Our client asked for a UI concept for a new drum synthesizer that they have in the pipeline for 2018. The concept takes subtle color inspiration from Roland’s legendary TR-909, although the similarities stop there.
Tomahawk features four types of synthesis and two voices per type, meaning the drum synth has 8 discrete voices (as well as a dedicated part mixer and step-sequencer). All sounds produced by Tomahawk are synthesized using one of the four sound generation algorithms, so this machine is a full-featured drum *synthesizer* and not simply a nice box that plays back samples.
Client asked for a ‘one-knob-per-feature’ design to minimize ‘menu diving.’ Seven discrete ‘panels’ separate the eight voices of the drum machine, and the dedicated 8-part step-sequencer means no ‘menu diving’ to find the part you want to sequencer. Same goes for the dedicated mixer alongside the step-sequencer.
Each panel contains fewer than 10 midi-mappable controls, and two voices feature Bricolage Audio’s proprietary ‘Stacked Concatenative Granular Synthesis’ technology, whose interface we also designed. Tomahawk is currently under development.