WATCH: Man fuses prosthetic arm into modular synth to make music with his mind

Culture 21/02/2020

An electronic music fan cum casual DJ has found a way to physically create music through his thoughts, and it’s pretty incredible.

While he insists that he is “not an engineer”, Bertolt Meyer’s skills are pretty hard to deny, as he demonstrates how he connected his prosthetic arm to his modular synth to help him produce music with ease.

Meyer was born without the bottom part of his left arm, and he has somehow found a way to synchronise the electrode signal receivers in his prosthetic to his modular setup via a custom circuit board. The circuit board then converts electrodes sent to his appendage to triggers for different parts of his synth. The result is pretty much telepathic music-making, with Meyer’s mind completely controlling his sonic output. Not only is it pretty damn cool, but Meyer’s groundbreaking invention could also possibly act as a solution for other prosthetic owners who want to make electronic music. 

“Together with Chrisi from KOMA Elektronik and my husband Daniel, I am in the process of building a device (the "SynLimb") that attaches to my arm prosthesis instead of the prosthetic hand,” reads the Youtube video description. 

“The SynLimb converts the electrode signals that my prosthesis picks up from my residual limb into control voltages (CV) for controlling my modular synthesizer. The SynLimb thus allows me to plug my prosthesis directly into my synthesizer so that I can control its parameters with the signals from my body that normally control the hand. For me, this feels like controlling the synth with my thoughts. I show the prototype(s), explain how we put it together and how it works, and do a little demo.”

Check Meyer out in action in the video above.