Berna3 app takes you back to the 1950s, the beginning of electronic music

SYNTH ANATOMY uses affiliation & partner programs (big red buttons) to finance a part of the activity. If you use these, you support the website. Thanks! 

Berna3 is the latest version of Giorgio Sancristoforo’s fabulous 1950s inspired sound laboratory software, now with more devices, new graphics & more. 

Imagine you can spend one night in the WDR studio of electronic music, test all the devices, and record the weirdest sounds for your next music release. That would be a wild trip. Unfortunately, this will remain a dream for me and many others. But others came up with this idea early on.

Karlheinz Stockhausen made here his first experiments with electronic music. With test equipment, oscillators, filters … the ancestors of today’s synthesizers and other electronic music instruments. It was revolutionary at the time. It was Stockhausen’s pioneering work with which he gave the go-ahead for electronic music.


Today the studios are no longer in operation, but the magic remains. YouTubers like Hainbach or Look Mum No Computer celebrate this way of making music with numerous in-depth videos. A must-see.

With Berna3, Giorgio Sancristoforo has created a standalone software with which anyone can dive into the world of the 1950s music studios for little money.


Berna3 is a recreation of a vintage sound studio from the 50s in a standalone application. It is not a plugin but an application for macOS and Windows (soon) that invites you to explore sounds in fundamental ways. It’s like an interactive virtual museum with the possibility to test every element and record them. Become a Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez… yourself, it’s now possible right from your computer.

Giorgio Sancristoforo says that it’s a celebration of the Studio for Musical Phonology in Milano and the German WDR’s Elektronische Musik Studio of Cologne.

Berna3 features a wide range of different devices, either emulations or 1950s studio equipment inspirations. It includes in total 12 function generators, 6 filters, 8 modulators, and an oscilloscope. Then four tracks tape recorder, two-track tape recorder, and four independent tape loops and effects. You can find here different oscillators like the famous Tieftone Generator (Stockhausen), the third-octave filter, frequency analyzer, and more.



It gets really exciting when you connect the various devices with each other. Sound generators in filters, modulating signals, etc, like in a modular Synthesizer. To achieve this easily, Berna3 has a VCS3-like audio matrix/patch bay built-in for patching the routings. That makes the software very modular and versatile.

I’ve been using Berna myself since the second version. It’s a super unique sound design tool that gives you instant new ideas. The third version is a massive step forward with more devices, better sound quality, a new graphic user interface with individual windows, and more. And that sounds a bit weird. It also has MIDI mappings onboard that tell us that we are no longer in the 1950s.

Giorgio has created here one of the music software highlights of 2021. Berna3 was definitely a huge project that took many days and nights of work. You can see from the interface but also in the details that the passion of the developer is in this release. A source of inspiration for experimental musicians as well as electronic musicians. Historically and sonically a recommendation.

Berna3 by Giorgio Sancristoforo is available now for 25€ as a macOS application. Windows version is coming very soon (7-10 days). Customers who bought Berna2 in August and September 2021, get a free upgrade.

More information here: Giorgio Sancristoforo 

Standalone News

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.