Earlier this year, we told you about a French startup teasing an intriguing new sampler instrument, the WoFi. Today, Kiviak Instruments has officially launched the Kickstarter campaign for the WoFi and given us the skinny on its cloud-connected sampling keyboard.
Kiviak has said that WoFi is a 'modern take' on classic keyboard samplers from the '80s and '90s, fusing the fun, simplicity and sonic character of these vintage instruments with some decidedly contemporary touches.
The user can record samples into WoFi with the internal microphone or stereo input, or they can load samples and presets via the onboard WiFi connection from WoFi's cloud-based sample management platform, mywo.fi. Samples can also be loaded through WoFi's dedicated cartridge format, a design touch Kiviak have described as a "tribute to old gaming machines with cartridges".
Samples can be edited, sliced, pitch-shifted, time-stretched and mapped to the keyboard before being played back with 10-voice polyphony. Sounds can also be processed through a number of emulations of classic samplers, giving them colour, texture and lo-fi character. They can then be run through an ADSR envelope (assignable to amp, filter, or both) and a digital low-pass filter with two slopes, 12dB and 24dB.
Samples can also be processed with WoFi's Texturer, a harmonizing granular effect that Kiviak has described as "halfway between a shimmer FX and granular synthesis". Interestingly, Texturer is also going to be available as a standalone VST/AU effects plugin, which is scheduled for release by the end of Q1 2024.
WoFi is equipped with a tempo-syncable LFO with three different wave-shapes (triangle, square and saw) that can be assigned to any parameter on the instrument's front panel to create evolving rhythmic patches. The instrument has a 16-step sequencer for programming melodic patterns, and a second sequencer that can be used to sequence parameter changes.
WoFi's 25-key keyboard is velocity-sensitive and capable of aftertouch: both of these can be assigned to any parameter for expressive performance possibilities. It's also battery-powered: this, along with the internal speakers and microphone, make it an impressively portable music-making device.
In terms of ins and outs, WoFi is pretty well-connected and will play nice with external instruments and gear: we've got ins and outs for line-level stereo audio, CV/Gate, analogue sync and MIDI, in addition to MIDI Thru, a headphone out and a USB connection.
WoFi can be preordered now through a Kickstarter campaign and will set you back €599.