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Fred’s Lab Manatee Now Has MPE, 4-Part Multitimbrality, 16 Voices

Fred’s Lab Manatee  · 

Fred’s Lab

[Update 25 April 2024] Fred’s Lab Manatee, an upcoming digital spectral synthesizer, has been beefed up to 16 voices, four-part multitimbrality and gotten MPE. And it’s now available for preorder!

Fred’s Lab Manatee Improved With More Voices, MPE

Way back in 2022, our Robin Vincent told you about the Fred’s Lab Manatee, a unique tabletop spectral synthesizer that he tried out at Superbooth. You can read the original article below but suffice it to say that Frédéric Meslin, the one-man-show behind Fred’s Lab (and a developer at Wofi), has been busy improving his digital creation.

Fred's Lab Manatee

Fred’s Lab Manatee

Now with a look very different than the original, Fred’s Lab Manatee has been supersized to 16 voices from the originally planned nine. It’s also now four-part multitimbral and even supports MPE.

Fred’s Lab Manatee will begin shipping to Kickstarter backers soon. If you missed the Kickstarter campaign, you can preorder one directly from the Fred’s Lab site at the preferential price of €545.38 without VAT (€649 with). The price will eventually go up to €671.43 without VAT (€799 VAT included).

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[12 May 2022 – original post by Robin Vincent] From the laboratories of Fred comes a new digital monster. Manatee is a multi-timbral 9-voice digital spectral machine with bags of personality.

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This is something to do with old digital machines that found some personality. Inspired by some digital classics (probably a bit FM-y) Manatee is great at producing moody pads, bell-like tones as well as flirting with virtual analogue. It mixes wavetable and unconventional additive synthesis but fusing together a complex procedural spectral source with a real-time re-sampler. Well,  that sounds like fun!

Each voice benefits from a self-resonant filter, overdrive, loopable envelopes and an LFO wired to the filter. Manatee can handle three parts at once, each containing a pair of spectral modulators, a resonator, modulated delay, mixing, and arpeggiation.

Fred Lab’s has built the Manatee like a tank. Consequently, it has industrial-grade pots, switches and connectors. The internal technology is a dual-core 16 bit fixed-point DSP running a hand-crafted assembly engine. It has MIDI In/Out, external sync, and a backlit 16×2 LCD display.

Manatee is still under development, and so many things may change. The hope is to release it on Kickstarter soon to take some preorders and get the machine over the final hurdles. There will be an initial run of 150, and the anticipated price is to be around €600.

There will be two machines at Superbooth. They will be auctioned off at the end of the show via eBay. Fred will be on booth Z251 if you want to go and check it out.

Image Sources:

  • Fred’s Lab Manatee: Fred’s Lab
Fred's Lab Manatee

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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