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EssenceFM is a 300-voice synth that looks like the FM hardware of the future

While the world waits for Yamaha to release a new version of the DX7, other manufacturers are stepping up to the FM synthesis plate. We’ve already had accessible FM instruments from the likes of Elektron and Korg, but now newcomer Kodamo is threatening to steal everyone’s crystalline ‘80s thunder with EssenceFM.

This looks like a thoroughly modern - and supposedly “fun and easy” - FM synth that takes a graphical approach to sound design. This is made possible by the built-in touchscreen, which shows the operators’ outputs in real-time during playback, with envelopes displayed as editable graphical curves. Operators can be dragged and dropped on each other to build your algorithm, and waveforms are editable.

The overall aim is to provide simplicity for the user without sacrificing power. EssenceFM includes six operators, a resonant filter and two integrated effects processors, and offers 300-voice polyphony.

EssenceFM was launched over the weekend at SynthFest France, and is set to ship in December priced at between €800 and €1200. The model on show was only a prototype, with hardware design and presets still to be finalised, but most of the feature set is in place. EssenceFM will be usable as a tabletop synth or in a rack.

Find out more on the Kodamo website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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