Percussa have been pushing their AudioCubes around for quite some time. But we didn’t see the complete Synthor system until just before NAMM earlier this year and then they were demonstrating it at the show. It manages to be somehow intriguing and mystifying all at the same time. It’s now all coming together and they are taking pre-orders on the website for quite an alarming amount of money.
Synthor System 8
They call it a digital modular sound synthesis system and it’s completely self-contained. It doesn’t require a computer or other editing software, it’s designed to completely operable and seamless within the hardware itself. The system consists of a bunch of 3rd generation AudioCubes, a control surface and a hardware synthesizer with a rather lovely display.
The AudioCubes act as synthesis modules and can be patched together completely wirelessly. Parameters can be changed via placement, orientation and relative position. Up to 15 AudioCubes can then be controlled by the controller with its 8 featureless knobs and multiple buttons. The hardware synth is based on a Quad Core Cortex A17 processor and features multiple synthesis modules and 64-bit processing. The modules include oscillators, filters, waveshapers, sampler, noise generator, LFO’s, sequencers etc. As a module is selected and sent to an AudioCube it adopts the colour of the assigned module; green for oscillator, blue for envelope and so on. All details and parameters are displayed on the 1600×480 px full-colour display.
Let’s get physical
It’s a uniquely physical experience. One that is unlikely to bring you a bunch of quick sounds, but rather one that invites play and experimentation. I confess that I’m yet to see a satisfying demonstration. The AudioCubes tend to be interesting but also very simplistic – large chunks of hardware doing single things. Move the LFO cube and it speeds up the rate or changes the amount. Is that it?
Your standard Synthor System 8, with controller, synth and 8 AudioCubes will set you back €4240. That would buy you a huge wodge of Eurorack, or a Buchla Music Easel. So they are asking a lot for something rather experimental. It’s really cool and everything, but there’s just not a whole lot going on. Or maybe it’s just something you have to play with to understand it. That’s something that has certainly not been captured in video as yet.
For more information and to place your order head over to the Percussa website.