Fred's Lab launches multi-timbral desktop spectral synth Manatee

Fred's Lab have announced the release of a new desktop synth: Manatee is a multi-timbral digital synthesizer equipped with MPE support. 

Powered by two dual-core 200MHz processors, Manatee offers 16 voices spread over four independent MIDI tracks; as such, it's capable of producing fully-fledged arrangements or layering complex multi-timbral sounds. 

The synth makes use of spectral synthesis, a variation of additive synthesis where a timbre's harmonics can be manipulated in real-time. "What is also unique is how the resulting spectral content is converted into sound waves," the synth's description reads, "but this is Manatee's secret sauce!" 

Manatee is also capable of some more conventional digital synth techniques, including virtual analogue and 2-operator FM synthesis. Each voice has a dedicated sub-oscillator, noise module, ring mod, multimode filter, and saturator, with a ton of per-voice and per-track options for modulation, including a 3-slot modulation matrix. Onboard effects include a stereo delay and insert reverb with multiple algorithms,

Fred's Lab has launched a Kickstarter campaign to support the development of Manatee. "Developing hardware products is an exciting venture, but it comes with real world financial challenges, especially for a one-man company like mine. The required investments for production are substantial and quite difficult to secure," the Kickstarter reads.

"To make this project economically viable, it's required to manufacture the machines in large enough batches. With crowdfunding, we can rally support from backers who share the same enthusiasm for the project and combine all the orders."

With 124 backers and nearly £60k pledged, the project has already reached its goal, but if you're interested, you can still support Manatee on Kickstarter; these units will be manufactured early next year.

Find out more about Manatee on Fred's Lab's website.

Matt Mullen
Tech Features Editor

I'm the Tech Features Editor for MusicRadar, working on everything from artist interviews to tech tutorials. I've been writing about (and making) electronic music for over a decade, and when I'm not behind my laptop keyboard, you'll find me behind a MIDI keyboard or a synthesizer. 

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