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Part 2: Instruments for Electronic Music Studios

The Oscillator Bank

Several oscillator banks (910218) of various configurations were built at Le Caine's National Research Council (NRC) lab to facilitate the electronic music method of sound generation.

Le Caine with Oscillator Bank (910218).
(National Library)

In 1957 a bank of 108 tone generators was built to provide large clusters of tones of different pitches. A later version of the instrument (860003-860013) used only 24 oscillators and was controlled by a touch-sensitive two-octave keyboard. Without the keyboard, the oscillators would have to be turned on and off manually, something that made any complex use of the sounds very difficult from a practical standpoint.