"This is where the ideas become physical things": Get a glimpse inside Korg Berlin's experimental synth-building workshop with Reverb

At this year's Superbooth trade show, one of the most exciting announcements was the next phase of Korg's Acoustic Synthesis prototype, a curious hybrid of acoustic instrument and synthesizer that produces sound by electromagnetically stimulating tuned metal resonators. 

Acoustic Synthesis phase_8 was developed at Korg's Berlin HQ, an outpost headed up by renowned instrument designer Tatsuya "Tats" Takahashi, the brains behind the brand's hugely popular Volca series and several other Korg products. 

Reverb has given us an exciting behind-the-scenes glimpse into the experimentally-minded workshop in a video tour shared this week. "This is where all the exciting things happen," says Tats as he shows Reverb around. "The idea with this space is that we're very spontaneous and hands-on and we try things out as soon as ideas come up - this is where the ideas become physical things."

Tats shows off several of the Acoustic Synthesis prototypes, pointing out that each developer on the five-person team has produced their own unique version of the instrument, equipped with different resonators and visual styles. When a commercial version of the instrument is released - which Tats says should be within a year's time - the user will be able to customize their own in the same fashion.

"We're really into the idea that with our instruments, people get to customize it, modify it, make it their own thing - we think that it's a really important thing for machines to become part of you, so you can create music with it," he says.

Later in the video, Tats takes Reverb into Korg Berlin's studio, showing us how a player can physically interact with Acoustic Synthesis' resonators to manipulate their sound. "Most synths, because they're purely electronic, you only access them through knobs and switches and faders," he explains.

"But we wanted to create something that felt a bit more alive, taking the nature of the sound-making outside of the box, for you to be able to interact with it."

Find out more on Reverb's website or revisit our 2023 interview with Tats below.

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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