OM-1 Cassette Tape Synthesizer Is A Gloriously Unique Analog Musical Instrument

It's a wonderfully unique idea for an analog synthesizer, and it actually sounds great too. The OM-1 cassette synthesizer uses standard cassette tapes for endless sound design possibilities.  

The whole synth world appears to have gone analog mad. And why not? In a time when software digital often present convenience over tactile experience, the OM-1 synthesizer from Onde Magnetique takes a more retro approach. This analog synth uses cassette tapes to create sounds in a truly unique way. Check out the videos below. Sit back and enjoy.

The OM-1 cassette synthesizer.

And before you ask, the O-1 cassette synthesizer comes with a modified portable cassette player so you need not look through old boxes for that cassette walkman from the 80s.

This video is an overview of the OM-1:

The OM-1 Cassette Synthesizer is an analog musical instrument built around the concept that when a continuous tone/note is recorded to tape, its pitch will change as the tape's playback speed is increased or decreased. Individual notes are playable via the 8 buttons (keys), each with a tuning knob directly above it. The volume of the notes can be articulated by using the pressure sensitive volume control—the harder it's pressed, the louder the note. A three position switch controls attack/release response of the audio output—Short, Medium, and Long. CV/Gate inputs allow control over the cassette's pitch and volume from a linear (non-quantized) voltage sequencer.

The basic operation of the OM-1:

While loosely inspired by instruments like the Mellotron and Ondes Martenot, the OM-1 has a sound all its own. Because it uses a standard cassette tape as its audio source, the sound creation possibilities are endless. The OM-1 is engineered for experimentation.

The OM-1 cassette synthesizer contents include a modified cassette player/recorder.


  • OM-1 Cassette Synthesizer
  • Modified Portable Cassette Player/Recorder
  • Two 3.5mm cables
  • Cassette with voice/sound per side
  • 3V Power Supply

Two AA batteries for powering the cassette player not included. 

Price: $285.00 USD

Each unit is built to order by hand. Please allow 6 weeks for delivery.


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Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


Like. Good write up.

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