Round Robin, a Synthesizer with moving voices from Simon The Magpie

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Round Robin is a new portable desktop Synthesizer from YouTuber Simon The Magpie in which the voices are always moving.

Simon The Magpie is a YouTuber and musician. He has also become a developer and has brought some very experimental music tech products to market in recent years. I covered his two drone synths (Pocket Drone, The Beehive) or his very special FX pedals

In collaboration with the developer DDC, he has created Round Robin, a new, unique digital Synthesizer that adapts a well-known concept from sampling into synthesis.

Round Robin Synthesizer

Round Robin

The look of the new Round Robin is very eye-catching. Reminds me a bit of the Chompi or other creations from other companies like Critter & Guitari. 

The core of the synth uses pure synthesis, utilizing the round-robin concept. This technique allows you to play the same note repetitively and trigger different samples of the same note. Developers use this to make sample-based instruments sound less static.

Simon The Magpie’s new synthesizer allows you to explore this concept with synthesis. RR features four independent voices packed with various waveforms. Instead of triggering the same voice every time you press a key, a different voice is always triggered here.

You can play in monophonic, polyphonic, unison, and with an arpeggiator. Plus, using the two fund hold modes, you can also play it like a drone synth. In one of them, you can play notes over the held ones.

There is a circulation of voices, allowing you to create unique timbres. This concept also applies to chords where the order is always left to right, so the first voice always plays the lowest note.

Round Robin Synthesizer

The synth engine offers four distinct voice modes: basic, organ, eerie, and allin. It has a dedicated controller that changes the color timbre. The engine also has a variety of built-in waveforms that can be selected per voice. Here, the oscillators interpolate/morph between different waveforms, giving you a wide range of raw sounds.

Sound Customizations

The synth then has a multimode filter with cutoff and resonance controls, an attack-release envelope, and a multi-FX processor. The algorithms library includes Tremolo, vibrato, bit-crusher, and wavefolder. Interestingly, Round Robin does not have an LFO. 

A parameter recorder performs this task, allowing you to record the movements of the controls and synchronize them to the tempo. A touch strip controls various parameters, including the pitch (quantized or not) or the effects, with an option to record the movements.

Further, you get an arpeggiator with some neat creative extras. For example, you can create random patterns or octave variations. The change of voices is also reflected in the arpeggiator, which is exciting. Besides this, RR supports various selectable scales and micro tuning.

Round Robin Synthesizer


Hardware side, the synth has knobs, two sliders, a 24-button keyboard, various menu buttons, and a touch slider. It has an OLED display in the middle of the hardware, representing the information in a fisheye-style view.  Simon’s releases always have to be a bit more special.

On the backside, it will have MIDI ports, a USB-C port, and an audio output. Since the back of the synth is still missing, it is not possible to give all the details yet. It is either powered by USB or with three AAA batteries.

It should also be mentioned that the synth will be available in different colors (white, blue, rose, yellow) with different knob and button colors as well.

Round Robin First Impression

Simon The Magpie’s Round Robin Synthesizer looks funny and unique. It is visually striking and offers new possibilities. I find the idea of adapting RR to synthesis fascinating. I don’t know how versatile the synth will ultimately be, but you’ll get something special to experiment with here. 

Round Robin Synthesizer by Simon The Magpie will be available in August for 4 500,00 SEK or $400-$450.

More information here: Simon The Magpie 

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