers filtering, overdrive, etc. (similar to Materia) of Aether synthesis which also runs through the hands.

All three instruments can have power jumpered so only one supply is necessary. Mentalis is the power hub.

custom switches, touchplates and keys, bamboo box. 12v power.

 

Patch cables are supplied and come in all black or all colors of the rainbow. Please specify which you'd like. The type of plug is rather cheap and readily accesible so more can be purchased at any time.



 

Video

simple drone compilation

building a simple patch part 1

building a simple patch part 2