The Hyve Touch Synthesizer is a New Breed of Synth

 

Developed by Skot Weidmann, a technician and instructor, the Hyve Touch began as a soldering kit that could be built in only a few short hours in a workshop setting and then taken home as a playable instrument. Skot thought of the idea to try and inspire interdisciplinary ideas between engineers and musicians at his school’s campus. He wanted to show students how the two seemingly unrelated disciplines were actually very much related and how concepts from one could bring about new ideas in the other. Mainly that music theory and geometry have a commonality that is extremely powerful. The relationship of musical notes ARE mathematical relationships. Here Skot introduces the Hyve Touch:

 


 

The Hyve Touch brings the human element of “touch” into the synthesizer, and as someone who grew up playing live instruments this is incredible. Displayed at the bottom of the synth is a standard one-octave piano with a few variables that exponentially expand its capability. Playing the bottom of a piano key will play the desired note, BUT then as you slide your finger up the key the synth slides into playing the note in higher and higher octaves. This works for every piano key and the Hyve is fully polyphonic so as many keys as you want at a time can be played in this way. As well, the Hyve is very sensitive to how hard a note is being played and will give beautiful dynamic range depending on the player’s touch. Lastly, the piano roll gives you the ability to pan notes from left to right by wiggling your finger left to right on the key being played. This is so cool and creates a sound that feels alive – reminiscent of a guitar player modulating a sustained note to make it wail. Above each piano key are notes arranged in harmonic relationships that have the same “touch” functions. Check out this video of electronic artist Joey Gage creating with the Hyve Touch in his studio:

 


 

The Hyve Touch truly seems to offer a new type of experience in playing a synthesizer. The way it responds to the player really makes it feel like it’s crossing the boundary of electronic instrument and human instrument. As well, the capabilities of each piano key seem to be begging the player to create new types of sounds not possible on other synthesizers. I really hope I get to demo one soon or maybe I’ll have to get my own kit and build one!

 

Check out The Hyve Touch site HERE for more details.

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