Anyone into electronic music and synthesizer compositions is bound to have experienced the music for the original Blade Runner movie. Vangelis´album certainly ranks among the most impressive soundtracks to date. Now you will have the opportunity to explore the sounds of Blade Runner yourself. Deckard´s Dream was revealed at the 2018 NAMM show. Black Corporation unveiled this new analog synth inspired by the classic Yamaha CS-80 and Vangelis’ score for Blade Runner.
The new synth features 8-voice polyphony with two independent synthesizer layers per voice, plus an array of analog effects. This allows Deckard’s Dream to deliver a cinematic sound similar to those used in films from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Below is an indepth run-through of the synth from this year´s NAMM show:
The Deckard’s Dream is available now, in both DIY and pre-built formats. It offers 16 VCO’s, support for polyphonic aftertouch and MPE, MIDI, a VST/AU editor, analog effects, CV inputs and more. The Deckard’s Dream Expander adds Chorus, Tremolo, and Ring Modulator effects as well as 16 CV inputs. It is designed to work seamlessly with Deckard’s Dream, but it also works as a standalone audio effects device and a CV to MIDI converter.
8-voice polyphony with two independent synthesizer layers per voice, discrete waveshapers help to reproduce the oddities of the original waveforms. Autotune keeps all 16 VCOs tracking perfectly, it even offers detune and microtuning settings for a more vintage feel.
MIDI polyphonic aftertouch gives deckard’s dream expression that has only been possible on a very small number of synthesizers. MPE technology (using controllers by ROLI, LinnStrument, Haken) takes this even further with the addition of polyphonic pitch bend.
Besides the built units we provide DIY kits with all digital SMT parts preinstalled. A very detailed building manual and large thru-hole components will allow even beginners to build this kit.
With the addition of MIDI implementation, 256 presets and an upcoming software editor provided by Spektro Audio, this vintage inspired poly synth is at home in any modern studio.
A 1U rackmount expander is now available on pre-order featuring 16 assignable CV inputs, ring-modulator, tremolo, and chorus along with Sustain I/II controls. It may also be used as a standalone effects box and cv-2-midi converter.
The classic Yamaha CS-80 is key to the sound of the new synth. CS-80 actually had some pretty amazing features for its time such as eight voice polyphony, patch memory storage and polyphonic aftertouch. It could generate great analog strings, brass, drones and pads with that instantly recognizable classic polysynth sound. The thing that really made this synth sound so powerful was its “natural” detuning….thus its brass and string sounds were unparalleled not only for authenticity, but for pure width!
With two analog oscillators per voice, the CS-80 had the potential for some really thick sounds! A great VCF (filter) with independent hi pass and low pass resonant filters, a powerful ring modulator and plenty of modulation controls further enhance the CS-80’s sonic potential. There are 22 preset sounds (6 user) selected from bright and ugly colored buttons above the keyboard. The keyboard was weighted and had a full 61 keys with performance controllers for vibrato, pitch, brightness and volume. Surprisingly there was also a long ribbon controller for the pitch-bending, located above the keyboard. There was no MIDI or cv/gate control.
Check out this sound demo of the CS-80 – fresh from the NAMM show.
For more on the score of Blade Runner, watch a mini-documentary released by Soundworks that provides an impressive look into the incredible sound design of the sequal Blade Runner 2049. Here composers Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch give an inside look of their work on Blade Runner 2049, explaining their homage to the original film’s score using only the same tech as Vangelis did in the first movie and showing a demo of the iconic CS-80 synthesizer.