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Saturday Synth Porn: This collection of photos captures T.O.N.T.O., The Original New Timbral Orchestra, designed and built by Malcom Cecil.

TONTO is sort of the mother of all monster synths, incorporating such synths as:

  • 2 Moog Series III Modular Synthesizers
  • 2 Arp 2600s
  • Serge Modules
  • 4 Oberheim SEMs

TONTO began life as a Series III Moog modular synthesizer. A second Moog III was added in 1971 and TONTO continued to expand with various custom built as well as standard modules (somewhat modified) from many synthesizer manufacturers, including Serge with Moog-like panels, Oberheim, Arp 2500/2600, EMS, Roland, Yamaha, etc.

Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, made up of Cecil and Robert Margouleff, released the album Zero Time in 1971. The album was ahead of its time in many ways, and led to Cecil, Margouleff and TONTO working on some of the most important soul albums of the 70s. 

Here’s one of the odder tracks from Zero Time, Riversong:

YouTube Preview Image

You can find out more about T.O.N.T.O. at



5 Responses to “TONTO – The Ultimate Monster Synth”  

  1. 1 Danalogue

    Gorgeous! You'd have to be an Octopuss to play the fucker though…

  2. 2 Guest

    oh god yes, YES

  3. 3 guest

    must change my pants now…

  4. 4 LMC

    TONTO means something like dumb, dunce in italian =)

  5. 5 Neo95

    II can not understand this … That's all there was more amazing!

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