Kodama offers a first look at its ‘bit masking’ hardware synth, Mask-1

The in-development synth is said to slice up, and rearrange sine waves into interesting configurations.

Kodama Mask-1

Image: Kodama

Kodamo gave fans a look at its upcoming Mask-1 polysynth during this year’s SoundMIT 2022 festival. The in-development instrument uses a ‘bit masking’ soundmaking method to create unique sounds.

According to Kodamo, Mask-1 splits a sine way into different sections before rearranging them into a final waveform, resulting in complex and harmonically rich waveforms well-suited for resonant filters.

“Some end up containing multiple octaves inside and even fractal-like shapes,” says Kodama in a product description. We’re just making guesses here, but It sounds almost like a granular meets FM approach?

Bit masking visualised Kodama
Visualisation of the bit masking technique, Image: Kodama

Apparently, Mask-1 will let you experiment with this bit masking technique with a single parameter – very curious indeed. The bit mask module is present on both oscillator paths before an ADSR envelope. And the third sound generator onboard is a noise module.

Mask-1 also comes with two built-in effects modules: the first offers choruses and phasers, distortions, bit crushing and ring mod, while the second offers delays, comb filtering, reverbs and room simulations. Each creates its own stereo field.

In terms of expressivity, Kodama says it designed Mask-1 to sound “lively and organic without the need of too much knob twiddling during a performance” – it has automatic note slurring, hybrid poly-mono mode, legato portamento, delayed LFOs and paraphonic modes.

Other features include a 61-key Fatar weighted keyboard with velocity and aftertouch, multiple envelopes per voice, two LFOs and 15 mod destinations.

Mask-1 has a planned launch set for March 2023. According to Synth Anatomy, it will be priced at 1,790€ + VAT.

Learn more and read up on specs at the Kodamo’s website

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