8 synths in one: Isla Instruments' Caladan is an expandable, customizable polysynth that lets you swap voices in and out

isla instruments
(Image credit: Isla Instruments)

Isla Instruments, the manufacturer behind the S2400 drum machine, has unveiled the first prototype images of a new hybrid analogue/digital polysynth called Caladan. 

Caladan is a multi-timbral instrument that will be based around eight expansion slots, each of which can be filled with an individual voice card containing a different analogue or digital synth voice. Isla Instruments plans to develop an initial batch of eight voice cards that recreate the sound of classic synths such as the Minimoog, Sequential Circuits Pro One, Roland SH-101 and Oberheim SEM. 

Down the line, Isla Instruments plans to expand this range to produce an extensive library of voice cards that can be swapped in and out to allow for a variety of different configurations, allowing the user to customize their own instrument. This will later be opened up to third-party developers who will be able to create and sell their own voice cards for the Caladan, which will all be accessible through a shared user interface. 

Caladan will also be able to host and play multi-sampled instruments using an onboard polyphonic SoundFont engine, making it an all-in-one, highly customizable hybrid synth and ROMpler.

Caladan is said to be inspired by FutureSonus' Parva, a short-lived, now-discontinued 8-voice polyphonic analogue synth from the early '10s that shares similarities with Caladan in both its interface and design. Isla Instruments claims to be "carrying on the legacy" of the Parva and "building on its DNA" while putting their own spin on the instrument. 

"I'm literally creating my dream synth and I want to take you along for the ride", writes Isla Instruments' founder Brad Holland in a post on Facebook announcing the product. Holland also shared some renders of the initial prototype, which will be manufactured within a few weeks. We've no word yet on when the synth will be available to the public or how much it will cost.

Visit Isla Instruments' website.

isla instruments

(Image credit: Isla Instruments)

isla instruments

(Image credit: Isla Instruments)
Matt Mullen
Tech Editor

I'm the Tech Editor for MusicRadar, working across everything from artist interviews to product news to tech tutorials. I love electronic music and I'm endlessly fascinated by the tools we use to make it. When I'm not behind my laptop keyboard, you'll find me behind a MIDI keyboard, carefully crafting the beginnings of another project that I'll ultimately abandon to the creative graveyard that is my overstuffed hard drive.

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