Korg Berlin Prototype Phase 8


A prototype of a new kind of synthesis being worked on by Korg Berlin.

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Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Superbooth in Berlin. One of the coolest things I saw at the show was a new prototype instrument from Korg Berlin.

Korg Berlin Acoustic Synthesis Phase 8 "Lukas" Prototype
Korg Berlin Acoustic Synthesis Phase 8 “Lukas” Prototype

The prototype serves as a demonstration of the new acoustic synthesis technology that Korg Berlin has been working on for the past three years. Unlike most synthesizers, which rely solely on electronic circuitry,  this instrument produces sound using a series of resonating metal tines, a bit like an electric piano. Under each of these resonators, there’s a driver, and when a player presses one of the keys, a driver sends a pulse to the corresponding resonator causing it to vibrate. The instrument has both a hammer mode and a pads mode – both of which I sampled.

Screenshot of the Korg Berlin Prototype 8 Sample Library

There are currently five prototype units:

All five prototypes units on a beige background

Since the resonators are interchangeable and can be tuned to a range of different notes, each prototype on display sounded different, so this sample library is really only capturing what this one prototype (named “Lukas”) sounded like on this one day. Also, through the magic of pitch-bending, I’ve made this into a playable chromatic instrument. But that’s not what it’s like to play the prototype at all. Korg Berlin have discussed the possibility of eventually making a keyboard-style instrument that makes use of this technology. But for now, these prototypes have only 8 notes, and as I used them, mostly by using the onboard sequencer, they felt to me much more like I’m using a drum machine.

As you’ll note, I’ve also included some extra features – Note Repeat, Delay, and Reverb – which I felt were in the spirit of the instrument. In any case, I think it’s a beautiful sample set. Special thanks for Lukas and Tats of Korg Berlin for being so cool and answering all my questions. All in all, y trip to Superbooth 2024 was really fulfilling, and I’m thrilled that I was able to bring home a little taste of what this prototype instrument sounds like.

– Dave

The sample library works with the free Decent Sampler player plugin. Download it here.







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