MATRIXSYNTH: New Batch of Synthfest UK 23 Videos

Monday, October 09, 2023

New Batch of Synthfest UK 23 Videos

video uploads by sonicstate

Playlist: (you can use the player controls to skip around)

1. Synthfest UK 23: Sequential - Trigon 6 Desktop
At SynthFest UK 2023, we had the opportunity to chat with Chris from Sequential, a part of the Focusrite group. Chris introduced us to the Trigon 6 Desktop, the latest addition to Sequential's synthesizer lineup. This compact desktop version of the Trigon 6 packs a powerful punch, offering three oscillators and a distinctive Dave Smith ladder filter. Designed for those seeking a space-saving solution without compromising on sound quality, the Trigon 6 Desktop retains all the features of its larger sibling, including patch recall, a versatile effects section with various modulation possibilities, and the distinctive feedback control that allows you to sculpt sub-harmonic richness.

Trigon 6 Desktop Price: $2,499
2. Synthfest UK 2023: Calc And the Prophet X
At Synthfest UK 2023, we caught up with Calc from Sequential, and he gave us the lowdown on the Prophet X. Now, you might be thinking, Prophet X? Haven't we seen that before? Well, you're right, but this hybrid instrument has been quietly making waves in the music world. It combines digital and analog elements, with digital oscillators and a unique twist in the form of multi-sample-based instruments. Yes, you heard that right, it's not just your run-of-the-mill synth; it's a full-on sampler too, boasting an impressive 50 gigabytes of memory for your custom samples. You can treat it like a rompler, a sample player, or even use those samples as oscillators, creating a whole new realm of sonic possibilities.

Plus, it's packed with stereo goodness, allowing you to explore a wide soundstage with ease. It's not your typical synth, and that's what makes its a favourute of Calc's

Looking for some more info on the Prophet X? Check out Sequential's official page:
3. Synthfest UK 23: Ryk Modular - Night Rider Quad Sequential Resonator
We caught up with Jake from Ryk Modular at SynthFest UK 2023 to get a closer look at their latest creation, the Night Rider, a quad sequential resonator. This module is a versatile sound sculpting tool that features four filters which can take on various filter types like bandpass, all-pass, and more. Each filter's frequency is displayed as a dot on the module, making it easy to visualize and manipulate your sound. Visually reminiscent of its eponymous talking car, one of the standout features of the Nightrider is its sequential capabilities, allowing for up to six stages of sequencing with individual settings for each stage. You can modulate the scanning using an LFO, providing rich and evolving textures to your soundscapes. The module also offers stereo positioning, saturation clipping, slew, and the ability to lock specific filters to maintain sub-bass frequencies. With two inputs, two outputs, and various filter types, the Nightrider offers a range of sound manipulation possibilities. Night Rider Quad Sequential Resonator Price: £345 incl VAT
4. Synthfest UK 23: Skald Modular - Complete Synth Voice
At SynthFest UK 2023, we had the chance to chat with Nathan from Skald Modular about their exciting new offering, an all-in-one voice module that's sure to turn heads. This compact 16 HP monophonic synthesizer voice packs a punch with discrete, through-hole components, delivering a classic analog sound. It features a single oscillator, a 24 dB low-pass OTA filter, a transistor-based VCA, and a Moog-style envelope with decay and release on the same knob.

What sets this module apart is its polyphonic capability. Nathan revealed that their system is designed to accommodate up to four of these voice modules, offering a simple and efficient way to create a polyphonic setup. With MIDI input supporting velocity, pitch bend, and aftertouch, as well as LFO modulation bussed to all voices, Skald Modular has streamlined the process of building a polyphonic synth. While each module functions as a standalone monophonic voice, the prospect of creating a compact and powerful polyphonic system with ease is undoubtedly intriguing. Skald Modular is currently taking orders for the first batch of voice modules.

Available: December 2023

Price per voice: around £500
5. Synthfest UK 23: Cong Burn - Strokes - Dispatch
At SynthFest UK 2023, we caught up with John from Cong Burn to explore their new offerings, Strokes and Dispatch. Strokes is a versatile 8-track MIDI sequencer that's all about polyrhythmic exploration. With the ability to set individual channels as Euclidean or Step sequencers running at independent rates and directions, it's perfect for creating intricate patterns. Each channel comes equipped with its own dedicated parameter sequencer, providing ample room for modulating synthesis and effects parameters. The module also boasts probability features, a modulation matrix, and an octagonal XY pad for seamless transitions between patterns, and you can use the performance page to smoothly interpolate between patterns, allowing for dynamic live performances. Strokes is available for VST3, Audio Unit, and as a standalone application.

Dispatch is a MaxForLive device designed for Ableton Live. It serves as a global modulation matrix that enables you to combine different modulation signals together and create complex modulation shapes. With the ability to mix modulation sources. It's also designed to bridge the gap between your DAW and external MIDI gear or Eurorack system, featuring audio CV inputs and outputs.
Strokes Price - Cross Platform Bundle: £45. iOS: £19.99. VST3 and AU: £35

Dispatch Price: £25
6. Synthfest UK 23:Rhodes MK8 Analog Effects Module
At SynthFest UK 2023, Dan Goldman from Rhodes showcased the Mark VIII electric piano with a solid walnut case and a sparkle gold top black front panel.

Dan emphasized the meticulous attention to detail that goes into creating these pianos at their factory in Leeds. He also introduced the effects module for the Mark VIII, which underwent extensive development to ensure low noise levels and a pristine signal path. Dan demonstrated the module's capabilities, including a chorus sound that can be controlled via an expression pedal, showcasing the hands-on approach to shaping the instrument's sound. The module features analog effects, such as stereo bucket brigade chorus, VCA four-stage phaser, bucket brigade delay, and VCA compressor, offering a wide range of sonic possibilities, from classic to experimental.

For more details about the Rhodes Mark VIII and its effects module, you can visit the official Rhodes website here.

Dan also shared insights into the instrument's development process, explaining how they incorporated the best elements from generations of Rhodes eras to create a versatile and authentic electric piano experience.
7. Synthfest UK 23: Officina Del Malista Magnetic MIDI Control System
At SynthFest UK 2023, Giorgio from Officina Del Malista introduced an innovative MIDI control system alongside an analog sequencer. The system comprises an analog sequencer with six tracks, each featuring magnets on a paper mask that can be adjusted for rhythm and metronome patterns. Giorgio demonstrated how the sequencer works, emphasizing its unique groove and non-quantized timing, making it a powerful tool for musicians seeking a more organic feel.

The MIDI control system uses sensors attached to the analog sequencer to process signals and output MIDI data to compatible sound-generating devices. Giorgio showcased the system's flexibility and hands-on control, allowing users to adjust velocity, note numbers, and more. The system's modular design also allows for expansion with additional sets of sensors. The combination of the analog sequencer and the MIDI control system offers musicians a creative and expressive approach to music production.

For more information on Officina Del Malista and their MIDI control system, you can visit their official website
8. Synthfest UK 23:MIDI 2.0 Updates - Now At OS Level
At SynthFest UK 2023, Jean-Baptiste Theibaut (JB) from The MIDI Association and Gaz Williams discussed the evolution of MIDI technology, specifically highlighting the adoption of MIDI 2.0 by manufacturers and its potential benefits. JB emphasized the importance of operating system and audio workstation support for developers to create MIDI 2.0 products effectively. He noted that Apple has already fully embraced MIDI 2.0, offering developers the opportunity to test their products with Logic and Apple software. Furthermore, JB shared insights into ongoing efforts to convince organizations like Microsoft to implement MIDI 2.0 support and the expected timeline for such developments.

MIDI 2.0 offers significant advantages over its predecessor, MIDI 1.0, primarily in terms of increased resolution for controllers, providing 16,000 steps for smoother parameter adjustments. The MIDI Association has also focused on simplifying device compatibility, allowing MIDI 2.0 devices to communicate and optimize settings automatically. This improved control and communication will enhance the user experience and eliminate the need for features like MIDI panic. Additionally, MIDI 2.0 addresses issues related to message prioritization and jitter, providing a more reliable and precise MIDI communication standard for the futurae.

For more information about MIDI 2.0 and its advancements, you can visit The MIDI Association's website here. MIDI 2.0 promises to usher in a new era of expressive and accurate music production with its enhanced capabilities and compatibility, ensuring that it remains a fundamental tool for musicians and creators.
9. Synthfest UK 23: Transistor Sounds Labs Stepper Nears Release
At SynthFest UK 2023, Nina from Sound Transistor Sounds Labs gave a sneak peek of their upcoming product, the Stepper Drum, an 8-channel trigger and gate sequencer designed for modular synthesizers. Although the release of Stepper Drum had been delayed due to parts shortages, Nina provided insight into its innovative features. The sequencer offers real-time tricks, allowing users to loop between different notes or patterns and execute fills with ease. Notably, Stepper Drum includes various note outputs, such as single note, doublet, triplet, and gate, making it versatile for both drum sounds and other modular applications. Nina mentioned that they are aiming for a release either by the end of this year or early next year, with plans to incorporate MIDI in and out capabilities in the next version of the product.

For those eagerly awaiting the release of Stepper Drum and its future updates, keep an eye on Sound Transistor Sounds Labs' website for further details and availability information.
10. Synthfest UK 23:Exclusively Analogue EMU Modular Remakes
At SynthFest UK 2023, Tony from Exclusively Analogue showcased their remarkable analog synthesizer system known as the Pioneer Tribute. The story of Exclusively Analogue traces back to 1992 when Tony began working with analog equipment, focusing on repair and restoration of vintage analog gear. Their flagship product, the Pioneer Tribute, is a lovingly crafted homage to the classic EMU modular system. Tony painstakingly recreated the EMU modules, staying true to the original circuitry while introducing modern enhancements, such as new oscillators based on Curtiss chips for stability and improved filter controls. What sets the Pioneer Tribute apart is its limited production, as each unit is hand-built, ensuring a unique and exclusive experience for musicians and sound enthusiasts.

For those intrigued by the rich analog sound and craftsmanship of Exclusively Analogue's Pioneer Tribute, more information can be found on their website at
11. Synthfest UK 23: Audio Computer Beatfriend - Unique Drum Machine
Ben from Audio Computer unveiled the Beatfriend at SynthFest 2023, an analog drum machine with a twist. The Beatfriend offers analog drum sounds while being computer-controlled, reminiscent of the classic CR-78 but with modern updates. The drum complexity is controlled by individual sliders, allowing users to sculpt their beats with ease. The machine introduces features like randomness and enthusiasm, adding dynamic variations to the beats, making it a fun and immediate creative tool. With a user-friendly interface and a focus on hands-on creativity, the Beatfriend sets out to be a musical companion for musicians seeking immediate inspiration.

Available for an estimated price range of £400-£500, the Beatfriend is expected to be on the market in early spring 2024. For more information and updates on its release, interested users can visit Audio Computer's website.
12. Synthfest UK 23: Audio Music Construction System ARM OS
At SynthFest 2023, Quincy introduced the Audio Music Construction System (AMCS), a dedicated operating system designed for music composition and MIDI control. AMCS runs on ARM embedded boards, providing a unique approach to music creation.

The interface resembles a tracker, with notes arranged from top to bottom and tracks moving from left to right. Tracks can be of varying lengths, up to 256 steps, and they operate independently, allowing for multiple polyphonic loops to run simultaneously. With a staggering 256 MIDI tracks at your disposal, users can create complex compositions with ease. The system also features a mixing function, enabling the manipulation of tracks independently or via keyboard triggers.

Quincy's old-school approach and extensive experience in Arm Assembler programming have given birth to a powerful and versatile music-making tool. For those who want to dive into music creation with AMCS, the system is available for purchase at
13. Synthfest UK 23: Wonky Stuff AE Modular Format Modules
John from Wonky Stuff showcased an array of innovative modules designed for the AE Modular system at SynthFest UK 2023. With affordability and versatility in mind, John introduced modules like the 3x3 matrix mixer and the popular RBSS (random bit shift sequencer) inspired by Turing machine concepts. Additionally, Wonky Stuff presented a quad VCA and the MoCo morph controller, enabling creative sound manipulation through triangular envelopes.

The product line also includes the Core, a programmable device, and Biot, a touch-play module, offering musicians diverse sonic possibilities. Furthermore, the micro drum modules, featuring classic drum machine sounds, have been condensed into a compact format. John's innovative MIDI-controlled modules, like the MIDI brain and MIDI-controlled oscillator, expand the AE Modular system's capabilities by allowing for multiple channels of MIDI data, making these modules an exciting addition to the AE Modular ecosystem. These modules are currently available on the Wonky Stuff
14. Synthfest UK 23: More On The Play Fader
Andrew from Play All Day demonstrated the Play Fader for Gaz at SynthFest UK 2023, highlighting its innovative features and versatility. The Play Fader serves as a CV performance looper with two channels, offering the capability to quantize or unquantize CV, record CV and gate separately, and manipulate recorded CV in various ways. I

n this demonstration, Andrew showcased its application beyond melodic control by connecting it to external pedals, emphasizing its role as a powerful tool for shaping expressive soundscapes. The Play Fader's clock in and out functions, combined with its ability to output MIDI clock, make it a flexible and creative addition to any setup, whether for modular synthesis or effects processing. The unit's portable design, accessible manual, and user-friendly controls make it a valuable asset for musicians looking to add expressive depth to their performances. The Play Fader is available for pre-order on the Play All Day at a price of €399, with shipping expected at the end of the year or early January.
15. Synthfest UK 23: Motor 6 Motas 6 Vector Synthesizer
At Motor 6, John unveiled the Motas 6 synthesizer, an analog synth with digital control that offers a wealth of sonic possibilities and modulation options. This innovative synthesizer features three oscillators, three filters, and an extensive modulation system that allows for creative sound manipulation.

Notably, the Motas 6's vector morphing feature enables seamless transitions between different patches, offering musicians a dynamic tool for shaping their soundscapes. John's dedication to designing this synthesizer over many years is evident in its flexibility and unique capabilities. The Motas 6 has been available for sale for some time, and its combination of analog warmth and digital control makes it a compelling choice for sound enthusiasts. For more information and to explore its features, you can visit the Motor 6 website
16. Synthfest UK 23: Audio Computer Weather Station Ambient Generator
At SynthFest 2023, Ben introduced the intriguing Weather Station, a device that defies easy categorization. This standalone machine serves as an ambient soundscape player, featuring multiple patches comprised of four loops that seamlessly blend and evolve, creating unique and endless sonic landscapes.

The Weather Station's appeal lies in its unpredictability, with a turbulence knob that introduces glitches and random elements into the loops. While it can function as a background sound generator, it also offers a headphone and line-out option for more immersive listening. With its inventive approach to sound generation and a unique set of effects controlled by the Triforce, this meditative and mesmerizing instrument opens up new avenues for sonic exploration. As it nears completion, the Weather Station is expected to be available for purchase alongside Ben's other creation, the Beatfriend, in the coming year. For more information and updates on the Weather Station, stay tuned to Audio.Compute;s website
17. Synthfest UK 23: Book - Listening To The Music Machines Make
At SynthFest 2023, we had the opportunity to chat with Richard from Omnibus Press, the publisher of the book Listening to the Music the Machines Make: Inventing Electronic Pop, 1978 to 1983.

The book delves into the vibrant era of electronic pop music in Britain during the late '70s and early '80s. Featuring a foreword by Vince Clark, the book offers a unique perspective on the musical landscape of the time.

It takes readers on a journey through this influential period, exploring the stories of iconic bands like Human League, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, and more. Richard's approach involved meticulous research into original press materials, such as NME, Melody Maker, and Sounds, to provide an authentic and comprehensive account of the era's music scene. While the book touches on the impact of synthesizers, it primarily focuses on the artists and their musical contributions. For those interested in the rich history of electronic pop, this book is a must-read.

To learn more and grab a copy, visit the Omnibus Press website at:
18. Synthfest UK 23: -Bandcamp Alternative?
At SynthFest 2023, we caught up with Tom from Artcore, an innovative self-releasing music marketplace. In a time of uncertainty for Bandcamp users following its acquisition, Artcore offers an alternative platform designed with a focus on electronic music, although open to all genres. Artists and independent record labels can upload their music and set their own prices.

Notably, Artcore provides more DJ-oriented features, such as prominently displaying metadata like BPM and key, making it a valuable resource for DJs seeking new tracks. Additionally, the platform offers royalty split functionality, allowing labels to easily manage payments to artists and collaborators, making it a compelling option for both artists and labels. Artcore's non-exclusive approach and user-friendly features make it a promising platform for independent musicians to explore. To learn more and get involved, visit the Artcore website at
19. Synthfest UK 23: Synthesizer Evolution Books and Posters
At SynthFest 2023, we had the pleasure of speaking with Oli Freke from Synthesizer Evolution about his impressive collection of synth-themed posters and books. Oli's Synthesizer Evolution posters are a visual journey through the history of synthesizers, starting from the earliest analog modular synths in 1963 and progressing through analog, monophonic, polyphonic, and digital synths up to the late '90s virtual analog era. These A1-sized posters are available in four different colors, making them a stylish addition to any studio decor. Additionally, Oli offers posters like SynthFamilyTree and Dance Music Family Tree, each exploring different facets of musical history.

For those who want to delve deeper into the world of synthesizers, Oli has also authored a book that serves as a comprehensive directory of synths from the 1960s to the 1990s. The book organizes synths by manufacturer and chronology, accompanied by Oli's hand-drawn illustrations and key technical details. While the prices mentioned during the event were specific to the occasion, you can find these captivating posters and the book on his website,, where worldwide shipping is available.

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