Do Androids Dream of Electric Synths?
Imagining an instrument from a clean sheet of paper is an essential part of the design process. It can remind us of the extent of possibilities – and, sometimes, why compromise is necessary. The German site Amazona.de this week unveiled mock-ups of an instrument conceived by their community. The design looks terrific, and the specs (below) do read like the sorts of things synthesists would want. My only concern is that the results could be very cost prohibitive; the obvious remedy it seems would be to use digital oscillators in place of the eight-voice “true analog” spec described here. (I’m of the “if it sounds good, it is good” school. And with that compromise, the rest of this becomes very feasible.)
Potential spec creep aside, I do love the layout and the mock-up designs, however. And that’s why this sort of exercise matters. Amazona.de are lucky to have a great designer to make those mock-ups seem real. Stephan Gries created the renders, working in the awesomely-powerful modeling tool Rhino 3D. His background is in construction in mechanical engineering, but he tells CDM he’d love to work in visualizing music hardware professionally.
One regularly-asked question is why hardware doesn’t take new forms. (The original Minimoog, while ultimately using a conventional design, even featured space-age, futuristic alternative versions.) With this kind of visualization in reach, I think it’s possible hardware designers will take more risks, partly because they’ll be able to better present their ideas to would-be users. So, with that spirit in mind, I’m pleased to share some of Stephan’s work, not only on the Amazona dream synth, but Doepfer and Cwejman models, too.
Virtual analog, indeed: it’s simulated, but gear pr0n nonetheless. Congrats to the Amazona.de community and to Stephan for the great work.
[Tyrell is an] experiment carried out by your colleagues from Germany from
the online magazine for musicians AMAZONA.de.
With a multitude of campaigns at various levels AMAZONA.de ran a one-year survey and together with their readers invented the dream synthesizer. This synthesizer promises huge market potential.
Its exciting features include:
· 8 voices / true analog
· 2 oscillators
· Oscillator sync, FM, ring modulation and pulseb modulation
· Wave-forms sinus, saw and two different noise waves (morphing from sinus to saw)
· Multimode filter and band-pass filters
· Two ADSR envelopes
· Three LFOs
· Midi, midi-clock for ARP and CV/gate in/out
Detailed layout and technical plans are all complete. All we need now is a brave producer
to make the TYRELL dream come true.
As mentioned above, it is an experiment.
We certainly have faith in our idea – and as you know, faith can move mountains.
You will find the whole story here: