Some 64 partials, each FM synthesis, feed the inbound Sumu synth from Madrona Labs. Few have seen this one yet, but DATABROTH got an exclusive, full-length preview earlier this month. Grab some egg nog, smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em, and let the synthesis wash over you.

Randy Jones and Madrona Labs have remained a house of bleeding-edge sound innovation, so any news you know will be worth the wait. This one is an organic, deep engine – producing richly layered sounds that feel like they came from a lab on a far-off planet. Honestly, “additive” and “FM” don’t do this justice: you get almost haunting, granular waves of sound, like blowing a reed in a wormhole. Some sound satisfyingly vintage sci-fi; some bend timbres into unheard-of vibrating materials.

And it’s all semi-modular, with a friendly, color-coded interface that just screams, “Try me. You don’t need to know what you’re doing. Try something well outside where you know what to expect.

This is probably one of the first streamed synth demos where I just get mesmerized watching.

Check the full write-up:

Demoing Madrona Labs SUMU (beta)

And revisit the original 2021 preview from Randy, which has some wonderful hand-drawn notes and a deep discussion of the ideas here.

Sumu preview

There’s no direct beta sign-up, but you can sign up for the mailing list on the Sumu page.

I’m late in posting this (and other things) – the usual end-of-year backlog. But now’s a perfect time to watch, and I can’t wait for the plug-in to become available. It’s also well worth subscribing to DATABROTH. I’ve also been exploring the free MP3/glitch effect MAIM – more on that also as part of the End-of-Year-Peter-Blog-Backlog-a-apalooza.

But more goodies covering some excellent recent stuff, my picks:

Hell, yes, Logic 10.8 (now feed in that free sequencer MIDI FX I wrote up for some serious mayhem)!

Not sure how I missed this, downloading:

Some of the goodness in Bitwig Studio 5.1, which just came out of beta:

Efx Motions from Arturia is definitely one of my plug-ins of the year. (That’s funny, as when I first looked at it, for some reason I didn’t like it … probably just plug-in overload. Later me worked out, yes, it’s amazing).

Sugar Bytes EFFFECTRIX 2 is also a stand-out of 2023, the year of “IDM is the new EDM (again)” in plug-ins:

Cong Burn STROKES, another highlight:

And there’s Current, which justifiably got roasted for some initial pricing missteps, but which shouldn’t be overlooked – it’s a beautiful environment:

Oh yeah and Octatrack, you still got it, baby: