NAMM 2023: Sound Particles' 'first ever' 3D synth is a "game changer", according to Jean-Michel Jarre

NAMM 2023: Sound Particles is making quite a few claims regarding its SkyDust 3D synth, and with the backing of Jean-Michel Jarre, the Portuguese developer certainly has a heavyweight endorsee.

Skydust 3D is a "history making" virtual instrument, according to Sound Particles, but while it does boast some impressive-sounding features, we're not yet totally convinced that it really does represent the "first time spatial audio can be used by musicians as a creative tool."

There is room for excitement here, though. SkyDust can not only play its sounds within spatial audio, but you can also use MIDI, LFOs, envelopes and other modulation to control that sound's position over time. That means you can change the elevation and 3D position of notes as you would modulate a filter, or send arpeggiations off into space – which some might say is the best place for them. 

For those concerned that they don't have the spatial audio recording or playback facilities to enjoy SkyDust 3D, Spatial Audio says that the cheaper stereo/binaural version sounds fantastic, too. In fact, SkyDust 3D supports over 30 output formats, including stereo, 5.1, 7.1, 7.1.2 (Dolby Atmos), 9.1.6, Ambisonics, and binaural (3D using headphones).

We might as well hear that full Jarre quote on SkyDust too, while we're at it. The French synth icon loves a bit of new technology, of course, but does seem particularly smitten with SkyDust. It is, he says "a game changer - something I’ve been waiting for a long time. It’s the first synthesizer to create sounds in multi channels and binaural from scratch. The first musical instrument for immersive sound.”

SkyDust costs $299 for the full version and $149 for the stereo and binaural version, and is available now from the Sound Particles website. There's more of the latest NAMM news on our NAMM 2023 main page.

Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.

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