Superbooth 24: "Think the strings of a guitar or keys of a xylophone, but embedded into electronic synthesis": Korg unveils the next prototype for the experimental instrument Acoustic Synthesis_phase 8

(Image credit: Korg)

SUPERBOOTH 2024: Last year at the Superbooth gear expo, Korg teased an intriguing prototype that was in development at its experimentally-minded Berlin office, showing a curious instrument they called Acoustic Synthesis_phase 5. 

Twelve months on, and Korg has made significant strides in developing the instrument and has a new prototype to shout about, one that the brand tells us shares "many similarities" with the eventual product release it's ultimately aiming towards. 

As the name suggests, Acoustic Synthesis_phase 8 is an acoustic instrument operates much like a synthesizer. Sound is generated via tuned metallic forks which are stimulated by electromagnetism; these resonators can be used to synthesize both pitched and percussive sounds, and Korg says that the device is "part melodic synth, part drum machine".  

Korg says that it's possible for both the player and the environment to "interact physically" with the instrument, muting, plucking or otherwise interfering with the resonators to sculpt their sound. Feedback can also be harnessed to create unpredictable sounds, much like with an electric guitar.

The instrument has eight independent voices, a polyrhythmic sequencer, and it's also capable of waveshaping, envelope control and tremolo. There are currently five different prototypes, each of which has a unique design.

Korg Berlin says it's still adapting the design of its prototype for mass production, with the intention of having a finished product ready to show off at next years' Superbooth show. 

This isn't the only announcement from Korg to drop today; the brand has also revealed a new version of its popular Minilogue XD synth with inverted keyboard colours, and the ST1K, a tuner designed specifically for tuning analogue synths. 

Watch our interview with Korg Berlin's Tatsuya Takahashi from Superbooth 2023 below.


(Image credit: Korg)
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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