The Mysterious World of Gotharman's

US The Unique instrument maker tells us about his work.      02/04/24

The Mysterious World of Gotharman's


Gotharman is an enigma. Most of his instruments could be considered knobby groove-boxes in a traditional context; a combination of synth, sampling, and MIDI sequencing. But look beyond the surface, and you'll find all sorts of unique and wonderful features like:

  • Swappable analogue filter boards,
  • Modular patching; audio rate modulation on everything,
  • Flexible wavetable, Harmonic and Percussion oscillators (plus many more),
  • Unique effects like Self-FM, Pitchshaper, Granulator and Stretcher:

Stretcher: Tries to time stretch the imput signal, while at the same time keeping up with it. Impossible? Yes, indeed :-)

Among Gotharman's latest designs is Zaturn, a flexible polyphonic instrument that offers a lot of unique sound design possibilities:

 

We thought you'd be interested to find out more about Gotharman, his instruments and ethos, so we asked the man of mystery a few questions:

  • Would you tell me a little about your first designs?

My first design was the Gothar 1 synthesizer. I started designing the VCA, then the filter, then the oscillator and lastly the envelopes and LFO's. This took some time. Back then I did not have internet access, so I got the inspiration from books I borrowed at a technical library, while I was taking an education as an engineer of electronics.

  • What made you start building instruments?

Many years ago I was playing synths in my spare time, while having shifting jobs. The last of such jobs I had, was as a mailman. One day I realized that I was spending a fortune every month getting all my analog synths serviced, and I decided to quit the job, and start on an electronics engineering education, so that I could learn to service the synths myself. After a short while in this school, the electronics really caught my interest, and I started to experiment with my own design ideas.

  • Do you have a team, or is it essentially a one man show?

Gotharman's is a one man show.

  • What musical influences, growing up, lead you down the path of creating your unique sound machines?

I have always liked hard and experimental electronic music like Nitzer Ebb, Nine Inch Nails and Skinny Puppy. I also really like Rammstein.

  • Your priorities seem to be different to some other manufacturers. How did you come across the idea of selling optional filter boards - giving people the chance to customise their instrument?

I think my priorities are different, because I have never really been good at thinking business. I just make the instruments that I would like to have myself. I made it possible to change the filter boards, because I feel that it is the filter that is mostly giving a synth its sound. And it makes things a lot easier, if I can just change a filter board, instead of designing a whole new synth.

  • Your designs often go to places that others fear to tread - audio rate modulation, unique granular effects, morphing on everything, etc. Nevertheless, do you have any favourite instruments from other manufacturers, either synths or effects units?

Some time ago, my favorite synths from other manufactures were the Yamaha FS1R and the Roland V-synth, but now I feel that my own instruments have become advanced enough, so I don't use these any more. The only instruments I currently use from other manufactures, is an Akai MPC One for harddisk recording (I hate to use software :-)), and some eurorack modules.

  • You've released some modular equipment alongside your desktop synths, how do you choose your designs in this field? Do you perform market research, or simply release modules and see how they sell.

I have never done any market research. I just make the instruments I would like to have myself.

  • Do you think that there is a stereotypical Gotharman fan, or do you feel that your instruments are enjoyed by a wide range of people - from people with lots of instrumental skills to people who are more into sound design/timbre and less into harmony?

I am not sure if a stereotypical Gotharman fan exists. I am doing what I can to make the sound possibilities of my instruments span wide.

  • Do you have a favourite instrument from your back catalogue?

Currently my own favorite instruments are SpazeDrum and Zaturn.

You can read more about Gotharman's designs at: https://www.gotharman.dk/

Posted by MagicalSynthAdventure an expert in synthesis technology from last Century and Amiga enthusiast.



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