At the 2020 NAMM Show, Sonicware introduced their Liven 8-bit synthesizer – an affordable synth (about $165) that features an 8-bit waveform memory synthesizer with step sequencer, 32-bit effects and lots of hands-on control.
It’s portable, can run on battery power and has analog sync for working with devices like Korg Volcas.
We talked with Sonicware product specialist Kyle Kilpatrick, who gave us a demo of the Liven’s synth engines, sequencing capabilities and more.
- MIDI IN & OUT
- SYNC IN & OUT
- Built-in Speaker
- Stereo line output
- Stereo line input
- Headphone output
- 9V DC, 6 AA batteries
- Four 8bit wave memory synth engines ( WARP, ATTACK, MORPH, FM )
- Powerful voice mode( POLY, MONO, LEGATO, UNISON and ARPEGGIATORS )
- ADSR EG
- LPF, HPF, BPF
- Chorus, Flanger, Delay, Hall and Plate Effects
- 1xLFO ( for Pitch & Filter Freq)
- 128-patch memory
- 128-waveform memory
- 64-step Sequencer, 128 patterns, Real-time and step recording, Pattern chain, Metronome
- Octave shift
- Pitch bend
- Swing control
- Parameter automation
Pricing and Availability
The LIVEN 8bit Warps synthesizer is being funded via a Kickstarter project and is available to backers starting at about $165 USD.
19 thoughts on “Liven 8bit Synth An Affordable, Portable & Powerful 8-bit Synthesizer”
Seems fun. Especially with the sequencer and the FX. Sold!
He mentions that the filter is “2-pole, non-resonant.” I suspect they didn’t have sufficient horsepower in the MCU.
IDK, sounds squelchy enough for a non-resonant filter. I’m not mad at it. Besides, not every synth can have everything.
Cannot get that catchy riff that they used for the namm demos out of my head – sold by burning that loop into my brain!
Right after the first chorus here: https://youtu.be/Qpm2lnVbiBU
It’s been used in other italo disco songs, but this is the only one that came to mind
sry do not recognize it beeing the same – but perfect song for the next bad taste party for sure!
I put in on it – looking forward to pairing with the electribe e2 and volcas since you can run them all via simple sync and the electribe comes with a bunch of chip/lofi sounds making it a pretty cool portable pairing
If this is up your alley, support this small company =)
Would be nice if Behringer could clone this thing but make it analog. Doesn’t sound so hot in its current state.
Yes, thats a good idea, most everything that they made nowadays is digital, why?
It would be nicer if Behringer designed their own products. People’s obsession with this massive Chinese factory copying everyone else’s work is bizarre.
Do you get paid to mention Behringer under every Synthtopia article lately or is it just a hobby?
It’s just a lame attempt at trolling. They think that they are edgy and original, but they are neither. They just keep beating the dead horse, because they don’t have any ideas. Let alone own ones.
They have a Kickstarter reward option that gives you an ELZ-1 and a Liven for $549 plus shipping. ( I think it came to $569 for me in the US.) So you get both for less than what an ElZ-1 goes for ($599). Not a bad deal!
This Liven is easily the best “chiptune” hardware since the “elektron Sidstation (1998)” utilizing the Commodore 64 “MOS658” chip from the year 1981!
And that says something!
Chiptune to the future!
That’s an incredible amount of machine as compared to a similarly priced Volca. I’m not really a fan of the sounds but dayyyum—impressed anyway.
Happy to see small companies like this being well received and possibly flourishing and growing with time
man… the GAS this year is Lovecraftian in its insanity
It seems there is a love/hate reaction to this synth. Count me in among those who love it.