How is that for a headline? Recently, Matteo Di Cosmo, a CERN Electronic Engineer, released a 6-piece musical journey called Synthworks, which he created using that he built using old FPGA blocks. Let that sink in. An engineer who basically smashes particles together in the worlds largest scientific experiment, built a tiny subtractive synthesizer, and then recorded a 6-track EP. What are you doing with your life? Probably something nowhere near as bad ass. I'm certainly not. But, back to the synth. While measuring just 10cm x 10cm, the tiny and mighty synth boasts quite impressive user controls.
What Are The Features?
- Oscillators: Sine, Tri, Square, Saw, Sub-Osc, Noise, PWM
- LP Output filter (resonance / cutoff control)
- Filter and Voltage ADSR
- Tremolo, Vibrato effects
- Polyphony – 8 voices
- MIDI communication
- 3 LFO – Destinations: VCO, VCF, PWM
- no presets
"Thanks to full compliance with the MIDI protocol, Synthworks was composed using a DAW as a sequencer to record multitrack sequences previously programmed using an external keyboard. Since no presets were available, the individual tracks were recorded on the fly and processed at a later stage. The only external effects used were Equalization and Delay." - Matteo Di Cosmo
Tiny Synth Process
How Does It Sound?
But how does this "tiny" synth sound? Massive. Like I can't actually believe how rich and thick it sounds, for being so small. Matteo is selling the music on his Bandcamp, which you can get here. Check out the project below, and be sure to help fund his further tiny instrument building. Who knows, maybe you'll be able to own one? See his process in the photo gallery above.