New synth buzz: Paraphonic

Traditionally a distinction has always been made between monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers. Apart from a few exceptions, on any synth one could either play just one note (like the Minimoog) or more notes simultaneously (like the 5-voice Prophet 5). Monophonic synths could be offered for a lower price compared to their polyphonic big brothers, without compromising it's sonic capabilities. Now we see the rise of the paraphonic synth, this time not driven by reduction of hardware cost, but more driven by marketing and positioning. The paraphonic synth allows several voices to be played independently however they share one filter.

Dave Smith introduced the Pro 2 (derived from the Prophet 12, in it's name a successor of the SC Pro-One), a 4-voice paraphonic synth that allows you to play the four oscillators independently, each with their own envelope.

dsi pro2

Moog introduced the Sub 37, a 2-voice paraphonic synth that allows you to play oscillator 1 and oscillator 2 independently.

moog sub37

Korg is introducing a remake of the ARP Odyssey (a duophonic synth derived from the ARP 2600), a 2-voice paraphonic synth allowing you to play two oscillators independently.

arp odyssey

About me

I like music, especially making music. I listen to a lot of different stuff, but I like soul, jazz and fusion music most. I like to develop and experiment with tools to make music performance and improvisation on the spot more exciting. It is fun when unexpected musical things happen during a performance!

In recent years I developed the MIDI real-time Harmonizer, a tool for generating harmonized chords when playing a solo line. Inspired by the work of saxophonist Michael Brecker, I started to develop this tool to run on Mac and PC. Brecker played the Electronic Wind Instrument and used the Oberheim Xpander synth to generate random chords from an EWI solo line. Now you can accomplish the same thing with the MIDI real-time Harmonizer driving your own favourite (plugin) synths.

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