At Zurich Modular 2018, Marko from Elektro Kosmos gives me an exclusive first look at the KOSMONAUT, a new unique full analog discrete mono Synthesizer that is built like a tank!
In the last hours, there was only one topic in the synth communities: the new leaks of the Moog Music One poly Synthesizer. Not only Moog has news but also a very small Synthesizer manufacturer from Switzerland. Already in 2017, I have reported about the KOSMONAUT from Elektro Kosmos but unfortunately there was no further and new information about it.
At the weekend, I was at the Zurich Modular where I met Marko, the developer of this unique Synthesizer. The good news is: yes the KOSMONAUT is coming out and probably this year. The bad news: it will be affordable only by a few musicians.
Discrete Analog Engine
The KOSMONAUT Synthesizer has a completely discrete analogue structure and is based on a relative classic synthesis engine. It features on the right side two oscillators (VCO) with a different waveforms (sine, saw, triangle, pulse, w. noise and c.noise) and range from 10.7Hz to 23KHz. The waveforms can further shaped with pulse width/pw modulation, FM, ring modulation as well as cross-modulated. Highlight is here that the oscillator are also perfect useable in very high ranges.
Than the oscillator section goes further in two multi-mode analog filters. It comes with a LP 12dB, BP 6dB, HP 12dB, Notch 6dB as well as an external input where it’s possible to route external audio through the two filters at the same time. It’s based on a butterworth filter. The filters can be modulated here with a one of the different mod sources and with an envelope in the same time.
KOSMONAUT features also with two ADSR type envelopes that can operate in 6 different modes:
- VCA1 + VCA 2 ADSR
- VCA1 + VCA 2 AD
- VCF1 + VCF2 ADSR
- VCF1 + VCF2 AD
- VCA1 + VCF1 ADSR
- VCA1 + VCF1 AD
Two LFO’s (sine, saw up, saw down, triangle, pulse) with MIDI-CC to CV functionality for LFO1, a range of 1HZ-10KHz and a sample & hold generator conclude here the modulation section.
The final audio signal goes than in two VCA’s that cam modulated by an dedicated ADSR envelope or an other mod source. Both VCA signals goes further in a mixer and to the main output.
Audio & MIDI Connections
In the connections, the developer keeps everything very classic. So there is only one MIDI in, no USB, 2 line in, 1 stereo in CV / Gate and a line mono output. Also, there is a button that allows ti activate MIDI CC.
The Slightly Different Design & Concept For A High-End Synth
The design of the KOSMONAUT stands out clearly. It’s made of steel (6,8 kg) and is extremely solid. Even the 60 installed knobs have the best quality and to be honest, they are for me the best knobs I have ever touched.
The concept is also very different there. Marko, the developer told me that musicians should use the instrument without a faceplate. This should motivate the musicians to make mistakes and the result are new sounds. Also it’s aim is to remove the habits of synth players (turn the filter to get this sound) to lead them to new experimentations. No display, no preset manager so it’s a synth for musicians who loves hands-on synths. The developer will ship the synth also with a template which customers can installed on the synth with the parameter informations.
Also different is the side pieces which are perspex and thus provide an insight into the interior of the synth.
First Look Video & Sound Demo
Price & Availability
As already announced, the KOSMONAUT Synthesizer is not a mass produced synth but more for musicians who like to spend more money and like to get the best quality. So it will cost +/- 5000€, is handmade in Switzerland and will probably be delivered by the end of this year!
More information here: Elektro Kosmos