Following its highly successful launches of its PolyCinematic, Kickain and Chord Pilot Eurorack modules, Knobula has announced the latest member of its family of highly capable, sonically-focused modules.
Once again, Pianophonic forays into new territory for music creators, combining the power of multi-oscillator, wavetable synthesis with the organic, acoustic sound of a piano. Knobula (Booth Z365) will showcase Pianophonic, scheduled to ship in September, at Superbooth 23.
Pianophonic is a 12 HP wavetable synthesizer that takes its inspiration directly from the hammer and string action of the piano. With its three wavetable oscillators and sample-based playback engine for each one of its eight voices, Pianophonic mimics the characteristics of the three-string piano sound, using a range of professionally sampled wavetables and hammer samples. Users can access 16 banks of preset sounds with the included SD card, which can be stretched, morphed and reversed, or sent through the module’s on-board filter, envelope generator, compressor and reverb circuits. The result is an almost limitless sonic palette, combined with the inherent sonic DNA of a piano.
“I wanted to create a synth that borrowed its design from the four elements of a piano mechanism: three strings and one hammer,” says Jason Mayo, founder and CEO of Knobula. “It has been an enormously gratifying journey and we could not be happier with the result. Simply put, Pianophonic can make anything sound like a piano, and make a piano sound like anything.”
“In the late eighties and nineties, there were many groundbreaking digital pianos on the market that combed wavetables with short samples,” Mayo continues. “These were used to create some of the most iconic dance music sounds of that era. While it is by no means limited to this genre of music and can extend well beyond, Pianophonic — with its wavetable synthesis, modulation and shaping capabilities — takes this concept to a completely new level.”
With its 24-bit / 48 kHz sampling and a highly flexible, elastic palette of sounds, Pianophonic follows Knobula’s philosophy of creating focused yet highly innovative modules that feature ‘knob-per-function’ control for the parameters that really matter during live or studio performance. With its MIDI connectivity, gate I/O, chord select and volt per octave inputs, Pianophonic is also designed to be fully patchable with a larger Eurorack or traditional synth setup.
More than piano and hammer sounds
The included SD card also features many key mapped wavetables derived from a wide variety of instruments including four types of acoustic piano, electric piano, guitars, tuned percussion, several classic synthesizers as well as other useful sets of harmonic waveforms. Users will also be able to upload their own sounds to Knobula’s online waveslicer tool, enabling them to create their own custom sounds for Pianophonic, or to access other pre-defined assets from a sound library.
Several sounds will included on the SD card that ships with every module. Each sound can be modulated and manipulated with Pianophonic’s onboard controls for almost limitless possibilities. These sonic varieties include an eclectic mixture of acoustic pianos, guitars and vintage synths.
Pianophonic will be available this September through Knobula’s network of authorized dealers at price of £350 GBP (UK), $440 USD (US) and 400 EUR (EU).
More information: Knobula