Set up in the historic Lavanderia a Vapore ("steam laundry" in English) in the outskirts of Turin, SOUNDMIT has attracted dozens of manufacturers, many of whom have not shown their products outside of Europe. The first day of the event gave audio professionals a chance to see in-depth workshops and get personalized demonstrations on many of the unusual products. Here are a few highlights from the show.
The day kicked off with a workshop by synth-guru Enrico Cosimi on VCV [vcvrack .com], the burgeoning, open-source virtual Eurorack synth. This fascinating 2-hour workshop was followed by sessions focusing on mastering for different recording formats and synthesizing 808 tones.
One of the first things we checked out was the Mixerblocks from Finegear, which you purchase in sections as kits. This lets you create a custom mixer that completely meets your needs. The kits are aggressively priced—well under 100 Euros per channel strip, for example. And you can get it in MDF (shown here) or wood. You can add a 4-bus effects send at the top of each channel, as well as other features.
The Italian manufacturer Uno Mas showed a number of high-quality, handmade 2- and 4-channel DJ-related products. The one that stood out for me was the SP3, a stereo tube-based mixer that provides 3-band filters for two of the stereo channels—and it sounded great!
And while I'm on the subject of filters, the Vertice Analog Filterbank from Euterpe Synthesizer Laboratories has three fully analog filters capable of a stunning range of sounds—from subtle to wildly distorted. The filters can be used in parallel or series, with the ability to add passive or active emphasis to each.
And check out Keen Association's Polyphonic Touch'N'Run Voltage Array, which has a Buchla-inspired look. The controller promises features such as a 3-voice sequencer with chord memory and numerous real-time control modes. On the left is the company's Graphic Waveform Generator module, designed to fit into Buchla 200e cases. The 4-voice module allows you to draw, play back, and modulate a waveform (displayed on the screen) in real time. Combined with the controller, it's a very inspiring set up for live performance.
Not only is there a new line of theremins on display, they are designed to interface with your analog gear. Moreover, these handcrafted instruments by Theresyn founder Nori Ubukata have modifications to the traditional theremin circuit that is meant to give them greater expressivity with dynamics and playing rhythmically.
One of the models includes a set of resonant strings on the rear that are activated by a bone-conductor rather than piezo.
The company is making other models, as well, all of which include CV and trigger outputs. The crescent-shape on the side acts as both the volume antenna and as pressure sensor.
More news about SOUNDMIT to come, so stay tuned!