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Meet Nopia: The Revolutionary ‘Smart’ MIDI Synthesizer


By Youssef Armanios

June 22 2023

Music Industry

Meet Nopia: The Revolutionary ‘Smart’ MIDI Synthesizer


By Youssef Armanios

June 22 2023

Straight from the heart of Buenos Aires, two Argentinian instrument designers named Martin Grieco and Rocío Gal have set out to revolutionize the music production industry with the development of a new “smart” MIDI controller, ‘Nopia’. They’ve released a demo video of the prototype that threw the musical community into a frenzy, garnering almost 4 million views on Youtube in just under a month. But what is all the noise really about?

Nopia is a semi-modular smart MIDI controller that functions based on the principles of tonal harmony, which Martin Grieco claims no other synthesizer on the market does.

The pastel-coloured instrument is fitted with a one-octave keyboard called ‘The Chord Generator’, and 12 buttons next to it dubbed ‘The Tonal Selector’. You choose the base key from the Tonal Selector, and the chord generator combines notes in that key to build chords. Press another keyboard key and the instrument will generate another chord which is related to the same tonal harmonic scale. This allows the user to always play chords which blend perfectly, instead of any random chord. A dial enables you to choose between simple and complex versions of chords, adding the available extensions for each degree.

If you’re new to music production, learning to play chords can be tricky. You need to learn which notes make up which chords, where they’re located on the keyboard, the different harmonic scales and keys etc. With Nopia it’s literally as easy as pressing a single button. This could prove to be very useful to both music-theory novices and musical experts who are looking for a fast and easy way to carve out new harmonies.

“It’s about finding the simple things that make us feel good,” designer Martin Grieco says in the demo video.

The MIDI controller comes with different buttons, knobs, switches and sliders which help layer your chords with more complex elements. There’s a minimalistic base section consisting of two pads which generate harmonious base sounds related to your selected key, an arpeggiator which unfolds the notes in each chord, a synth which blends the sounds from two banks, and even a built-in vocoder, which lets you modulate your own voice with the synthesizer to create a robotic and melodic sound.

Even though it’s still in its prototype phase, it’s easy to understand why Nopia has gained all this international recognition. Its simple and efficient interface paired with its minimalistic aesthetically pleasing design are enough to attract any audiophile’s attention. They have yet to release any information regarding availability, prices, interoperability etc, so stay tuned and hopefully they actually follow through!

It’s important to mention that their instagram page is the only official Nopia page - all other websites are scams, so watch out!


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