Russian boutique synth manufacturer SOMA Labs has been at it for some time now. Having made a name for themselves after the success of the LYRA-8 synthesizer; a unique machine that uses electric organ style tone generators instead of traditional VCO's to achieve non-linear expressiveness, the company has grown its portfolio to include such other distinctive instruments like The Pipe; a breath dynamic FX generator and synthesizer, the "Cosmos" which is a sort of morphing looper, and their latest, the ENNER, which is something completely unto itself and one we think you'll really appreciate for its abilities.
The ENNER is a one-of-a-kind analog synthesizer, of which the key principle of how it functions is, as stated on the SOMA website, that: "all signals that make sound pass through and are managed by your body. Your hands become the central part of the circuitry". SOMA further explains that: "Touching different contact pads with different parts of your fingers and palms with different amounts of pressure, letting signals pass through your body defines the mixing, volume, timbre, feedback and other parameters of synthesis".
The ENNER basically consists of two independent synthesizers, as well as an array of fixed-frequency filters and a mod delay. The knobs on the ENNER are metallic, and so touching them not only affects parameters as you would expect, but can also act as input and output between points being touched by using your body as the conductor. Aside from the knobs, the rest of the action comes from touch-sensitive pads you play with, but there is also a piezo pick-up which captures sounds made with your fingers, or even your voice. And this isn't even mentioning that the ENNER is also an external signal processor, making it a very well rounded, versatile instrument, even if it is a bit different from anything you may be used to seeing around. Like really, really different!
The SOMA Labs ENNER is available from SOMA Labs directly, for a price of €440.00. Retailers such as Perfect Circuit, Thomann, and even the boys over at London Modular in the UK, should be receiving some units soon enough, so stay tuned for that as well.
Below you can watch a promotional video and see the SOMA ENNER in action: