In late 2011 I received and built a Meeblip synthesiser. This is an open source synth that you build yourself (though a pre-built version is now available). It only costs $50 (for the kit version) and is very well supported online, though a little familiarity with a soldering iron is a reasonable prerequisite. Once mine was built, I trawled the big weekly flea market in Vienna for a suitable case. As you can see, it ended up fitting perfectly into an old radio that is an almost perfect match for the Busilacchio Organ – even to the extent of having all the relevant connections I needed (power, audio out and MIDI in), though I did replace the originals as the connectors were very badly rusted. The sound it produces is fairly gritty, not unlike the computers of the 80’s, but that is part of its charm. Here is a short video of my Meeblip being constructed.
The Busilacchio Organ (affectionately known as Mr. Wheezy) is a small electric organ produced in the 60’s that gives a sound not unlike a harmonium, but without the pump action sounds. It contains a number of metallic tines, across which air is blown using an electric pump. This is not a quiet instrument – perhaps this could be improved by replacing the pump with something more modern an efficient. I have already used the instrument on several of The Lunacy Board tracks as it has a certain warmth that is lacking in electronic versions.
On to the music; first of all we have a legato Meeblip melody that slides from note to note as the Busilacchio organ skips along at its side, pretending to be an accordion.
The second track features a brassy synth riff on the Meeblip with gentle organ underpinning (including rotary speaker simulation). A second Meeblip follows along in the upper register for effect.
Now for some sleazy slow meeblip synths with an organ baseline.