EMERALD

Introducing Ofelia

Emerald is a polyphonic synthesizer with a built-in sequencer. This powerful synthesizer offers endless music creation possibilities. Create all kinds of electronic music with four voices, effects, adjustable parameters - all wrapped up in a minimalistic and easy-to-use design.

I wanted to recreate the fun experience I had with hardware synthesizers in mobile devices by designing the overall interface of the synthesizer with hardware instruments in mind. First of all, although I chose a modern flat UI design, I added skeuomorphic elements to it by including an LCD, knobs with LED indicators and conventional keyboards so users would feel as if they are using a tangible instrument. Secondly, instead of creating multiple views, I maintained a single view with 4 different pages(OSC, Filter, Amp, SEQ) leaving the location of 12 knobs unchanged. This way, users can easily adapt to the interface whenever transition is made. (e.g. users can quickly expect where the "Cutoff" parameter is located even before switching to "Filter" page) Lastly, since the keyboards on a touch device are not as easy to play as the hardware keyboards, I implemented a programmable step sequencer that is influenced by classic analog music sequencers. With the sequencer turned on, users can play complex melodies while simply holding down a note. This enables users to tweak the sound while letting their favorite melody play in a loop which is fun and also great for a live performance.

I designed and developed Emerald from beginning to end. I designed an initial draft by drawing my ideas on a sketchbook and later implemented it using GemmaLib, a set of Pd abstractions for creating mobile apps that run through the Gemma app. Some of the default presets were created by a co-founder, Matthias Sperling. Recording and sound editing of the demonstration video was done by an intern, Sebastian Thinggaard Rostved.

© 2020 Zack Lee. All Rights Reserved.