Genki is a young company that’s taking a fresh approach to synthesis, performance, and even work. Let’s take a closer look at this ingenious Icelandic firm.
Launching in 2015, Genki is only at the beginning of what’s set to be a fascinating journey. The company has just a handful of products under its belt at the moment, but each signals a powerful intent: to create music and lifestyle tech that is an intuitive extension of the body.
Although Genki has an innovative spirit, tools like Wave and Wavefront have reimagined the potential of instruments that people are already familiar with — providing musicians with a platform to do a little reimagining of their own. Let’s take a look at these tools and how they can be incorporated into your workflow.
Wave is the product that made the music world sit up and take notice of this precocious startup. Wave is a ring that you wear on a finger, enabling you to control MIDI via a series of gestures. To set it up, simply install the companion software, Softwave (which allows communication between Wave and a DAW of your choice, as well as the mapping of gestures to control MIDI).
With your favourite softsynth, you have the potential to play notes with one hand, and control expressive parameters like filters, LFOs, effects, and envelopes, with custom gestures from your other hand. It doesn’t take much imagination to dream up a multitude of performance possibilities.
Recognising the possibilities for the intuitive control of your work environment, Genki has brought Wave to the office. Wave for Work offers up customisable control for computer-based tasks like video calls, presentations, and music playback.
The burgeoning popularity of Eurorack modular synthesis doesn’t appear to be waning anytime soon. Wavefront is where the Wave Ring and modular synth worlds intersect. It’s a Eurorack receiver that slots into your setup, translating MIDI into CV signal, and gives you the power to control parameters via customised gestures.
It’s not only limited to working with the Wave Ring, though. You can connect it to any Bluetooth MIDI controller of choice, giving you more scope to incorporate Wavefront into your existing setup.
Cosmos is the debut softsynth from Genki — and as you’d expect by now — it does things a little bit differently. Softsynths are nothing new of course — but instead of going down the well-trodden retro-remake path — Cosmos is fresh, user-friendly, and unique.
The parameters are familiar — envelopes, arpeggiator, oscillator, filter, effects, LFOs (though in this case, playfully titled UFOs) are all present — but they’re laid out spaciously across a single-screen interface, with clever colour-coding guiding your way. And instead of generic sliders and knobs, controls are tweaked on space-themed swirls and arcs — shapes work intuitively with the gestures of Wave Ring (though the Wave Ring is not essential: MIDI-mapping of all parameters to standard controllers is available).
With this ingenuity already apparent in such a short time, the question begs: what’s next for Genki? The short answer is that nobody knows! What is clear, however, is that we’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Visit the Genki website for more details.