TERRA is a new SOMA Labs synth that is currently in development.
TERRA is a highly conceptual device. The core idea is unity of nature and technology, and a perfect balance between simplicity and versatility. Behind the extremely simple interface hides a complex polyphonic, microtonal synthesizer with a broad and flexible sound palette that ranges from classical beautiful tones to complex atonal noise, and offers smooth and fast transitions between these extremes.
The innovative keyboard design invites new playing techniques and covers the full range of a grand piano with the possibility to tune each note with an accuracy of 125 steps per semitone. To achieve this range with such a simple keyboard we designed a unique system of pitch shifting using four additional sensors. Pressing different combinations of them will result in 16 variations of keyboard transposing, including up to 3 octaves up and down, fifth, fourth, third, tone etc.
Not only do you get the full range of a grand piano in a very compact design, TERRA also offers an entirely new and different approach to playing melodies and chords.
The keyboard consists of 12-note sensors with velocity and pressure sensitivity allowing for the manual creation of slow attack and vibrato, 4 dynamic sensors for timbre modification and control, 4 pitch-shifting sensors and 2 hold sensors for holding the state of the timbre and note sensors.
Inside TERRA there is a three-axis motion sensor for creating a variety of different modulations by simple intuitive movements of your hands and body.
TERRA is digital and contains 32 complex synthesis algorithms. Each algorithm has been carefully designed to be a complete and flexible musical instrument on its own, ready for learning and playing in its own unique way. The goal is to free the musician from long exhausting programming, setting hundreds of parameters for creating one timbre, and instead putting the focus directly on music and performance and following your imagination and inspiration.
TERRA offers the best of both worlds: the direct intuitive tactile connection from acoustic instruments and the flexibility and versatility of synthesizers. TERRA inherits design principles from LYRA-8 and also contains application of the new principles that were announced for ReFLEX, exploring the future of synthesis.
TERRA has an extremely simple interface that gives you instant access to all its functions in several touches, including saving and loading the 96 presets that are stored directly on the playing sensors. TERRA has no display. Instead it shows and lets you dial all necessary data on the 6 LED-sensor triangle in the center.
TERRA has a built-in FX processor so the stereo output is ready to use, making it a perfect stand-alone performance instrument. While the sound generation is digital, TERRA has a unique custom-built and top quality analog part that makes it sound rich, natural, clear and powerful at the same time.
The housing of TERRA comes from a solid piece of wood, making each instrument unique and slightly different. In the photo above and in the announcement demo video you can see the prototype of the synth. The final design is in development and we intend to make several different versions.
TERRA is a sanctuary for a natural soul right in the middle of the rumbling plastic world, a ground where you can breathe in and out slowly, and hold on to your roots.
TERRA is our dream about a bright future where we will be both technologically advanced and more connected to nature, where machines and technology are not a prison for our feelings and spirit but their extension.