X Audio Systems BEATS FM: a radio Synthesizer noise machine and stereo processor, now on Indiegogo

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X Audio Systems BEATS FM, an experimental desktop “radio” Synthesizer and stereo sound processor coming soon to Indiegogo.

Update: the BEATS FM experimental radio Synthesizer is now on Indiegogo

A Synthesizer that processes radio signals instead of oscillators? The is certainly a special kind of sound generator. One that constantly outputs different content.

The Eurorack manufacturer Schlappi Engineering has already taken up this concept in its Interstellar Radio module. A signal processor and noise generator that simulates the process of modulating and demodulating a signal for radio. The Italian developer X Audio Systems is about to launch a Synthesizer and stereo processor on IndieGogo that is completely based on this.

X Audio Systems BEATS FM

X Audio Systems BEATS FM

Meet BEATS FM, “the Ultimate Noise Machine”. BEATS FM is an experimental Synthesizer and sound processor consisting of an integrated FM/AM/SW radio with manual and LFO modulating tuning. Instead of classic oscillators, it uses radio signals as a sound generator. Alternatively, you can route audio via the external stereo input inside the box.

Then, it hosts a pair of analog lowpass and high pass filters with a modulation option via the built-in LFO. From the filter, it goes into a stereo delay with up to 4 seconds of delay time. A mixer gives you independent signal control over the filtered and delayed signal.

Beats FM design

BEATS FM also has a modulation section that has a feature-rich LFO with 16 waveforms that can be bent and manipulated via the wave bender knob. Plus, you get a multiplier knob to reach a wide range of frequencies and sync functionality. With tap tempo, audio clicks, or clock pulses, it gives you a lot of flexibility on how to keep the LFO and delay in sync.

X Audio Systems BEATS FM

First Impression

A very wild, experimental sound design instrument that can be pre-ordered soon. The name is a bit confusing because “Beats FM” could refer to an FM drum machine but that’s not the case here. It is a special noise machine that certainly infuses new sound- and noisescapes in any classic Synthesizer studio.

I find it exciting that radio signals serve as a sound generator here. I can imagine that the device is a lot of fun, especially when you love experimenting with new sounds.

X Audio Systems BEATS FM is available now for pre-order on Indiegogo for 725€/749€. Shipping starts in December 2022.

More information here: X Audio Systems  Indiegogo

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  1. Interesting idea, and yet I wonder about the radio. Everything played on radio is copyright. Sure you can quickly sweep through stations and distort it to noise, but if so what’s the point of radio in the first place? I can’t see this catching on.

    • I get your point and partially agree. The other side of the coin is that sampled content of well known music is the basis of some music genres.
      However, I’m guessing this machine only grabs small snipets of miliseconds at a time.

  2. There are a lot of interesting sounds in the short wave spectrum, doesn’t have to be top 40 FM all the time. Running things through effects will make otherwise recognisable sounds not so much. Plus familiar things out of context are easy to hide in a completely different mix. You could maybe buy a cheap FM transmitter and pipe your own sounds through the receiver of this, and then benefit from the slight detuning aspect with distortions etc. I reckon this would be awesome for inspiration. Of course, you could just go and buy another mono synth and sound like everyone else.

  3. In my opinion an incredibly gimmicky and dumb idea. Looking at the demos it doesn’t even distort the grabbed content very much. Why not use shortwave which has many more noise sources rather than FM? Or even take inspiration from the SOMA device that grabs electromagetic emanations? This will fail for sure.

    • Though the name mentions only FM, it includes FM/AM/SW. It’s a niche product, those don’t tend to be a failure, because their aim isn’t mass appeal.

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