If you miss the immediacy of recording on a 4-track cassette recorder but don’t want to sacrifice the creative options that digital technology has to offer, you might need to take a look at the new Torso Electronics S-4 Sculpting Sampler.
Visually, this looks like what you might sketch on a piece of paper if you were asked to design a 4-track for the 21st Century, and that’s probably no coincidence. There are indeed four parallel stereo tracks, each of which offers a chain of five audio devices.
First up, the Material device, which includes stereo ‘tape’ and sample players with live audio and looping capabilities. The Granular device delivers live granular processing with time-warping and pitchshifting algorithms, and Filter is a morphing resonator with a 48-band tuned filter bank. Color contains a selection of “destructive”effects - bit-crushing, drive and compression, for example - while Space is a combined reverb and delay unit with pitchshifting and shimmer.
And then there’s the modulation system - specifically, four modulators per track that can be applied to any parameter. These include LFOs, generative sequencers and envelopes.
In terms of connectivity, the S-4 offers two line inputs, two line outputs, a built-in mic, a stereo headphone output, MIDI I/O, analogue sync in/out and a USB-C port. It’s powered by a quad-core 1.5GHz processor and contains 4GB of flash memory, while the interface is made up of a hi-res LCD colour display, 21 RGB buttons and nine endless encoders.
The S-4 looks like it could be a genuinely inspiring improvisation tool, and one that we can’t wait to get our hands on. It’s available for pre-order now priced at $899, and will be released in March next year.
Find out more on the Torso Electronics website.