If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: manipulating sound presets should be as intuitive and powerful as regulating plasma coolant flow to the antimatter injector on a warp drive nacelle.

I mean, knobs? How quaint.

COSMOSƒ is a graphical morphing engine for sound, a standalone synthesizer with a wild, sci-fi interface. You can actually set up polar coordinates and navigate sounds through a sphere, in three dimensions. The sound engine is all internal, but looks like a lot of fun. (For more of this sort of thing, see the excellent, free and open source IanniX, which can route events to other apps. Each is unique – and, I suspect, we’ll see more and more designs take on visual interfaces in new ways.)

Watch a demo with some very wild sounds:

Just reading the product description is trippy:

Stochastic morphing with distribution range for altering the morphing position, speed and interpolation control.
Built-in mathematical functions to automatically and precisely move the morphing pointer in the space.
Precise audio rate parameter update with the possibility of reaching amazing morphing speeds (44100times a second!)
turns Cosmosƒ into a super oscillator by accumulating up to 4 different presets in heterogeneous micro event mixing mode prior to the morphing phase.
It delivers an unheard medium by reaching the untouched points of the sonic universe..

The software is the work of Sinan Bökesoy, built in OpenFrameworks (C++ creative coding environment) for OS X and Windows.

89 € for the synth, but a demo version is available.


  • Graham Thorne

    Whaaaaaaatttt the flying spaceship fooooook?! haha

  • markLouis

    Oh yeah I can see right now that somewhere in Liverpool a couple of lads are getting together to show each other how to use this to make a C chord and an F chord and then that hard one the G dominant seventh chord and THE REST WILL BE HISTORY!

  • markLouis

    FYI, if you watch the demo all the way to the end–I did!–when the video ends it shows a set of suggested videos, and two of the suggested videos at the end are Taylor Swift videos. (I bet if you triple track a recording of wind chimes, paper getting crumpled and Taylor Swift singing and play the triple track backwards it would sound pretty much like this advanced stochastic synthesizer.)

  • Zoopy

    We need a link to this :)

  • superavi

    Amazingly beautiful!

  • Christopher Covington

    Spelling correction: IanniX.

    • Peter Kirn

      Too muuch cooffee. Thanks.

  • Alessandro Saccoia

    “you need a PhD to read the manual” (cit friend)

  • loydb

    Is a Buchla out of your price range? Now you too can make batshit-crazy noise for $15K less!

  • David

    Peter, no offense, but please do a follow up. You’re not doing this incredible instrument justice here (not that I could, but still). My take on it is it’s actually a lot closer to some granular Reaktor ensembles than anything else. I certainly hardly see any parallels to Iannix. You’ve been duped by the visuals. The visuals in Cosmos f are ‘just’ a visualisation of the parameters set and applied in the engine, in e.g. Iannix it’s the other way around. The visualization is the instrument.

    The synth engine in Cosmos is not ‘under the hood’ at all, it’s fully accessible and very versatile and this is a core part of the design. Cosmos f takes a moment to grasp and you really need to read the manual to understand how it can be run and what parameter does what. Once you do, it’s not really that complex to operate (but very complex under the hood). I get a feeling you’ve completely misinterpreted this instrument (but I may be wrong). Think Drone-E with a PHD in math.

    • Peter Kirn

      No, I think the visualization is important; I’m not sure that’s a “misinterpretation” in a UI that so obviously (and stunningly) deviates from the norm. You could take a synthesis approach like this and give people a bunch of knobs and they’d have a totally different experience. But yes, I intend to follow up on this instrument, particularly as the author tells me he’s planning some further development.

    • David

      Great! I just thought because you seemed to compare it to Iannix, which IMO has few if any similarities. After playing with it for a while the most similar I could probably name is Ambitron by m-rgt, but it’s still a stretch.

    • Peter Kirn

      Yeah, I just mean in terms of mapping parameters to paths – I think this is a big paradigm shift coming in how we use music software, so, my own bias there. I can better defend why I think this is connected to that at a later time, though — it is absolutely different that this is a synth, and to me the importance of the UI is in being able to access a unique synthesis approach. More on this soon. 😉