Each side of this instrument is operated by one primate. Each side has
identical controls, except for a single tempo control on the side.
The lower manual contains four synthesizers with four independent ADSR
envelope generators. Interlocking rhythmical elements can be generated by
dialing numbers into a voltage reservoir, then assigning this number to any
of four electronic counters on the upper manual. If the number 8 is dialed
into the reservoir and assigned to each of the four synthesizers on the
lower manual, the machine will distribute the four sounds across eight
pulses produced by the internal clock. The counters can hold separate
numbers, so the machine can play any number up to 16 against any other
There are four horizontal rows of knobs and switches on the lower manual:
two employ pairs of frequency modulating oscillators, the other two filtered
noise. The upper manual has its own envelope generator and filter to shape
sounds from external sources, and is played with push buttons that allow the
internal clock to trigger it.
It is the responsibility of each primate to encourage or restrain the
instrument. Rhythmic complexity can be arrived at with little difficulty
without comprehension. Rhythmic simplicity may be just as easily arrived at.
The sounds themselves must be shaped by means of judicious monkeying, while
the upper manual uses concrete sounds (often the recorded sound of human
voices) recorded onto eight track tape cartridges as a sound source. At the
touch of a button, voices and noises may be introduced to complement
electronically generated sounds.
The built-in two-channel amplifier and speakers make the Dual Primate
Console an ideal parlor instrument suitable for electronic chamber concerts
at nighttime, and musicales in the daytime. It weighs far less than a piano
and will fit easily in a small station wagon. Two 1/4 inch outputs provide
line level signal for any school or auditorium public address system, and
has proven safe for outdoor use.