Creature From The ID, a vintage-inspired Krell Synthesizer by Giorgio Sancristoforo

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Creature From The ID is a new standalone experimental software, “Krell,” Synthesizer from Giorgio Sancristoforo that pays tribute to the work of Louis and Bebe Barron.

When discussing software synthesizers, you usually associate them with VST plugins. Then comes the iPad world. However, standalone applications are not a big topic, but they exist. Software that works outside the DAW cosm.

This is where the developer and sound artist Giorgio Sancristoforo is active with its original synths. His new release, Creature From The ID, is another lovely, experimental synth. 

Creature From The ID 

Creature From The ID

Giorgio Sancristoforo dedicates this new release to the pioneering work of Louis and Bebe Barron. The American couple is credited with writing the first electronic music for magnetic tape and the first entirely electronic film score called Forbidden Planet.

At that time, there were no synthesizers available off the shelf. So, they designed their instruments and circuits from scratch. They used tube oscillators, modulators, and filters connected in feedback loops to amplify instability. Many sounds were created by the couple by overloading the circuits. 

The new standalone synth emulates their self-generating electronic circuits, using only the techniques available in the 1950s. Today, they are known as Krell sounds.

He describes it as a new tool for teachers and students who want to explore one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of electronic music.

Synthesis 

Creature From The ID is based purely on synthesis. The software doesn’t use any fancy AI technology or samples.

It offers two identical sound generators and a master interface with delay, saturation, and output volume control. Each sound generator has two sections: pitch and timbre control in light gray and the envelope and time control in red. 

The sound generator section has two waveforms (saw/sine) with frequency control and FM with cross feedback, volume, pan, and the option to introduce instability in the circuit. Then, the red section has a clock generator and a volume generator

Creature From The ID

The built-in filters (HP/LP) are not classic filters for the timbre but modify the shape of the envelope. This was a technique used to create envelopes from 1958.

If you combine both sound generators, you can archive wild, experimental Krell sounds. Giorgio says they are warm and analog, and the modulations create unpredictable and fascinating alien sounds.

Like all previous releases, Creature from the ID is not a plugin but a standalone synth. For this task, Giorgio has implemented a tape recorder in the app with various tape styles, saturation, noise, etc. Alternatively, you can route the audio out of the app in your DAW using an app like Blackhole.

First Impression

Giorgio Sancristoforo’s software instruments are not more of the same. They are experimental, fascinating, and very playful. The “Krell” Synthesizer is just like that. It is a release that invites you to experiment with synthesis and sounds. It’s definitely a fun noise machine with a historical background. 

Creature From The ID by Giorgio Sancristoforo is available now for 19,50€ as a standalone app for macOS. The Windows version will be in July 2024.

More information here: Giorgio Sancristoforo 

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