Landscape Noon is a fascinating 8-channel powerless experimental analog drum machine & Synthesizer with a rich natural and organic character.
New Synthesizer ideas generate a lot of attention. Instruments that are innovative and surprisingly different. I like to call them experimental because they challenge musicians with new concepts and sounds. One of them is the US-based manufacturer Landscape, which caused quite a stir with products such as the HC-TT or Stereo Field.
After a long product release break, Landscape is showing Noon, its newest development today. An analog drum Synthesizer with a colorful, interface and passive design.
The Landscape Noon is neither a TR-808 / TR-909 replica, nor a clone of another classic. The developers have created a new innovative drum instrument with new sound possibilities and character. The blue and gold interface that mix classic sliders buttons and touch plates, alone is an eye-catcher and a refreshing change from the black device boxes of the big players. It’s beautiful, very artistically and cute. That alone makes you want to use the device.
The feature set is no less exciting. Noon is a passive analog drum machine and Synthesizer featuring 8 different sound channels. Each channel has a unique analog circuit giving them its own characteristic. The circuit was developed in collaboration with Eli Pechman of Mystic Circuits, known for the cute 0HP utilities for Eurorack.
Highlight of the device is the way how you can bring it to life. Without batteries, no power supply, just with the energy from incoming gates or control voltages. And this design decision also has a nice consequence on the sound character of the Noon. According to the developers, it creates instability and amplifies the organic attributes of analog circuits.
The sound of analog, at its core, is the sound of sculpted electricity. By removing the stabilizing elements of a constant power source, we can listen to the sound of electronic circuits loading and unloading, powering up and powering down, and we can increase the natural chaotic movement of electricity. The loading of circuits creates natural ways to access swing and groove or ways to deconstruct a programmed rhythm sequence to make surprisingly new ideas.
Not A Traditional Drum Machine
Noon is a drum synth/drum machine that challenges musicians. It looks over the edge of the drums. This is also evident from the engine. Each channel is represented by a tuning fork. Incoming voltage can be thought of as a way to “strike” each fork with momentary voltage. They change the behaviour, feedback, and tuning of each instrument.
The channels also have a linking option via dedication buttons. Enabling these, you can achieve deeper sonic transformations depending on incoming voltage, active or inactive channels…. The results are described as cross-modulations, growth (creating a larger and more complex circuit), or filtering or distorting. It definitely expands the sound range in new directions.
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Here you will experience programming of drum synth sounds and patterns in new ways. Noon is difficult to describe because the information that is currently available is very technical.
There is currently no video demo, but there are dozens of sound demos available on the official website. They already sound great. Very organic, in places glitchy and bent, but also powerful. And they also show nicely that Noon is not only an experimental drum synth. It is also capable to create crazy drones, noise textures and explosions, and unique complex rhythms.
How the engine works in detail is difficult to say at this point but hopefully we will get soon detailed demos showing us all the wonderful, little extras. A very fascinating instrument with a fresh, original take on drum synthesis and programming.
Landscape Noon will be available for pre-order in January 2022. Price TBA
More information here: Landscape