Landscape's Stereo Field, a yellow and gold synthesizer.
Courtesy Landscape

These Compact Analog Instruments Pack a Punch

By Aileen Kwun
April 25, 2020
1 minute read

Brooklyn-based musician Eric Pitra first began tinkering with synthesizers several years ago as part of a D.I.Y. pet project, self-learning his way through the world of audio gear as an artist with an initial background in photography. He’s since run his own workshop under the moniker Landscape, specializing in handheld, analog electronic musical instruments that have found a home among numerous artists—musicians such as Arca and Kid Koala, video game composer Mic Gordon, and the sound design teams at Lucas Films and the legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York’s Greenwich Village.

Though just roughly the size of a Walkman, Pitra’s minimalist, compact machines pack a punch of analog sound that isn’t easily replicable among the digital production tools commonly used today. His two instruments include the HC-TT (short for “human-controlled tape transport”), which features a series of knobs that allow you to manually play a cassette both forward and backward with your hands, and Stereo Field, a synthesizer that’s operated by “touch plates” that utilize skin conductivity to create atonal analog feedback and all sorts of organic distortions. Both bring a gratifying, tactile sense of play to the landscape of electronic sounds—and thankfully, wouldn’t take up much space in an ad hoc quarantine studio.