Moments of Fenix IV

Published by Priscilla Haring-Kuipers on

We have shipped the last of our 100 Fenixes – yes baby we are SOLD OUT!
So let’s take a moment to reflect and bring back a few moments of our four year journey to design & build our 100 Fenix IVs (no we are not making any more).

*Master builder Bert Vermeulen and Lauri working together on the schematics of the Fenix II. Bert walking Lauri through the designs and all the decisions behind them. It was like watching someone explaining how their mind works to someone else that this makes sense to.

*At the start of our design proces we were inspired by the colourful optimistic technology design of the sixties and seventies. The aesthetics of the MANIAC series perfectly coincided with this design moment.

*We came up with one of the basic ‘rules’ of the Fenix IV: the rule of 3.  It needed to have at least three simultaneous complete synthesizer voices, it must do three things at once and give you get a three different versions of each audio building block.

*‘Zorro swiping’ the defining waterline between the knobs and jacks on a whiteboard. The epiphany that it didn’t have to be a straight line.

*In June 2018 we first ‘outed’ our plans to build a Fenix IV

*Much of the experiment boards did exactly what we planned and it is kind of weird how much of the Fenix IV is exactly what we planned in the first place.

*One important moment was the first time we showed the physical front of our Fenix IV design to Bert Vermeulen. His nod of approval and twinkly eyes continued us on our Fenix IV way.

*The moment that we determined thar our Fenix would get a high-pass filter on a busy dance floor in the Portuguese sun (and hugging it out). There was a gigantic high-pass sweep in the sound of the song that was playing, the bass come rushing over us from up high and divebombed into bass. A very convincing sound.

*Chinese moments: Travelling against the flow just before Chinese New Year to visit our bag factory. Checking off all the things on our shopping list running around the electronic markets of Shenzhen.

*Moments of stress… Hand-soldering 4.500 components in two weeks to build a prototype for Superbooth19 and then have the phaser literally explode. We jig-sawed it out and Frankensteined a phaser in from a previous prototype. It worked!

*The moment of truth that turned into a fantastic experience at Superbooth 19. We presented our Fenix IV prototype in a big booth with an old headphone installation together with SyntonNovo. Honouring the past and diving enthusiastically into the future. Everyone’s happy response to our Fenix IV and the booth, taking pictures and confirming that we were onto something. Within a month we had 80 people on our waiting list and gloriously passed our go-no-go point feeling very, very supported.

*Software ‘devcamp’ in snowy dunes. This was the moment of rounding of the instrument while ice plates formed on the beach shore leaving sheets of frozen sand. Lauri and Stijn walked, talked and tied all the digital ends together.

*A moment of personally delivering two of our Fenixes and sharing in the joy of the first beeps. While Stijn was setting up a first patch, the new Fenix owner jumped in, took over and made it sing.

*Seeing it being used both on some really big stages (currently in two stadium tours) and in intimate settings.

There have been many moments and now there are many more moments to come with our own Fenix IV and with the new Fenix IV owners. We hope that we can continue to share those!


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