Gotharman’s Little Deformer

Here’s a quick look at Gotharman’s Little Deformer – a new granular effects processor with sampler and sequencer.

Gotharman’s Little deFormer combines a granular effects processor with special effects like TimeStretcher, Step-Granulator and PitchShaper. It also offers more usual effects like Reverb, delay, distortion, compressor, filters and bit manipulation, with some special parameters, with a 100 minutes sampler and a step sequencer. A MIDI Note Randomizer is also included.

The 4-note polyphonic sampler makes it possible to record your own samplings directly from the 2 audio inputs, or re-sample it’s audio output. Samples are stored in Flash Ram for instant recall, without any loading times. Up to 100 minutes/999 samplings can be kept.

Here’s a sneak preview of the Little Deformer in action:

See the Gotharman site for details.


8 thoughts on “Gotharman’s Little Deformer

  1. Granted, it looks better than the deMoon, but I’m still not a fan of Gotharman’s product designs.

    That aside, I think it’s cool that they produce granular synths/effects hardware. Countless virtual-analog hardware synthesizers are out there, but when it comes to granular synthesis I would not know of any hardware competition to Absynth, Alchemy, etc.

    1. Well, granular synthesis has no electronic or physical counterpart; it’s a digital technique.
      What they have done is to put a processor, some memory and a single program into a box.

      If the granulator program is very good, this can be ok, but it’s also limited since the processor could handle any synth algorithm without changing a single wire.
      In other words the box could have housed a general synth, they would just need to write more code…

      The reason to put a computer into a special box was always that you could get a special mix of hardware for a limited price, ie AKAI samplers had more memory and realtime audio out that couldn’t be had in a general configuration for less than $23 gazillion in the 80’s.
      These reasons don’t exist now when your phone has as much real-time recordable memory as the RAM of all computers in the world in 1980.
      So they need a pretty compelling reason to put this granulator into a specialized box.

      The demo is nice, but it seems fiddly. No specs on the processor.

      1. Yes, granular synthesis is (since it is a relative to classic sampling) a digital procedure. But your argument about modern computers / phones would also imply that every other form of digital hardware synthesizers is obsolete – and I can’t agree with that.

        I think that a dedicated control surface and specialized machines always have a right to exist. Limitations enforce creativity.

        And I can’t think of any reason why there should not be a new kind of digital synthesizers that e.g. use (digital) granular oscillators and analog filters – that’d be really cool 🙂

        1. > …would also imply that every other form of digital hardware synthesizers is obsolete

          uuhm, not *every* – but pretty much so, yes.
          Hardware synths should be electronics, mechanics or physical parts that can’t easily be modelled in digital form, or would be much more expensive. Today’s electronics can have build quality and tolerance levels that were near-impossible in 70’s-80’s (golden age of Moog/Buchla hardware synths).

          If someone can build a box with good workflow and form factor, there could also be a reason for dedicated hardware. In that case it doesn’t matter if the box contains transistors or essentially a phone with different software (eg Teenage Engineering).
          But those reasons are also diminishing. Today hardware synth owners get multitouch pads to control their circuits.
          Once the touch screens get force-feedback response (this is underway), the reason for knobs may go away completely.

          There will always be shelf space for the warm glow of real tubes, but 9 knobs and a yellow/black LED screen to control a granular app with 50-100 params…?
          Let’s say they need to work hard to convince people that it’s a great digital tool.

          1. It’s amusing because I have two of the little deformers, and actually enjoy them immensely. Whether or not these fx could be achieve in computer software is pretty irrelevant to me. I don’t enjoy doing my synthesis, or using fx like this on a computer – I enjoy easily patching these together with various analog and hybrid hardware units, some of which have no equivalent in software (ciat lonbarde, serge, etc)

            I have yet to use a multitouch screen that offers anywhere near the tactile feedback that I get with knobs. I’ve heard people say now for years that multitouch screens will make knobs obsolete, and it falls in the same category (to my mind) as people saying that software synths will make hardware synths obsolete. It’s true by definition if you prefer working that way. But it’s ludicrous to hear this kind of pontification. On the other hand, it is good to know that my experience is invalid.

  2. This demo is outstanding and shows a very powerful product. Incredible performance from a very small company to deliver such a complete featurelist. The expansion option is tantalizing, and I’m wondering what other expansion units will come out too. Gotharman says he’s going to use this as a platform for future FX development so it’s a box that is going grow..

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