[sdiy] Silhouette Eins optical synthesizer

cheater cheater cheater00social at gmail.com
Thu Sep 2 19:47:26 CEST 2021


Very interesting new synthesizer. Several novel ideas that we could
look at for synth DIY.

The immediately coolest thing is using a screen as a front panel.
Essentially the inventor stuck potentiometers to the front of a PC
monitor. I considered doing something similar maybe 15 years ago but
somehow I thought it wouldn't be "perfect enough". I guess Johannes
Pit Przygodda is less held back by stupidity like that. The end result
is very cool. I wonder if anyone else has tried that. The front panel
can show the current setting of a knob (think LED rings) and you can
reconfigure what knob does what parameter. Real cool. Perfect fusion
of analog knobs, patch memory, and in-depth configurability.

The second cool thing is the synthesis method. A camera scans the
silhouette (hence name) of an item placed on a light table like you'd
use for drawing (essentially it's an LCD screen always showing a
full-white picture). I understand this then is used as an input to a
wavetable synthesizer, but I'm not sure. The Synthtopia article
mentions it might be like the Oramics Machine, but from looking at the
video I believe it might be more like an Optigan.

https://www.synthtopia.com/content/2021/08/31/new-silhouette-eins-synthesizer-blurs-the-line-between-sound-image-sneak-preview/

The third cool thing is the haptic element of the video based
synthesis method. The light table and objects placed upon it become a
control surface, and that's very valuable.

I feel like this will be returning in the future. Being able to place
arbitrary objects on a control surface and to use them as a control
interface and even element of the synthesis engine is a huge step
forward from just having knobs, sliders, strings-with-rings, keys,
buttons, and the like.


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