The next object of weird genius from SOMA Labs is RoAT which is inspired by those ancient times when computer games were made to fit on a single floppy disk.
What could that inspiration possibly project into a piece of real-world hardware? Well, what we have is an 8-bit, chiptune, 80’s computer game synth that has the best demo video ever.
RoAT is compact and portable, capable of generating dense noisescapes and rhythmic patterns of glitch and is, if nothing else, surprising and baffling.
It has 4 independently tunable oscillators, 16 waveforms and a dedicated LFO for each that can modulate the tone or the volume. These four modulating waveforms are then mixed together with other signals using 1,536 variations of complex summing algorithms with things like FM, Ring Modulation, logic and so on. There’s an 8-bit resonant lowpass filter to play with and a built-in sequencer. You can set the thing going and it will run for about 130 hours on a few AAA batteries.
I assumed this was going to be all about noise and terrible sounds but it’s actually very musical and sweet sounding. The interface is simple enough with a neat matrix grid to give access to parameters. The touch plates give you some triggering action when things are not droning. You can then introduced multi-stage complex algorithms to turn it all into noise and terrible sounds.
RoAT looks like a lot of fun and is only €130. Sadly it’s not shipping before Christmas in case you were thinking this would make an ace present for yourself. SOMA Labs are looking to open orders in January/February but you can get on the waiting list now.
SOMA Rumble of Ancient Times
- SOMA Labs RoAT: SOMA Labs