Back in January we introduced you to the Vo Wand, a handheld magnetic string exciter that lets you vibrate and sustain your guitar strings and is as easy to use as a pick. At the time, the Vo Wand was still in the prototyping stage.
The Vo Wand is now called the Wond, and it’s close to becoming a reality.
Wond creator Paul Vo has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the device with several funding/preorder opportunities. As of this post, the campaign has achieved nearly $30,000 toward its $35,000 goal, with 25 days left to go.
The Wond lets you create ethereal string- and flute-like sounds from any steel-stringed instrument. It also has several great features that make it an expressive and easy-to-use tool.
You can control the power that the Wond applies to the strings simply by changing how hard you pinch the device. This, in turn, changes the timbre of the string tones.
The Wond also features tactile feedback, allowing you to feel the magnetism as it touches each string and making it easy to position the Wond on the strings. There is also a headlight LED that helps you align the Wond with the string, adding yet another sensory indicator. Look below the video for a complete list of features.
The Wond is the latest creation to use Paul Vo’s Acoustic Synthesis method of sound design, which involves the amount of energy applied to an instrument’s strings. Vo previously put Acoustic Synthesis to work in the Vo-96 Acoustic Synthesizer, a device that controls the vibrations of an acoustic guitar’s strings, providing synthesizer-like sounds and performance capabilities that are both highly musical and fully within the performer’s control. Vo is also the creator of the technology behind the Moog Guitar and Moog Lap Steel.
You can see the Wond in action in the video below. Check it out, and when you’re finished, browse over to Paulvo.com to see the Vo-96 Acoustic Synthesizer. And of course, swing by the Wond’s Kickstarter page. A minimum pledge of $198 will get you a signed production Wond (the $179 pledges for the first 100 Wonds have been fulfilled). It is expected to ship October 2015.
• Exciter Coils – These are the coils used to excite the string of your instrument. They are controlled by how firmly you pinch the Wond. You can also use the different switches on the Wond to control their behavior.
• LED “Headlight” Guide/Slide – Dual purposed to offer a slide much like a traditional guitar slide. The durable notched tip allows you to slide notes on the string while manipulating them with the Wond. In addition, the Wond’s “Headlight” LED helps you align Wond to the string visually – when the LED light falls on the string you are close to the sweet spot!
• Multi-colored LED – Illuminates when the Wond is activated by the Pinch Control. The LED is also used as a battery charge indicator. It will glow less and less blue and more red as the battery depletes, giving you a visual warning of when to charge the Wond.
• Pinch Zone – This is the area of the Wond that you pinch to excite the string. Pinching this spot governs the Wond’s behavior. With Pressure mode set to Off, pinching will simply apply power to the string. With the Pressure switch On, the pressure you apply to the Wond is translated into a control signal to governing the Wond’s power and harmonic response.
• Morphic Switch – Selects between two different Wond behaviors that produce different sets of timbres.
• Haptic Switch – In the On position, this will provide tactile feedback to the player through the Wond so the string can be “felt” as the Wond approaches the “sweet spot”. This feedback changes according to how close the Wond is to the string and also according to the amplitude of string vibration. There is enough information in this tactile feedback to play by feel, even with your eyes closed.
• Power Switch – Turns all power off to the Wond when you are not using it.
• Charging Connection – Located at the rear of the Wond, this allows you to re-charge the Wond when the battery is low or depleted.