Korg Berlin exhibits off a prototype ‘acoustic synthesizer’

The concept of an acoustic synthesizer would possibly sound like an oxymoron, but it surely’s precisely the form of surprising ideas that Korg Berlin was created to pursue. This impartial, R&D-focused division was cofounded in 2020 by Maximilian Relaxation and Tatsuya Takahashi, the person behind the Volcas, Minilogue and numerous different trendy classics. But it surely has remained fairly quiet since its inception. That modified this week at Superbooth the place the staff confirmed off its first prototype the Acoustic Synthesis_phase5. 

Not like a standard synth that makes use of oscillators, the phase5 makes use of tuned steel forks. These forks are specifically designed to supply particular basic notes and overtones. And for the reason that core sound technology right here is an acoustic resonator, it has sure qualities a standard synth doesn’t. For example it would suggestions like a guitar when held close to an amp and ring when struck on its facet. Takahashi advised Fess Grandiose of Reverb, “we’re attempting to sort of seize this rawness of devices, whereas being on the similar time, controllable like a synthesizer.”

So that is the “acoustic” half: steel tines that ring, resonate and decay, nearly like a Fender Rhodes. The synth half comes from the magnets contained in the phase5 that permit it to maintain simply the elemental observe, or the elemental and the overtones, or simply the overtones. The overtones may also be modulated with an LFO making a sound that may solely be described as a sea sick bell. 

Normally the sound it generates within the brief demo video above is sort of distinctive. It does have a ringing, vaguely Rhodes-like high quality to it. But it surely additionally sort of feels like what you would possibly count on of a singing bowl patch on a ’90s sample-based synth. It is a contact otherworldly. 

Proper now the phase5 is only a prototype and it is more likely to keep that approach. Proper now Korg Berlin is solely gauging curiosity within the know-how. And if it looks as if there is a marketplace for this form of unusual hybrid acoustic synth, then it would discover methods to develop it additional right into a completed product. 

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