today's vielles

historic instruments



Demo of Hermeline (acoustic sound)


Demo of Elec (piezo sensors),
 presentation with 6+6 keyboard (for more details
-​ 0:20 C gut string, string pressure variation, tapping
-​2:20 C steel string, tapping,
-3:10 normal pressure,
-​5:00 light pressure,
-6:16 very light,

-6:45 + delay effect,
-7:41 light pressure + delay


Demo of Elec (piezo sensors),
playing with 3 strings: C melodic, drone & trumpet.


Demo of Elec (piezo sensors),
playing with 2 harmonic strings. With 6+6 keyboad you have an immediat  view of possible chords.


Ovo´de: variables et parallel chords,
playing with Shertler DYN sensor, de 1 melodic strings (F gut), & 2 B flat steel harmonic strings.  

You have choice for 2 keyboard sytems:

Tilting keys keyboard:
This keyboard has several advantages:
-the possibility of increasing the number of melodic strings without necessarily increasing the diameter of the wheel. The wheel is always a barrier to the sound propagation of sound in the resonnance table.
-the sound volume is more is more regular on each side of the keyboard, so trebles become more present.

the sliding keys

This syteme widely used has the advantages of lightness and sound. However this very old design has been redesigned:
-use of sliding polymer guides, and to reduce frictions.
-setting up of
jacks support so that the effort of each jack remains tangent to the wheel.
-reconception of jacks also ..


For the achievement of the resonance box, the models painted by Georges de la Tour were my first inspiration, but also was the Jean-Luc Bleton's approach presented by (in “vielle Ó roue - territoires illimitÚs” edition FAMDT): "Thus, I chose to carry out a bent back (it fits in cylinder) with a symmetrical convex table, the whole made out of maple. This system of double bent sides allows a better rigidity of the ensemble, therefore it limits the inner reinforcement, and thus it release and amplify vibrations of the back". What produces a better sound quality.

Electroacoustic or electric vielles


We propose 2 category of sensors:

-piezo sensors: they economic, easy to use, and give good sound when they are well amplified. These sensors transmit wood vibration so its impossible to diferentiate sounds sources (trumpet/ melody/drone).

-magnetic sensors: they are usable on steel strings and on trumpets with a special assembly. So it is possible to put a sensor by string, and to have the sound of a single string on an input.

3 sound system levels

Very simple without preamp:
2 Ó 5 piezo sensors on passive mixer with one or several output.

With 4 input preamp:
The preamp is for de 4 piezo or magnetic inputs, with 1 mixed output, and 4 output on special cable.

With 8 input preamp:
The preamp is for 8 piezo or magnetic imputs,
with 1 mixed output, and 6 output with special cable.
These preamp are designed and manufactured by Dominique Raymond, hifi electronic engineer.

Sound quality with these sensor and preamp is unparalleled.

Magnetic capos
All instruments with 4 drones are equipped with magnetic sliding capos. The system is simple: the string is passing thru a magnetic button with can slide on steel bar.

Wheel height setting:
This setting allow a quick correction of string/wheel pressure.

 Ovo´de with polyacetal tilting keys keyboard.

sliding keys keyboard

Hermeline: see  magnetic sensors below melodic strings

Preamp with 8 input & 6 output + 1 mixered output

   Ovo´de: see sliding capos on steel boards

Historic instruments

 The creativity of the medieval luthiers is very amazing, and instruments whose inner workings are still very mysterious. Already done, the reconstruction of the vielle painted by Georges de la Tour is my first work in this direction. The biggest challenge was to imagine parts of the instrument not represented by the iconography.

My sources: Vielleur au chapeauRixe de musiciens and Vielleur au chien
painted around 1650 by Georges de La Tour and Manuscrit du Zodiaque (Lyon) from 15th century, in wich the vielle was chosen to illustrate the constellation of the Lyre.

vielleur au chien


vielleur au chapeau





Extract of Manuscrit du Zodiaque (Lyon 15th century) where the instrument was chosen illustrate the constellation of the Lyre.  The fact that the vielle was chosen show us the importance of the instrument at this period. What commonalities between Homer blind, going from town to town with his lyre to sing his poems and blind vielle players of this time such as Georges de la Tour painted them.

Other project: a symphony reconstructed according several sources (for example MS Psalterio Luttrel 1325 below). I tried to design the keyboard as it was during the middle age and not to insert a keyboard as it was invented during 18th century. 

CAD view of symphony reconstruction

MS Psalterio Luttrel