-What is a Lyricon? The Lyricon is an analog electronic wind synthesizer. The Lyricon was invented by Bill Bernardi and Roger Noble of Computone Inc, in Massachussetts in the early 1970's. Three models were built: The original Lyricon I (additive synthesis, one oscillator split into different overtones), the Lyricon Driver (to be connected to an external analog synthesizer through Control Voltages), and the Lyricon II (with two oscillators, filter and LFO). No MIDI functionality was added, because MIDI didn't exist yet. Later MIDIfication modules were developed by JL Cooper and STEIM, but never worked very well. Of the Lyricon I, about 200 units were hand made, and about 2000 units of the Driver and the Lyricon II were manufactured by Selmer.

-Why is the Lyricon such an expressive instrument? The Lyricon reacts to wind pressure (the harder you blow, the louder the sound), lip pressure (for pitch bend and vibrato) and of course to changes in pitch by fingering. The body is modeled after the fingerings of the saxophone, with a few clarinet-like keys, and two octave keys (additional octave up and down switches are available through a foot pedal). Some people call it the synthesizer that is closest to the human body, because of these three control parameters (most keyboards only have two), and because of the fact that it works with (continuous) control voltages, rather than MIDI. The MIDI protocol works in small steps (zeros and ones), resulting in less fluent controls for wind and lip.

-How is it different from the EWI or WX7? Don't confuse the Lyricon with either the EWI (made by Akai) or the Yamaha WX5 or WX7. These are MIDI-based electronic wind instruments, invented after the Lyricon, capable of doing very different things (such as sounding like a string orchestra or drum machine). The MIDI-based Yamaha WX7 was modeled after the design of the Lyricon, which is one of the reasons the Lyricon lost in the small market of wind synthesizers in the 1980’s.

-What is the difference between the Lyricon I and the Lyricon II or Lyricon Wind Driver? Originally, when Bernardi invented the Lyricon I he modeled the control voltages for pitch after the overtone series, which meant an exponential increase of voltage for each octave. But other analog (modular) synth manufacturers such as Moog, ARP and Oberheim used a linear approach of 1 volt per octave. Bernardi received many requests to make the Lyricon compatible with other analog synths. Thus he invented the Lyricon Driver, which could be paired with these synths, and later the Lyricon II, which had it’s own two-oscillator analog synth built in. So the Lyricon I is NOT compatible with the Driver and the Lyricon II, and can NOT be used in conjunction with other analog synths. Only the Lyricon Wind Driver and the Lyricon II are. More on analog synths and the Lyricon below.

-Where can I buy a Lyricon? They are hard to find, but sometimes they show up on Ebay. The majority of them don't work very well anymore, so beware!! A Lyricon in questionable shape (needs repair) can go up to $750, a working Lyricon I could go up to $2500, a working Lyricon II or Driver between $500 and $2000 or so. In many cases the owner does not know if the instrument is still working properly or not. If you have one for sale or are seriously looking for one, please post a comment below to the Marketplace post.

-My Lyricon produces a constant sound, regardless if I blow into it, or turn the threshold knob. What's wrong? Most Lyricons that haven't been played for a few years, don't function well anymore. The membrane in the transducer gets hard, and the Lyricon doesn't respond to wind pressure anymore. The Lyricon will produce a constant sound, and upon blowing into it, the volume won't change. This is bad news, the membrane needs to be replaced, a time consuming and tedious repair job. Especially the Lyricon I has fragile 1970's style electronics inside, that can have a temperament...

-Where can I get my Lyricon repaired? Up to a few years ago, the only person who could rally repair them was the inventor himself: Bill Bernardi. But unfortunately Bill passed away in February 2014. Lyricon player Jorrit Dijkstra and electronic technician David O’Brien are helping the Bernardi family to continue the Lyricon legacy, and to set up a small repair business. The Bernardi family has given David exclusive access to Bill’s archive of documentation and spare parts. Please contact David O’Brien (see link on right) if you want your Lyricon repaired. Please contact Jorrit Dijkstra for questions about the Lyricon history and for musical questions on how to use the Lyricon.

-How can I hook up my Lyricon to the Eurorack system of modular synths? The Lyricon Wind Driver has outputs for Pitch, Wind and Lip control voltages, as well as a Gate signal, which can be plugged directly into Eurorack synth modules. However, David O’Brien is also working on a Eurorack interface between the Lyricon II/Driver body and the Eurorack system of analog synthesis, which eliminates the use of the Lyricon Wind Driver and Lyricon II case. Please contact him for more details on this module if you are interested.

-More on Eurorack modules and the Lyricon: These days a wide range of small boutique analog synth companies are building a great collection of very interesting analog synth modules, that can be used in conjunction with the Lyricon. To get a very basic setup you only need one or two VCOs, a filter, a VCA module and an output module. Additional modules such as LFO, wave shaper, ring modulator can be added for more sound options. There is no need for an envelope generator, because the Wind signal is already a modulation source (envelope) that can shape the amplifier through an VCA module. The Lip signal can be used to shape the filter, the LFO rate, or various other modulation parameters. A great resource for modular synths is http://www.modulargrid.net

3/26/07

Marketplace: Sell or Buy a Lyricon

Want to sell or buy a Lyricon? Write a comment to this post.

64 comments:

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...

Today (3/30/07) I sold a Lyricon II in excellent condition for $1080.00 cash. I bought it used in 1983 and took excellent care of it. This post is to help other buyers and sellers with a price reference. Many thanks to Jorrit for his Lyricon pages and blog! :)

Amp said...

Hello Folks ! My brother as a Lyricon 1 in Excellent condition and would like to sell it.All the original manual included . Let me know if your interested

Amp said...

If you wish to inquire about the Lyricon ii i have please contact me or leave a blog . It is in excellent condition and is available for purchase

nickmostly said...

amp
this may be drumb, but how do I contact you about the lyricon.

Thanx
Nickmostly

UrbGuru said...

I'd love to buy lyticon II in great working condition and maybe lyticon I later on
Michal Urbaniak,
urbguru@gmail.com

UrbGuru said...

How Much is the Lyricon I you have for sale?
Michal Urbaniak
urbguru!gmail.com

Daniel said...

Either of these still available?

Anonymous said...

I have a lyricon wind driver, no idea of its working condition, unused for years, bought it S/H with other pieces of kit. It's cosmetically in good condition. Will let it go for Euro 450 exc. shipping, it's in Paris France. contact me at dkorn at soundmanagers dot com

Anonymous said...

By the way, there is a great wind controller forum at the Patchman Music website. It's a great place to discuss the Lyricon as well as all other wind controller models and it is very active with over 2000 members! Info is here:

http://www.patchmanmusic.com/forum/

Also, they have a nice Lyricon repair info page here:

http://www.patchmanmusic.com/lyriconrepair.html

David Marsland said...

I have two Lyricons, one is a II in good condition. The other is a very odd Lyricon I with TWO synths wired to a single controller. Both unfortunately have the stiff membrane issue (if I'd known I would have played them more regularly). Electronically OK, I have played both, I seem to recall the II had an issue with a faulty switch. The oddball 'stereo' Lyricon I is certainly the only one I know to exist. Contact me at marsland at aol dot com for pictures if anyone is interested. Would love to have Bill repair them but I really don't have time to play these much, they need a good home.

;)

Dave Marsland

Anonymous said...

I have a wind driver with original literature. it's hardly played. it would need a tune-up for the transducer and a few of the switchs. immij22 at ya hoo. i also have a lyricon II but i think i might want to keep that. both have MIDI.

jdph said...

I have a wind driver for sale. hardly played. original owner. all literature. needs circuit and transducer tune-up. MIDI. immij22 at ya hoo and i have a lyricon II but i think i'll keep it.

graham@ghastly.demon.co.uk said...

I have a Lyricon I instrument for sale, just the instrument and cable in the black velvet tray, no synthesizer or case.
I do not know if it works or not, some of the plating is worn by playing use! The reed clamp has some corrosion, so I think it needs a full checkout and overhaul. If it does not work it is still a useful source of spares.
Contact me for a photo. Offers?

Anonymous said...

I have an opportunity to buy back my old Lyricon 1. I can't get Bill Bernardi to respond to inquires regarding repair/overhaul. Can anyone help ? -Mike
swbca@hotmail.com

Chuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck said...

hi,
i have a Lyricon I for sale. i bought it new and am the sole owner. it's in excellent condition. i'd like $2500 for it or the best offer. the owner's manual and hard case are included, plus AC line cords and screwdrivers. come to detroit, michigan to buy it or pay shipping and handling. i'll email you photos upon request and can play it for you over the phone. email me at: lyricon.one@gmail.com

AJAX said...

I have a Lyricon purchased in 1997 or 1998. I have not played it since the year purchased. Would like to sell. Price $800.

Anonymous said...

I own a lyricon and the sensor has dried up. Bernardi has not responded to email requests. Is there ANYONE else that knows how to do this repair, or does anyone know where to get the material that makes up the sensor? Plese email me at protocol66 at gmail dot com.

steve said...

I have a Lyricon I that has been sitting in my basement for years. It does not play and I'm guessing because the membrane in the instrument has dried up and would need to be replaced. I'm wanting to sell it. It is in good condition except for the membrane. I will send pictures upon request. If anyone is interested please make an offer. 1/3/09

Joel said...

I haven't been able to reach Bill either at his AOL address. E-mail was sent on 2/15/09. I hope everything is okay with him.

Anybody know the story?

(I have a Lyricon 1 that needs some major repairs)

Peace. (Nice to see others posting with their own instruments)

Joel said...

Hello Steve,

Are you still looking for a buyer for your Lyricon I?

Peace.

KoriLinae said...

I am looking for a Lyricon, if you could contact me I would appreciate that. My email kcarothers@mac.com

Anonymous said...

Has anyone had luck buying a membrane for the Lyricon 1? Mine is on its way out, and B.B. has not responded to any of my queries over the past two years...!

Thank you for any info...

MASA said...

0.3mm Chloroprene rubber sheet and silicone sealer works fine for my Lyricons. If you want to DIY... Visit my website. Sorry, it's Japanese only but you can see the picture.

Anonymous said...

Masa,

Wow, that would be great if we could DIY repair dried up membranes -- can you send a link to your preferred outlet for purchasing the rubber sheet you mentioned to replace the dried membranes?

Thanks!

MASA said...

Yeah, it works great for my Lyricons.
I do not know on-line source...
I usually get it at DIY shop in Tokyo. I believe this material is not so special. You will be able to search from Internet.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I have a lyricon 2 for sale, it has that constant sound problem/dried up membrane. obviously its a bit of a project, but otherwise its in good condition! let me know if you are interested at drkill123@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Ive been looking for a DIY solution to the dried up membrane problem.... I have a lyricon 2. does anyone know of anyone else who fixes these things?

Anonymous said...

a non-working lyricon 2 is up for sale at http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140349442711&_trkparms=tab%3DSelling

Anonymous said...

I have a Lyricon for sale. I think it is a Lyricon 1 from the little bit of info I have found on the net. Don't know if it works, it powers on but I don't know how to play it. It probably has that membrane problem I have read about since it hasn't been played in a long time. I don't know what it is worth so I will most likely ebay it. email me at casualfurs at aol dot com if you want to know when it will be listed. If you read this after Dec 20 2009, don't email me since I plan to sell it before Christmas.

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info said...

I have a Lyricon I for sale... I sold the moog that went with it but it was playable when i last put it away. I also have a spare one that i use for parts... almost totally complete...

Package deal

$1500 plus shipping for both!!

email me if you are interested

info@adlibb.com

UrbGuru said...

I want to buy super Lyricon II
Michal Urbaniak
urbguru@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

WORKING Lyricon I for sale. Make me an offer. ds78749@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Just found this site and I was the engineering technician at Computone.

Anonymous said...

Hey everybody!

We are two guys from Denmark who're travelling to London for a week. We've, since we saw it for the first time, dreamt and talked about having or playing a lyricon.
We would be so happy and thankful if anyone in or near London would let us try their Lyricon! Is there an awesome human being who would let us do that? We're students, so we're unfortunately not able to buy one (lack of cash) :(
We both play sax and some other instruments.

- Rasmus and Laurids

Joel said...

I have two Lyricons in need of repair - one looks like a prototype (custom made) - the other is the standard Lyricon I. Is there ANYBODY that can repair these? Or anybody with a working horn? E-mail at MusicforMovies@aol.com. Thanks,Joel

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I have 3 or 4 lyricons for sale. I live in Salem MA. Is there anyone in this area that is interested. I am not a musician. I obtained these as part of a very extensive estate.

Thanks.
Ben

Anonymous said...

This is Ben again. I suppose it would help if I posted an email address for responses.

b.sele@live.com

Thanks.
Looking to sell ASAP!!!

battle apple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280986892756

Ac repair said...

I have a wind driver with original literature. it's hardly played. it would need a tune-up for the transducer and a few of the switchs. Review AC Contractors

Ac repair said...

I have a wind driver with original literature. it's hardly played. it would need a tune-up for the transducer and a few of the switchs. Review AC Contractors

the music man said...

I HAVE 6 LYRICONS THAT I WANT TO SELL
CALL ME
for more info

Thanks,

Dominic S. Cucinotti
DOMINIC'S MUSIC, INC.
121 LORING AVE.
SUITE # 710
SALEM, MA 01970

web site: www.dominicsmusic.com


(978)745-5255

Hunterheatandair said...

The reed clamp has some corrosion, so I think it needs a full checkout and overhaul. If it does not work it is still a useful source of spare.
AC Repair Edmond

Hunterheatandair said...

It is in excellent condition and is available for purchase.
AC Service Edmond

Mohrac said...

awesome post, thanks for the post.
regards
Air Conditioning Repair West Memphis

sawtooth trio said...

Not sure if this is the right place but thought I would share a link of me playing my lyricon driver. It was re built by Bill Bernadi & years ago and I am waiting for a second one to be rebuilt. He does this in his spare time and has a busy day job so you do need patience ! The main challenge is the rubber diaphragm . It would be great if someone knows of anyone elese that can do these repairs in Europe ? Any ways here is a link to my channel with a recent gig using the lyricon with a modified minimoog filter and vca and macbeth oscillators. Hope you enjoy...........https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-dIGchhv34

Anonymous said...

I have for sale a Lyricon Wind-Synthesizer Driver with a JL-Cooper Midi board installed. It has the continuous note problem. Contact me if you are interested - litmus777 at yahoo dot com.

Mike Homan said...

I would like to sell my entire wind controller collection which includes a "working" Lyricon I. My Lyricon II has upgraded oscillators and upgraded membrane by Bill Bernardi in the early 90s. He said it should never dry out, unlike the stock membrane. It is still fully functional but when I got it back from Bill (it took him over a year) there was a small dent on the case as he must of kept it too close to a radiator. The plug is missing its ground pin and there are some scratches on the bottom of the case. The mental plug on the base of the control unit and base of the mouth piece have some tool marks (could be buffed out). I am the original owner and the original oscillators could not keep tuned and Bill told me that the original membrane would dry out so I had him do it all at once. Looking for $3,500 for everything and everything must go. My gig rig. I live in Baltimore, Md and I will only deal locally with good old cash. Have pictures posted on craigslist http://annapolis.craigslist.org/msg/4230156844.html

Mike Homan

mhoman7078@aol.com

IRig midi interface with iPhone & Ipad
Gibson Maestro Tone Generator stand, all mouthpieces, cords and clarinet barrels
Bose lifestyle powered speakers
Lyricon 2
Yamaha WX11with manual, extra cord, soft case
Yamaha WT11 with manual, data interface cable
Yamaha BT7
VL70m with upgraded sounds
Yamaha mixing console MG 10/2
Midi cables
Audio cables
Anatek Pocket Mapper
Anatek pocket merge
Midi man USB midi sport 2x 2 with USB cable
Lyric on owners Manual
Yamaha BT7
Tenor Sax gig bag
two instrument hard cases
Alto Sax gig bag with tube to protect Wx 11
Rolls PM55 line monitor amplifier

Mike Homan said...

12/6/13 I would like to sell my entire wind controller collection which includes a "working" Lyricon Il My Lyricon II has upgraded oscillators and upgraded membrane by Bill Bernardi in the early 90s. He said it should never dry out, unlike the stock membrane. It is still fully functional but when I got it back from Bill (it took him over a year) there was a small dent on the case as he must of kept it too close to a radiator. The plug is missing its ground pin and there are some scratches on the bottom of the case. The mental plug on the base of the control unit and base of the mouth piece have some tool marks (could be buffed out). I am the original owner and the original oscillators could not keep tuned and Bill told me that the original membrane would dry out so I had him do it all at once. Looking for $3,500 for everything and everything must go. My gig rig. I live in Baltimore, Md and I will only deal locally with good old cash. Have pictures posted on craigslist http://annapolis.craigslist.org/msg/4230156844.html

Mike Homan

mhoman7078@aol.com

IRig midi interface with iPhone & Ipad
Gibson Maestro Tone Generator stand, all mouthpieces, cords and clarinet barrels
Bose lifestyle powered speakers
Lyricon 2
Yamaha WX11with manual, extra cord, soft case
Yamaha WT11 with manual, data interface cable
Yamaha BT7
VL70m with upgraded sounds
Yamaha mixing console MG 10/2
Midi cables
Audio cables
Anatek Pocket Mapper
Anatek pocket merge
Midi man USB midi sport 2x 2 with USB cable
Lyric on owners Manual
Yamaha BT7
Tenor Sax gig bag
two instrument hard cases
Alto Sax gig bag with tube to protect Wx 11
Rolls PM55 line monitor amplifier

James Clancy said...

Fully working lyricon wind driver rebuilt by bill bernardi 6 years ago. I also have some spares with it including an extra membrane for the transducer and spare pcb board and power supply. It is in excellent shape but haseen well played by me since the rebuild so has a couple of minor marks . I am based in England near London where it can be heard fully working with my vintage modular system. I also have some custom earnie ball cv pedals i use with it. Email clancydrones@hotmail.com for pics and soundcloud link with recordings. £700 Ono.

Anonymous said...

I have a Lyricon 1 for sale.

It is fully functional but the wind sensor membrane is a bit hardened and should be replaced soon.

The membrane still works but is not as sensitive as it should be.

If you are interested in this instrument, please email chiavere[AT]gmail[DOT]com

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have a Lyricon II Wind Synthesizer in good working and cosmetic condition. I also have one that doesn't work. email me at tu7us@yahoo.com with your offers and i can send you pics. Thanks

Anonymous said...

EDIT: It is Lyricon I and not II

Rod Caron said...

I am selling a Lyricon 2 that I bought in 1982. I had it worked on by one of the designers to fix the oscillators. It has sat in my closet since then. I used it a handful of times on some gigs in the late 80s. It needs the diaphragm of course and a few of the potentiometers are scratchy, but it is in excellent shape.

Rod Caron said...

Sorry, my email is rodcaron@cox.net

Jaxom Sundaram said...

Hey I'm selling my Lyricon on ebay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/252432330719?

I bought it on an impulse and haven't got round to testing it, hopefully someone is interested!

Frank Wuyts said...

I have a Lyricon Wind Synthesizer-driver to sell
I'm living in Europe Belgium
Nobody has play with it since 20 years ... but at that period it was working without problem, i can't test it cause i don't have any analog synthesizer no more, when i put the power on, it's working, and all the leds are on ...

It's on ebay http://cgi.befr.ebay.be/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=331957293130


Jason Thompson said...

Hey everyone! I have a Lyricon Wind Synthesizer-driver for sale it is currently on Reverb.com Thanks for looking!

-Jason

Alain Lauzon said...

Hey there folks... I have TWO Lyricon drivers for sale... (one for parts) ... the best way to buy a lyricon

It is untested... because i sold my moog a few years ago... but I kept it in working order

I also have a JL Cooper box that converts the signal to midi (for what it is worth...)

let me know soon as I am clearing out much of my music stuff as we speak

thanks

Alain

info@adlibb.com

Anonymous said...

Fully restored Lyricon I on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fully-Restored-Vintage-LYRICON-Electronic-Wind-Synthesizer-Synth-Saxophone-Sax-/162402220153?hash=item25cfed3879:g:VuEAAOSwB-1Yp9NZ