Sonic Smith debuted their first products at the NAMM show. They had a couple of boxes based upon their pitch tracking technology which can turn any audio input into an analogue synthesizer. So, plug in a guitar or microphone and get yourself synthesized.
It’s a semi-modular audio controlled analog synthesizer. It uses their proprietary Audion Controlled Oscillator (ACO) to produce square and sawtooth waves in response to audio input. The envelope follower extracts the the dynamics of the input and there’s a second one that does the same to the side-chain input. The side chain can then be used as a harmony to the main input. There’s a CV controllable VCA and VCF, through jacks for chaining devices and three foot switches. They can switch in the side-chain, turn CV control on/off and activate the bypass.
Smaller than the Squaver, the Convertor is reduced down to the ACO for generating waveforms and CV outputs. It extracts the pitch, envelope, gat and trigger CV from the audio input. The two output waveforms, square and sawtooth, can be blended together on the front panel. Two knobs control the harmony interval and octave range. Again it has through jacks to accomodate chaining.
These are both lovely looking, strange and bold instruments. I’ve played a lot with pitch detection over the years and it’s a very hit and miss afair – mostly miss if I’m honest. However the demo video (below) shows a lot of interesting things going on. I think they fact that this feeds into the crazy world of modular means that it’s messiness is actually welcome and part of the charm.
Sonic Smith are looking to start taking orders next month and hope to ship in May. The Squaver P1 will be around $650, the Convertor around $350. More information on the Sonic Smith website.