On of the more interesting introductions from the 2012 Summer NAMM Show is the Kinektron Digital Synth Cube, a small self-contained synthesizer & sequencer.
Newly-formed company Kinektron is introducing its first piece of synth gear, the K-DSC-1 ‘Digital Synth Cube’. Featuring a self-contained general MIDI synthesizer engine and 16-step step sequencer, the device is, according to its developers “a unique entry level music making machine.”
- Self-Contained general MIDI synthesizer engine and 16-step step sequencer
- Similar in programming workflow to classic step sequencer based equipment such as x0x boxes and similar analog or early digital step sequencers
- Gestural controls enabled by built in accelerometer
- Unique, Infrared programmability – program your K-DSK-1 from any web enabled computer or mobile device which supports java and a minimum refresh rate*
- 8 Patterns at a time
- 32 Voice Polyphony
- Pattern Save\Recall
- Several Programmable Parameters for each step
- MIDI sync and other MIDI features will be available via planned expansion module
- No menu items deeper than 2 button presses.
- Easy color-coded interface is intuitive to learn with little study
- Web based pattern sharing and creation with our unique ‘light based’ pattern programming protocol, K-IRP.
- Hidden game will become playable as more modules are collected (and firmware updates are distributed)
The Kinektron Synth Cube System
The Kinektron Synth Cube is intended to be part of a larger, open ecosystem.
The K-DSC-1, by itself, is a compact, portable, ‘semi-pro’ music production and sound experimentation kit. In addition to the initial module, though, Kinektron has several additional modules in development:
- The K-ASC-1 Analog Synth Cube;
- The K-APM-1 Analog Percussion Module;
- The K-DSP-1 Digital Signal Processor; and
- A MIDI interface\audio mixer cube, the K-MAMC-1 MIDI & Audio Mixer Cube. The K-MAMC-1 will allow syncing of Kinektron Synth Cubes with standard MIDI equipment.
K-Konnect ‘Open Protocol’ Interface
Kinektron has also developed an Open Protocol, K-Konnect. With auto-negotiation, bi-directional, master-less communication, and other features, this protocol is what connects the various cubes together.
Kinektron plans to provide example code to allow Arduino, Parallax Propeller, and similar micro-devices to interface and communicate with K-Konnect devices.
The Kinektron Digital Synth Cube
The most unique feature of the Kinektron K-DSC-1 Digital Synth Cube is the use of a primarily gestural parameter entry methodology, along with a simplified 16 property editing grid, with properties being selected by first pressing one of two mode switches and then tilting the cube to enter parameters.
Another unique feature is the ability of the K-DSC-1’s ‘K-Connect’ data ports to be used easily with Arduino micro controller boards – popular programmable single board computers. Kinektron plans to offer a library, example code, and tutorials to create projects with the K-DSC-1 and an Arduino board at product launch.
The unit also features a built in digital delay and a transistor distortion, reminiscent of classic FX pedals, each with step-sequenced parameters.
The Digital Synth Cube was created by Robert Guyser and Glen Liberman.
Kinektron expects the Digital Synth Cube to be priced under US $200 and to be available sometime in early 2013. In the meantime, they’ve got a papercraft model of the Digital Synth Cube (.pdf).
See the Kinektron site for additional details.