Speculation thread for the impatient

Any thoughts? What’s it going to be?

My best guess so far is that it will be something like an upcoming FX and Filter daughter boards for the S2400 as a standalone unit since those have their own SoCs.

The only problem is that there doesn’t seem to be any analog inputs. In that case it might be entirely possible that Caladan would communicate via a digital interface (USB, yes). Since I am sure the daughter boards communicate via digital interfaces with the S2400 mainboard. Because what else can it be? That would make sense and also make it easier for it to be a standalone product which can in turn be used with a DAW and maybe S2400 and other products as well.

Let’s start this meaningless discussion while @bradholland is enjoying his break while reading our insane speculations, hehe :stuck_out_tongue:

My thoughts, based on Brad’s hinting on Insta and the design:
A 8-voice synth of some sort (he directly stated on Insta that you “can’t do much with four voices” or something to that effect).
Someone made a point that the layout with knobs and multiple screens looks a lot like the (now-defunct) Futuresonus Parva (which I always thought had a great layout and a killer sound when I owned it).
I really, really hope it has multitimbrality and an integrated simple sequencer, with great voice allocation. I would instabuy, to be honest. There isn’t much in that world right now.


Yeah I agree, that seems the most likely. I’m sure he’ll spill the beans soon enough.

Interesting. Can you provide context?

If it is a synth, why does it have so many analog outputs? I do not know much about synths, so it would be great if you could explain. The synths that I have, Akai AX73 and Take5, just have 3 outs (L/R and Phones).

Multitimbral synths (like the Analog Four or many, many others) allow more than 1 patch to be loaded, so each set of assignable outs could correspond to an entirely different patch. Just like the S2400 does, the assignable outs allow for multitracking/further processing with pedals, etc. Its a wicked feature but certainly one that has fallen out of favor, sadly.

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Woah, that’s nuts! Must be an all-in-one solution for those performing live.

Thanks, I had no idea!

Voices are not the same as outputs. For instance the S2400 has 8 outs but it has 16 voices.

I’m kinda hoping for a wavetable drum machine, but have nothing to base that on. Except the wave bit, as Caladan is an ocean planet in Frank Herbert’s Dune. Ocean > Waves. Probably not wavetable at all but worth speculating. If it is a wavetable device, I wouldn’t want it to be a synth, only because there are so many wavetable synths already available.

A performance mixer would be absolutely sick but not sure it’s feasible based on the ins/outs.

This is along the lines of my initial reaction. My senses were definitely going in the granular / wavetable direction. Malström ?

Makes some sense to have sample based oscillators, continuing the spirit of the S2400. Pair those with multiple analog filters and perhaps a sprinkling of the effects which are on the way. May as well throw on a polyphonic sequencer to utilize those extra outputs :yum:


FWIW looks to me like the knob closest to the “Caladan” says FM

Caladan is a 4x digital Synthesizer with 32 stereo voices, S2400 Digital Filter, Arpeggiator, Midi scale note quantize, basica Chord selection based on Chordbot choices, Midi Sequencer from S2400.

The OSC are WaveTable and VA subtractive synthesizes and
has the S2400 12bit/16bit pipeline for Polyphonic vintage multi-SAMPLE PLAYBACK !!! ( S2400 samples can be user loaded via SD card slot)
(Sample engine can read Emulator 2 sound banks via the .EII / .SF2 / .HFE disc image formats)

Each Row on the synth surface knobs corresponds to each independent Synth control. EAch Synth having it’s own display to show parameters related to Knob functionality (Think SH-4d concept, only better)

S2400 Analog Filter Board and VST FX board will be compatible with the Caladan.

My guess: A super cool desktop synth with performance features.

16 voice synth, up to 4-part multitimbral with 4 layers per voice.
FM, Rompler/dco using sampled waveforms, and Wavetable synthesis
Analog filters
Multimode digital filters
Lots of LFO and ability to route them to the CV outs
Able to use same FX card as S2400
Kordbot-like functionality
Step sequencer
Ability to drive it at 1 PPQ through Sync In from a drum machine’s trigger out
USB audio output

You can see the knobs aren’t the same for each row, they say different things and there is a different amount on each row. However, each row has 4 buttons next to the screens, presumably to select one of 4 parts to edit on each row. :man_shrugging:

I am thinking we could use machine learning to increase clarity of the image and thus removing some blurry portions


I put money on the fact this says FM haha

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Ok, I’ll bite.

First off, as previously pointed out, Caladan is the oceanic home-world of Paul Atreides, a.k.a. the “Prophet” of Dune, and therefore – in keeping with the naming convention of the S2400 (creative references to the gear they are inspired by which also point toward the capabilities of their subsequent creations) – potentially represents both the “origin” of several concepts which would become standardized in the industry as well as the “legacy” of the PPG Wave, equally well.

Before I move on, it bears repeating that Isla Instruments has also followed a business model initiated by Moog, Arp, Sequential, etc., namely: start with innovative products which extend the functionality of or otherwise replicate that of preexisting musical instruments before fielding original product ideas or improving upon / reinvigorating / repurposing prior entries from competitors as well as your own development history.

Next lets consider some of Dave Smith’s creations, in the context of Isla Instruments core competencies (12 bit sample technology, sequencing, use of and appreciation for vintage machines which feature SSM 2044 filters):

  1. Model 600,700,800 - third party sequencers for other companies’s synths
  2. Pro One - monophonic synth designed to be budget-friendly alternative to Model D, ARP 2600, etc., and in the same market segment as the SH-101,
  3. Prophet 5/10 and subsequent revisions, Prophet 600, Prophet 6. etc. - polyphonic synths, notably those featuring either/both CEM3340 and SSI filter chips, including the first fully-realized example of digital programmable presets in a synthesizer, analogue or otherwise.
  4. Prophet VS - Vector Synthesis based on Wavetable (if limited) sequencing
  5. Prophet X - multisampling and wavetable sound generator-based keyboard/workstation with subtractive synthesis architecture.

Now consider the PPG Wave 2.0 and 2.2., which featured the CEM 3320 and SSM 2044 VCFs, respectively. Personally, I think we reached peak-zeitgeist in the wavetable synthesis market a few years ago, but given their small size, suffice to say that Isla has probably been developing this, or more likely just kicking around the idea, for the past 2-4 years. However, the inclusion of wavetables in a product with some sort of melodic/harmonic focused intent seems a natural conclusion, especially in connection to the aforementioned SSM filters.

Finally, looking back at the history of wavetable synthesis, we know that the PPG had a heavy influence upon the Prophet VS, and the designer(s?) of the VS went on to create the Korg Wavestations. Korg’s iteration is not particularly relevant here, other than to demonstrate that the technology has persisted in being developed, and even when one company abandons its interest the thread is picked up by another. What is relevant is the evolution of wavetable synthesis and, particularly in reference to the relationship between the PPG, VS, and the more recent Prophet X, we see a certain synergy has been preserved between digital samples/wavetables and both the CEM and SSM (now SSI) VCFs.

All this has lead me to my own conclusions, which are in general agreement with much of the speculation going on here. In no specific order, I would say we are looking at some kind of workstation that has the following features.

  • multi-sampling- and wavetable-based tone generation
  • 2-4 part multi-timbral, mono-compatible stereo architecture
  • 1-8 or perhaps even 1-16 voices, possibly freely assignable among the available timbres, such as two 4-voice timbers (two timbres, 8 total voices) or extrapolating that out, something like a 1-1-5-8 voice spread across four timbres
  • SSI, CEM, or possibly both filter topologies, though if CEMs are available they may either be an add-on or an optional alternative depending on the taste of the customer
  • robust MIDI / CV&Gate sequencer based around the S2400 workflow, but customized for melodic and harmonic arrangement and tweaked to match the workflow and ergonomics of the physical user interface design

so basically I’m imagining something like an MPC workstation/arranger but with a focus on sequencing internal, multi-timbral synths as well as external devices instead of being predominantly rhythmic focused. thus the encoders instead of pads, for creating top lines and harmonies (instead of drum patterns) with and old-school analogue sequencer workflow based around freely assigning pitch to individual steps using potentiometers, or encoders as the case may be.

anyway, those are my thoughts for the day. nothing particularly novel, I know, and I appreciate that some of this is kinda nebulous but I wanted to cover all the speculative bases that keep popping up in my mind, which seem related in an intangible manner that is hard to put too fine a point on, let alone explain in words.

ah well, leave it to those of us who have nurtured and developed our creativity to get lateral, despair when we find out we inevitably learn our speculations were totally wrong and all our hopes and dreams are dashed, then get excited all over again once the details of reality are eventually unveiled. :man_shrugging:

on a completely unrelated tangent, what if it is actually a multitrack recorder with rotary mixer-style channel interface? a ‘DAWless’, outboard hardware DAW for the ‘DAWless setup’ DAW users. :upside_down_face::japanese_ogre:


Like a Fairlight!

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I am the guy who made the Parva comparison and if Brad just bought the whole Parva project and would relaunch it it would be awesome. That thing sounded sweet!

After Brad saying it twice in the video, I guess it will be a hybrid analog digital synthesizer

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