Empress Zoia


It feels like we’re entering an era of more programmable devices, I like this evolution :slight_smile:
I guess it’s the appropriate answer to the modular paradigm in a way…



Right! I really like the notion of the Zoia- it’s seems like a step towards a hardware/twiddly version of those patching programs.

I’m hoping someone will make something like this, with a better display, and a USB port for potential computer editing to get really precise(and maybe to stream audio through)

THAT would be really cool to me- but this this is just brilliant


I would assume they will have a way to edit on a computer then save to an sd card…no? If not…:confused:

I mean even the person in the above video said “I have bad eyes.”


I hope- but I would think if they intended on computer editing there’d be a USB port on there, which I haven’t seen anybody mention. It seems counter intuitive for taking in and out the sd card when patching something together…


They will apparently not be making a computer editor themselves

(from /r/synthesizers on reddit)


Shoot- well, it’s a step in a good direction at least


Oh wow. Well, then I’m not sold yet until I can muck about with it.


RE: Zoia being open source or not …

I agree! Open source would be nice, but that all comes in degrees.

The Zoia falls short of the open sky that complete openness – hardware and software – would present, but is far down the road from the closed box. How far will depend on the granularity of the built-in modules (i mean how well you can get to individual controlling parameters, interesting ones) and the size and detail that can be attained with the user created modules which can all call ‘supermodules’. This also presupposes to the resources – compute power and memory, etc - to support this flexibility. The possibility is for a rich open environment – though it might be just vanilla and unadornable. Empress obviously intends to take this a way down the road. We shall see.

The range and controlability and quality of the sound is where the rubber meets the road as far as i’m concerned. The previous products from Empress, and granted this is subjective, make me optimistic that this unit’s sound quality will be good.

Ryan I really do hope that there is going to be a larger screen way to create modules, even if they then are moved via SD to the Zoia. While i think people can adjust to this interface, it would still be worth the time and trouble shuffling SD cards for a better development environment.

And their’s also the random button – which could open this to everyone. I could see cutting and pasting pieces from several random creations and voila.


on thegearpage they said it’ll have about 100 modules.
it’s not in pure data.
users will be able to share presets/chains.

empress has a voting forum to submit firmware/modules requests

I had the superdelay vintage modified, now have the reverb and echosystem. seriously amazing sounding effects. gotta say the firmware got updated with addons.
they’re even adding a 5 track looper into each of these effects.
they take their time but they do stuff eventually…


I remembering them doing that. So they came through in the end?

I mean it is a lot. Not like we won’t be starved for options. Plus I imagine, whatever the work on in the future, would just offer later…

Good to hear.


I’m blown away by this pedal!


From this video (good job Cuckoo as always!) i see this really is a no-brainer, once it’s ready. I’ve added it to my to buy list.


Very impressed. Aside from its obvious use as a slew of guitar pedals, I can see this on an effects send in a portable live setup and as an Octafood creator.


If they incorporate a sequencer into this thing, I’m sold. It would be an insanely portable little box on which to jam out ideas.


Zoia looks very useful, great interview Cuckoo, asking the tough questions!
Who knew David Duchovny worked for Empress :grin:

Really liked: “Make a synthesizer from scratch … can you do like, an FM synth for instance?”


@cuckoomusic - Well done on the Zoia interview! Got some important questions answered there.
“Unprecedented potential” is absolutely correct. Thanks :thup:


One of the (many) crazy things just casually mentioned in the NAMM videos is that you can easily assign MIDI CC numbers to anything you want in the Zoia. The idea of using that in conjunction with Bitwig or Numerology is properly doing my head in. Instant complex insanity!


it does have a sequencer module :star_struck:


Well fudge me sideways.