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Today, ALM posted the official demo video and webpage for their highly anticipated new module, Akemie’s Castle. The module is a dual Oscillator with 4 additional Operators and 6 frequency modulation routing algorithms. Akemie’s Castle uses “new old stock” of old Yamaha integrated circuits; that is, old chips that were never put into use. This suggests the module should remain true to the sound of classic digital FM synthesizers.
The video delves into the many functions of this module, but only scratches the surface of what some creative patching can produce. The routing matrix, labeled “Operator Algorithm”, is reminiscent of the Operator instrument in Ableton Live with 6 unique routing options. Using these different combinations of Operators, the carrier Oscillators can be dramatically modulated to create complex wave shapes. Each Operator contains 8 waveforms and level control via knob or CV, and can be tuned to multiples of the carrier pitch for rich harmonic presence.
I had the pleasure of meeting ALM creator Matthew Allum at an LA Synth Meet two weeks ago, after writing about the new module the same day. He was kind enough to give me a walk through of Akemie’s Castle and the new Sid Guts Deluxe, explaining some of the finer points. Of course, modulation is key in FM synthesis and Akemie’s Castle allows for quite a bit of voltage control. Every function in the Operator section includes a CV input, as well as the Oscillator A and B Feedback, Chord and Chord Inversion controls. ALM conceived of their new, super slim 4hp Pip Slopes Envelope Generator to pair with Akemie’s Castle for just this purpose.
The Chord function gets some attention in the new demo video as well. Generating thirds, fifths, octaves, triads and other chord shapes up to 5 voices, the resulting tones range from harmonious to chaotic. The additional Chord Inversion function allows for interesting voltage control over the placement of the Chord generated notes. This is a very powerful tool, that can get out of control quickly!
According to ALM, Akemie’s Castle should be making its way into stores this week! Are you going to camp out at your local modular shop to get the first one? Let us know in the comments!
Want to learn more about Frequency Modulation Synthesis? Check out our Sound Design 101 course at Voltage Control Lab!