July 20, 2024
Korg Berlin exhibits off a prototype ‘acoustic synthesizer’

The thought of an acoustic synthesizer may sound like an oxymoron, however 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 fashionable classics. However it has remained fairly quiet since its inception. That modified this week at Superbooth the place the crew confirmed off its first prototype the Acoustic Synthesis_phase5. 

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

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

Generally the sound it generates within the brief demo video above is kind of distinctive. It does have a ringing, vaguely Rhodes-like high quality to it. However it additionally sort of seems 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 prone to keep that method. Proper now Korg Berlin is just gauging curiosity within the expertise. And if it looks like there is a marketplace for this form of unusual hybrid acoustic synth, then it can discover methods to develop it additional right into a completed product.