The Collidoscope Synthesizer – A Collaborative ‘Musical Microscope’


The Collidoscope, above, is a hardware synth prototype, created by researchers Ben Bengler & Fiore Martin, that is a ‘musical microscope’ for up to four people. 

“Think of Collidoscope as a musical microscope that allows you to zoom into sounds and explore their beautiful peculiarities, and in the next moment, to play and perform your sonic discoveries like a musical instrument,” note the developers

Here’s a video demo:

The hybrid keyboard is a combination between a sampler and a supercollider synth engine. The controls allow for changes to grain size, waveform position, pitch and more.

Collidoscope is designed to be explored in collaboration, and up to four participants can simultaneously collaborate as explorers, sound designers and performers.

via aymat, Centre for Digital Music, Doctor Mix

21 thoughts on “The Collidoscope Synthesizer – A Collaborative ‘Musical Microscope’

    1. I thought likewise when I saw the Yamaha DX7. I asked: “Isn’t this just a hardware version of Ableton Operator?”

    2. Maybe more like Granulator in Ableton, or Samplr on iOS. But yeah, basically a novelty hardware expression of existing software.

  1. This looks so fun to me. Definitely has a SAMPLR vibe but I love the idea of a hardware granular synth with simple hands on controls (not to mention an instrument made for collaborative play). Sure, you can create the sounds in ableton but how fun would it be to leave the laptop off and jam with a friend and a pile of sound sources.

    For comparison, it actually appears to have much more granular functionality than the OP-1’s sampler and the Octarack is monophonic. Though the combination of all three might just be magic 🙂

  2. I think this will turn out to be quite nifty for performing artists in the future. I can just imagine doing a show and with the collidoscope synth, “make” a new instrumental live and do a freestyle to it. Perhaps it might be something similar to a feature in ableton or other production software, though when compared side by side, which has an easier interface with a live performance application in mind?

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