Soma Laboratory latest release Ornament-8 is an innovative, horizontal modular hardware sequencer that brings new ways of sequencing to the table.
Most sequencers follow a classic design: a running light, steps are programmed, playback, etc. Make Noise tried to bring some innovation in the sequencer world early this year with its 0-Ctrl that offers interesting new ideas. Now the geniuses of Soma Labs from Russia have a new sequencer at the start that turns the sequencer wheel upside down. Interestingly, this was not developed by Vlad Kreimer alone, but with
Interestingly, this was not developed by Vlad Kreimer alone, but with Vadim Minkin, a new creative mind who recently joined Soma Labs. Ornament-8 is described as an organismic sequencer or as a Synthesizer of behavior. Unlike all other sequencers, it relies on a fully horizontal modular structure that consists of eight equal and independent cells which are special delay lines. Each cell runs from 50ms up to 50 seconds or 5 minutes in total.
It operates as an analog computer with a temporal dimension where the patching and temporal properties of each cell determined the behavior of the sequencer. Too complicated, don’t worry, it’s not easiest product to understand.
Soma Labs Says:
ORNAMENT-8 is based on a completely new principle of synthesis of behaviour. Instead of a vertical structure with a tempo generator on top and some memory for storing sequenced events, we have a dynamic equilibrium inside a horizontal structure without any memory, just an infinite “now” that generates the next moment of behaviour. In certain key aspects, it resembles a neural network where there is no difference between “processor” and “memory”, where functions are blurred and all structures are very flexible.
Because the ORNAMENT is fully modular, you can connect any number of ORNAMENTs into a single network, creating very complex multi-dimensional structures with the same complex behaviour. For those with philosophical inclinations, ORNAMENT is a playground the size of a box of chocolates where you can study fundamental laws of life and society, going beyond linear logical thinking.
ORNAMENT can be controlled via Eurorack-compatible Control Voltage. The output of ORNAMENT is also standard CV signals that can control LYRA-8, PULSAR-23, Eurorack systems, and any equipment that can receive CV, including non-audio ones such as lighting setups or electromechanical installations.
Even if the Lyra-8 does not have many connections, it can also be controlled with the sequencer but in a very different way. Soma Labs developed a special adapter for it that it possible to connect the LYRA sensors to the sequencer while also preserving the ability to play it normally with your fingers. The adapter attaches to LYRA’s surface using magnets which make installation easy and safe. ORNAMENT, as an organismic sequencer, complements LYRA’s organismic synthesis nature, making them a perfect pair.
It looks like this is just the beginning of this partnership and that we can look forward to more exciting instruments from the Russian sound laboratory
ORNAMENT-8 was designed by Vadim Minkin, the new creative mind who recently joined SOMA laboratory. ORNAMENT is intended to be the first in a line of SOMA sequencers developing new principles of behavior generation and control.
In easy words: Ornament 8 sequencer aka analog computer doesn’t allow you to program a sequence with specific amount of steps. No, it invites you to patch the path like in a network and having timing and rising envelope along the way within the patching process.
Soma Labs Ornament-8 is available now, only from the Russian production division. The net price of Ornament-8 with PSU and kit of connectors is 450€ without VAT, shipping, customs and money transfer expenses.
More information here: Soma Labs