Stardrive is a spacey drone synth made by sampling a gentleman's grooming accessory motor with a guitar.

The story

Stardrive was an accidental creation from an experiment using a gentlemen’s grooming accessory as an EBow on my Yamaha Pacifica guitar. I nearly changed the battery in the accessory until I realised the struggling motor provided some nice ‘vintage’ imperfections and tuning instability, like a very old stardrive (some imagination required here).

The base sample was recorded through a mix of the neck/middle Alnico5 single coil pickups which reduced noise and provided some nice harmonics. After numerous attempts trying out various pre-amps, I settled on my Boss GT001 using the SLR connection to leverage the nice pre-amp lurking behind it, I normally use this for my electro-acoustic.

I resampled the processed waveform at 3rd intervals to give the instrument some breathing space. The surprise was how different it sounds several octaves either side of the root (D#3), it’s like a multi-instrument using keyboard splits. You have classic stardrive drone at the C1 end and some nice 80s strings at the C5 end, very usable to my ears.

Finally, I must give credit to Sven Hastedt for the gratis video I used for my YouTube track, he makes stellar stuff, check him out.


Reviews for Stardrive

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  • Out of this world

    This is a great sound. Beautiful, other worldly textures here that are organic and choral in nature. This would fit beautifully behind some other instruments or as in the demo video create an ambience all on its own.

    Really nice work.

    Mike Martin13 June 2022