Love Hultén and Teenage Engineering CHD–4, a modular synth with congenital heart disease

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Love Hultén and Teenage Engineering have created the CHD-4, a modular synth with sequencer to raise awareness for congenital heart disease.

When companies develop new synthesizers, the goal is to appeal to as many musicians as possible with the design of the new product. In doing so, compromises are often made. If you want your very own Synthesizer, ask designers like Love Hultén from Sweden.

In recent years he has made numerous very playful, unusual designs that never come onto the big market. His products are unique pieces that are designed on customer request. It doesn’t get any more exclusive. For his new project, he has chosen a serious topic, which is an important topic for many young parents.

Love Hultén and Teenage Engineering CHD–4

Love Hultén And Teenage Engineering CHD–4

With his new project CHD-4, he wants to raise awareness for congenital heart disease. These are conditions that are present at birth and can affect the structure of a baby’s heart and the way it works. It’s the most common type of birth defect. Something you don’t want as a parent of a newly born child.

To raise awareness and highlight this issue, the audiovisual designer Love Hultén has teamed up with Teenage Engineering for the creation of a unique modular Synthesizer. It is capable to produces rhythms made using the echocardiograms of four children with different heart defects.

CHD-4 Love Hulten

CHD–4 Feature Set

The CHD-4 is a modular synth/drum machine consisting of 20 Teenage Engineering 400 series modules and a newly-developed sequencer: The synth part includes:

  • 4x envelopes
  • 2x noise generators
  • 1x LFO
  • 4x filters
  • 3x square oscillators
  • 1x sine oscillator
  • 4x VCA
  • 1x Mixer

The second half of the CHD-4 hosts the built-in four-track circular sequencer. It was created with echocardiograms from four children with congenital heart disease, printed from real hospital check-ups. Each ECG has been decoded into patterns based on its individual shape, pace, and BPM. These four heartbeat patterns were then transformed into a four-track circular sequencer.

Fascinating here is that the sequencer was not solved digitally via a display but mechanically with rotating discs. Each sequence or or ‘heartbeat’ – can be played separately or together to produce a wide arrange of sounds. You can also manually offset them in relation to the other(s) in order to explore more complex patterns.

Further, you can adjust the tempo, and mute channels directly from the interface. There is also a small OLED screen that displays the audio and beat in real-time

A big like for this project. It shows that music gear does not always have to be seen as a “commercial product” but it can also be a great tool to convey important messages.

The Love Hultén and Teenage Engineering CHD–4 is a one-off and will not go into series production. The machine will be auctioned out on Valentine’s Day 2023 to the highest bidder with all proceeds donated to the Swedish Heartchild Foundation.

More information here: Heart Beat Drum Machine

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