Kodamo MASK 1, new polyphonic digital Bitmask Synthesizer in development

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At SoundMIT 22, French developer Kodamo unveiled the MASK 1, a new polyphonic digital Synthesizer featuring the novel bitmask synthesis. 

Last weekend the Synthesizer and effect pedal event SoundMIT took place in Turin (Italy). From the wonderful city where the old lady Juventus is at home, for everyone interested in football. SoundMIT attracts many well-known but also new developers who showcase their products every year.

Such lovely events give small companies in particular the opportunity to get the media focus. At big shows like Superbooth, it’s usually the big, well-known companies that get the most talked about. The French developer Kodamo, known for its mighty EssenceFM Synthesizer, also had a booth.

Kodamo MASK 1

This time they doesn’t show the Infini like at SynthFest France but unveiled a prototype of the Bitmask 1. A new digital Synthesizer with a new synthesis technology.

Kodamo MASK 1

MASK 1 is a new 10-voice polyphonic digital Synthesizer featuring bitmask synthesis. WHAT the synthesis? Bitmask synthesis first become a topic with the announcement of another Kodamo synth, the Bitmasker, a small portable digital synth. A project the developers are still working on.

According to Kodamo, Bitmask is a new synthesis method that splits a sine wave into many parts which are then rearranged into different ways. You can create classic waveforms with it like saw but also crazy new timbres. But they sound gritter and dirty than traditional oscillators say the developers. It reminds me of the design of the MOK Waverazor plugin where you also cut up waveforms and glue them back together to generate new harmonically richer timbres.

The MASK 1 engine consists of two oscillators with 200 built-in waveforms powered by the Bitmask technology. Then, you get a noise generator, a 12-state variable filter, digital, not analog, with four modes, self-resonance, and key tracking.

Modulation side, it has 7 envelopes (pitch, 4 ADSR envelopes, and 2 delta envelopes per voice), two multi-wave LFOs with noise, and 15 mod destinations. MASK 1 comes with a 5-octave FATAR keyboard with velocity and aftertouch.

There is also a polyphonic slurred mode that automatically slurs neighbor notes for great melodic expressivity while playing chords simultaneously says the developers. How this works, in reality, would have to be seen on the finished device.

Kodamo MASK 1
© Les Sondiers YouTube

Cryptic Interface?!

What is striking is the very cryptic operation. We see a lot of buttons but only two knobs and a small numeric display. With such a new concept, I have doubts as to whether programming is fun here. Knobs, and a larger display… are definitely missing here. So that the whole synth becomes more hands-on and fun to play.

My French friends from Les Sondiers were at SoundMIT this weekend and made a video about the MASK 1.

At first look, an exciting new polyphonic Synthesizer. It’s great to see that developers dare to try new ideas in synthesis. The sound of the MASK 1 is also very pleasing and has a unique character. However, I don’t like the front panel design at all and I hope they decide to reject it and made a more hands-on version.

Kodamo MASK 1 is currently in development and will be available for 1790€ + VAT. Official release TBA.

More information here: Kodamo 

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1 Comment

  1. The idea reminds me of the Krishna Synth with its Frame Oscillator. It was a long time ago 🙂 Something tells me that Krishna Synth will be back 🙂

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