The concept of an acoustic synthesizer may sound like an oxymoron, nevertheless it’s precisely the form of surprising ideas that Korg Berlin was created to pursue. This unbiased, 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 workforce 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 provide particular basic notes and overtones. And because the core sound technology right here is an acoustic resonator, it has sure qualities a standard synth doesn’t. For example it is going to suggestions like a guitar when held close to an amp and ring when struck on its facet. Takahashi informed Fess Grandiose of Reverb, “we’re making an attempt to type 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 enable it to maintain simply the basic observe, or the basic 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.
Typically the sound it generates within the quick demo video above is kind of distinctive. It does have a ringing, vaguely Rhodes-like high quality to it. But it surely additionally type of feels like what you may 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 just gauging curiosity within the know-how. And if it looks like there is a marketplace for this form of unusual hybrid acoustic synth, then it is going to discover methods to develop it additional right into a completed product.