Projekt Elektronik is a Berlin based electronics company, still in existence these days, having roots in sequencer and synthesizer development. Their main involvement was in the instrumentation of Tangerine Dream’s Peter Baumann and Christopher Franke.
This is what Projekt Elektronik says about their Synthesizer history: “Our (big) synthesizers came around the world with the famous group Tangerine Dream, a music formation from Germany, which is important because of its pioneering work in the field of electronic music.”
Peter Baumann at Greek Theatre LA (1977)
- Recorded: March – April 1977 on their US tour
- Released: October 1977 on the Virgin label
- Cover: Monika Froese
- Composers: Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and Peter Baumann
- Musicians: Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and Peter Baumann
Setting up Equipment at York Minster Cathedral (1976)
The Big One (1976)
Transportable large-scale synthesizer in V2A housing on wheels for Peter Baumann, Tangerine Dream.
- Pre-wired modular synthesizer for Concert operation incl. Keyboard with Wheels
- 64 Step Sequencer for Christopher Franke, Tangerine Dream
- Cascadable by 8 to 64 Steps
- 2 St. Timecontroller
- Double trigger per step for echo effects
Moog – 3P (1974)
- Repair of the MOOG 3P Synthesizer after Waldbühne concert
- Conversion in Tourneefester execution
- First Projekt Elektronik GmbH Synthesizer modules
Below you’ll find some more pictures of the modular system, please note that the pictures are (c) Ed Buller.
This is what we found in the Electronic Music wiki:
A manufacturer of lab and industrial test equipment, based in Berlin. Projekt Electronik’s connection to electronic music is that the company accepted a commission from Peter Baumann to build a large, highly customized modular synthesizer for Tangerine Dream in 1975. These modulars were built to Tangerine Dream’s exacting and ever-changing specifications, and they grew as the band saw a need for more functions; allegedly some Projekt Elektronik employees were hired to travel with the band and build modules on the fly during tours.
The PE modular synths were physically based on the Moog format, but the power and backplane connections were different from the classic Moog models. In order to meet the demands of live performance, the modulars had an extensive system of normalled signal routing. The PE backplane carried a large number of control voltage and gate signals on its bus; most of the control voltage sources (LFOs, envelope generators, etc.) were default routed to a specific line on this bus. Modules that used these had arrays of toggle and rotary switches to select control voltage and gates from the bus. Some of the VCOs also had fixed offsets that could be added to an incoming control voltage at the flick of a switch, in order to play musical intervals and chords from a single control voltage. The analog sequencers had an unusual amount of flexibility; they allowed for steps and patterns to be lengthened, shortened or skipped, all at the flick of a switch. This capability was a key to Tangerine Dream’s sound in the 1970s.
Projekt Elektronik eventually built two large modulars for the band. Baumann took one of them with him when he left the band in 1977; he used it extensively on his first two solo albums. Edgar Froese wound up in possession of the other one, and he continued to use it up until about 1985. Baumann eventually sold his to Chris Franke; it appears on the back cover of Franke’s The London Concert album. Projekt Elektronik subsequently declined commissions from other bands to build more systems, although they continued for a while to help out TD members with replacement parts and subassemblies for the existing units. Projekt Elektronik is still in business, but it has long since departed the music industry, and now focuses once again on test equipment.
We found an (old) auction including some specs:
Projekt lektronik modular system + PPG 217 Filter
Up for sale an “ultra” rare custom Projekt elektronik Modular System. Originally built only for Tangerine Dream in the 1976 from Berlin factory. Projekt elektronik + Edgar Froese’s PPG 217 Filter prototype. This cabinet contains the following modules:
- n.1 PE 930 VOLTAGE STORE UNIT (ver. A master)
- n.1 PE 930 VOLTAGE STORE UNIT (ver. B slave)
- n.2 PE 537 FOUR CHANNEL MIXER
- n.1 PE 490 MOD
- n.1 PE 950/955 VC/BTime
- n.1 PE 685 ATT.
- n.1 PE 940 CLOCK
- n.1 PE 295 LAG
- n.2 PE 410 RING
- n.2 PE 990 IF
- n.1 PE 720 NOISE
- n.1 PE 310 VCA
- n.1 PPG 217 VOLTAGE CONTROL FILTER
- n.2 custom SHIFT DRIVER
- Just for example, here some special features of 930 Voltage Store Unit sequencer ..;
- 5 Octave / 12 Semitone switches, separate Fix quantized CV outputs 1/volt Octave Outputs A / B
- switched CV outputs A+B 8+8 (16 complete Cvsteps), Separate Variable rows CV outputs C / D
- switched CV outputs C+D 8+8 (16 complete Cvsteps), separate rows Gate outputs E / F (with PWM controls)
- Switched Gate outputs E+F 8+8 (16 complete steps), selector from B-Time to Generator
- selector from Summing gate signal
- Push Buttons with led for select a relative row A/B/C/D/E or F
- Push Buttons with led for select a desired Gate steps
- Big selector x1/x2/x4 factor multiplier gain for rows CV C and D
- Internal Sequential Switch with led indicators two for CV, one for Gate
- also possibility to control the switch function from external source “Ext IN”
- The Ver. A Master Unit can drive another 2 or more units with a same CV scale internal source
- n.8 Gate separate external gate inputs for drive a unit, now internal connected witha custom
- Shift Driver modules.
Originally mounted in Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and Peter Baumann’s modular around 70/80 and performed under special request of Franke / Froese / Baumann. These modules it was removed and completely professionally restored after the sale of TD modular. Others unit it’s was obtain in the past from Hans Zimmer
The only possibility to be able to get an originally modules mounted inside Tangerine Dream’s Rack, An very very rare units, only a few units it was built . This incredible modules worked on stages of all the world
supporting the best Tangerine Dream live concerts. Rheims Cathedral, Coventry, East Berlin..
This unit it was used for recording some of the following Tangerine Dream cult Album, Encore / Ricochet / Exit / Sorcerer / Poland etc…etc… only for “Hard Collector!” and real lovers of Tangerine Dream …an real ultra rare piece of electronic music history . Absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to find out …and only one chance in a life All the modules are in perfect conditions and restored. Many parts like Jacks, switches etc…it’s was replaced… just to obtain an nice Studio performance Standard Moog panels size, power supply included, so a cabinet is ready to use …! ! !