Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Edison's Mellotron

Unpowered sample player, based on a cylinder phonograph.
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A two foot long steel cylinder, hosting the nitrided spiral grooves that correspond to the pitches of the 37 note keyboard, is loaded onto the spindle.

The player dons a mechanical handpiece which roughly positions the 5 needle&horn assemblies over their targets.

Pressing one of the keys positions the horn precisely to the start of the spiral groove and lowers the needle. Releasing the key lifts the needle and repositions the horn back to the beginning of the spiral.

Volume control is accomplished by a mute that fits into the horn; pitch bend by goosing the CVT, which otherwise turns the spindle at a constant rate, powered by the bicycle pedal assembly and chain-drive.

FlyingToaster, Feb 02 2016

Cat organ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_organ
" ... so that they cry out in pain when a key is pressed." [8th of 7, Feb 03 2016]

[link]






       I'm enthusiastically bunning this and I'll tell you why.   

       I'm a big fan of inventions that are a little tweak of the technology of the day. Something that, had it been thought of, people would have absolutely done.   

       Had Edison thought of this you know he absolutely would have done it.   

       Little tweak on your design FT: Large cylinder with 37 continuous grooves, each groove forming a continuos loop of the note required. The assembly runs constantly within a sound deadened box. The 37 needles and their tubes all go to the amplification horn via valves that can be opened or closed by a keyboard.   

       Much easier.
doctorremulac3, Feb 02 2016
  

       We prefer the cat organ <link>
8th of 7, Feb 03 2016
  

       This is an excellent idea.   

       As a plus, instead of one groove per note, have several (same note, but different tones or samples), offset slightly. A setting lever could then switch between the different voices.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 03 2016
  

       Both valid redesign possibilities, granted, but in the first i reasoned that one horn - permanently attached - per needle would provide more volume; the second I figured on having them on a reel that would roll to a different timbre.   

       [8th] that would be more of a drumkit sample.
FlyingToaster, Feb 03 2016
  
      
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