CreateDigitalMusic’s Peter Kirn helped sponsor a contest to design a “dream synthesizer”. Many interesting ideas were proposed, but the image above illustrates the winning dream synth idea.
Here’s how winner Andreas Paleologos describes his dream synthesizer concept:
- My Dream Synthesizer has 3 sound modules that together generate the sound.
- Digital Sound Module.
- Physical Sound Module.
- Vocal Sound Module.
- They’re high-quality software modules with a lot of identity. The sound is constantly routed through all three
- sound modules, whether generating sound or silent.
- It has a big Low Resolution LED screen, covered with a transparent high resolution multi touch film for on
- screen interaction with support for up to 3 fingers.
- Draw the waveform on the screen and get instant control of the sound.
- Use one finger to manipulate the Digital Sound Module.
- Use two fingers to manipulate the Physical Sound Module.
- Use three fingers to manipulate the Vocal Sound Module.
- The envelope is basically ADSR, but with looping sustain. Draw your envelope curve.
- You can record and automate all waveform and envelope changes making really complex sounding sounds
- with just a finger stroke, recording your particular timing.
- Select whether all automation should be triggered once or whether it should loop.
Paleologos’ dream synthesizer concept is fascinating – but it’s certainly not my dream synth.
Clean minimal interfaces look cool, but mean that you’ve got menus to remember and that you lose the immediacy of having one knob per function.
My dream synth would probably be an update to one of the classic analog synths – but with modern build quality, a good keyboard and velocity-sensitivity and aftertouch. Make it 16-voice polyphonic and you’re getting pretty close.
Or my dream synth might be something that combines the originality of some of the more interesting iPad apps with the tactile control and responsiveness of classic hardware synths.
What’s your dream synth?