Giorgio Sancristoforo’s 1950s laboratory experiment of building synths from test equipment reaches version 3 with more oscillators, devices and marvellous looking floating windows.
We loved the first two versions and Berna 3 looks like it just builds on an already fascinating foundation of the weird old bits of gear that gave birth to electronic music and evolved into so much of the synth gear we use today. Designed by developer and sound artist Giorgio Sancristoforo it recreates a vintage sound studio in a standalone application where you can explore sound in fundamental ways.
The new version breaks up the interface so that each device gets its own window for its user interface which are beautifully rendered with serious-looking control panels. The panels include an on/off switch so you can minimise CPU load by disabling unused devices. There are now 9 different oscillators, each with its own character. There are new devices, such as pulse generators, high precision low-frequency high-pass/low-pass filters, a Geiger counter and an X-Ray tube driven by a Rumkhorff coil and a simulation of the MESSGENERATOR MG60 used by Stockhausen for Studie II and Kontakte.
Berna is an amazing place to spend some time and you’ll find yourself creating sound in a completely different way to what you’d expect.
Berna 3 is expected to be out by the end of the year and will cost €25 for macOS or Windows. Giorgio Sancristoforo doesn’t have a booth at Superbooth this year but beta testing is expected to start soon so get in touch with him if you’d like to be involved in that.