The Collidoscope: real time sampling and granular synthesis
The Collidoscope is a prototype synthesiser designed by researchers Ben Bengler & Fiore Martin.
Based on a granular synthesiser engine the instrument can be played by two performers at the same time (as they stand opposite one another on the sides of the unit) using the 2 built-in sets of keyboard, gooseneck microphone, colour display and controllers.
The Collidoscope samples from the microphones (or line inputs) and displays in real time a waveform of the sample and allows it to be played back instantly. The main sliding knob positioned below the waveform allows for the visual selection of a portion of the sample to be played (by moving it horizontally), and for the modification of the size of the portion being looped (through rotating the knob).
Two additional sliders allow for the high passing of the sound and for the extension of the boundaries of the loop being played to its neighbouring audio material, fading in more of the audio sample without changing the rhythm of the loop.
There are also two backlit octave selection buttons and a sturdy metal button next to the microphone base to start sampling.
The Collidoscope is revolutionary for the way in which it changes the relationship between the performer and sampling process, allowing a seemingly infinite way of manipulating the sound without interrupting its flow.