The Eowave Persephone was an interesting ribbon synthesizer that let musicians control frequency by moving their fingers across a long touch sensor. Ben Glover used to own one, but sold it. During shipping to the buyer, it got lost in the mail and so Glover can’t even buy it back. He regretted losing his Eowave Persephone, so he decided to create his own ribbon synthesizer called the Screech Owl.
If you could even find one, buying a used Eowave Persephone today would likely set you back at least a thousand dollars. But the Screech Owl is affordable to build, operates in the same manner, and sounds very similar. Glover is a novice maker and was able to pull of this project by outsourcing much of the work to ChatGPT and vendors on Fiverr.
One part that Glover designed himself was the custom PCB that acts as a shield for an Arduino Leonardo board. The Arduino handles the synthesis according to the input coming from the ribbon. That ribbon is actually two sensors: a SoftPot 500mm-long membrane potentiometer for position and thin film pressure sensor to measure force for aftertouch. Those components fit into a simple but attractive, laser-cut MDF enclosure.
Now Glover can relive the experience of playing the Eowave Persephone without the immense cost.