Amazing Synth Concepts – Digitopia Contest Winners

Winner: Dream Synthesizer – Andreas Paleologos

The “Dream Synthesizer” lives up to its name: it embodies a laundry list of ideas about how to make a more interesting synth. Building the whole instrument would be wildly impractical for this project. But one central concept caught our eye as both practical and innovative. The idea is, touch interaction with an array of LEDs creates envelopes that provide a single metaphor for all sound design. Those envelopes aren’t just one paradigm among others: every sound parameter is accessed with gestures.

Here’s how Andreas describes his concept, the spark that most inspired us:

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.

There are more details in the proposal we’ll share soon. And since the project is open, it’s one I hope that we’ll share with the CDM community on an ongoing basis, including getting reactions and ideas as the project is implemented.

By the way, check out Swedish-born, Norwegian-resident Andreas’ artist site, Cuckoo — cool stuff:
http://cuckoo.no/

LUM, Alfredo A. Duarte Jorquera (Chile) is already, in this mock-up demonstration video, a compelling demonstration of the use of the Sony PS3 Move controller for music. Max Mathews, maker of the Radio Baton, would be proud. I hope Alfredo continues with this project, because I think he’s got a clear vision of how it can work. Updated: that’s an actual demo, so the work has already begun! Go forth!

There’s a LOT more cool ideas here. I strongly recommend checking them out.

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