Empress Zoia


This essentially IS a modular synth, just like Organelle. Very cool, I like the simplicity of the interface but I’m working at learning Pure Data to evetually get the freedom to create anything i want and I’m not sure quite the same freedom is available here. Ready to be wrong though. I wonder how sample/module capacity and storage is handled, what the specs are on RAM, processing power etc. Organelle has some wildly complex shit handled, but a few patches I’ve seen stretch it to the point of screen stuttering/crackles in sound.


Hmm, I’m not sure that Organelle is all that useful as a comparison point, given “able to code patches from the ground up in a fairly popular visual language” is a major selling point for Organelle. Perhaps this would be like an Organelle where you’re limited, more or less, to whatever patches Critter & Guittari come up with. A non-Eurorack-focused ER-301 would probably be a better comparison point.

As for the grid - usually sequencing is the obvious use case for a grid interface, but I didn’t see that in the video. I’m not entirely sure what it’s for or how it fits into the idea. I’m very intrigued though! I’m ready to save up money for this thing without even understanding it.


In my post I acknowledge the likely limitations (we don’t know yet), but the comparisons with Organelle are fairly obvious to me. In fact, I’d say the majority of organelle users don’t make their own patches.


So first off, I love empress effects. I own one of their pedals, the multi drive, it is great. And I’ve tried other of their effects and loved those too.
But this things looks like too much in too small a box. It’s like molekular or something with the worlds smallest UI. Not sure how I feel about it.


Come on mate. Get with the times.
Music is only produced by dwarfs now, or for the more politically correct, people that are extremely small.
I’m over 6 foot with normal hands, and apparently should no longer produce music :joy:


6’3 here.


sorry only gnomes can make music :mage:t2::rainbow::musical_keyboard:

Side note it sounds like you can string up to 10 fx on it if that is true that sounds pretty nuts.


Does anyone else have grid fatigue?


Holy crap. You must feel like this when you write music these days :joy:



And let’s not forget the complexity !
OT is soon going to look trivial compared to the new generation of fully programmable all-in-one FX-Synth-Sampler-Sequencer boxes…


There’s no such thing as ‘too much in too small a box’! :grin:


Gives me a headache just looking at it… Sudoku type thing

And I don’t know why there are foot switches on there - this thing is never going on the floor!

A row of knobs would have been nice for direct tactile control of parameters.

Also, I wonder if i’m the only person who doesn’t like the KNOBS YouTube demos?? With his wonky shonky folky guitar all random - I cant tell what the FX is doing most of the time… and all the text, so much text to read.

I bet it sounds good though.


looking forward to the first proper demos…

preferably without a lot of NAMM background noise and distracting “bleeping&blopping” modular neighbor booths :wink:

was almost about to buy a use Eventide H9, but i think i will wait until i know what the Zoia really does g


It has light up buttons, which is a massive plus point as a visual indicator for devices with this much complexity. Needs knobs though. Knobs are great and super essential. Since the organelle picked up more and more dedicated users some people are calling for controllers, more visual information, more knobs, etc. Of course here we know that happens with all devices but when there is so much capability in one thing it sucks to not have control of all of it. Hope each button/parameter has CC’S already there waiting for use.


I had a similarly skeptical reaction the first time I heard of the H9 - I thought “only 1 knob??? How usable can that be???”

I later got one when I found a decent deal, with the intention of using it only on synths, sequencing it from iPad or whatever, so using the iPad app to control it was ok for me. But still later, I made myself learn how to tweak params in case I was caught at band rehearsal or onstage without iPad - it’s actually not that bad.

So what I learned from using my H9 is that the Zoia’s single knob does not have to be a deal-killer for me - it all depends on what the workflow looks like. The H9 does not require a lot of button combos to access params for knob tweaking.


There’s always the Axoloti… if you don’t mind building everything apart from the PCB and i/o yourself from scratch, obviously.


The H9 only ever has one static effect chain going though right? Different concept than a playable instrument with synth parameters etc


I don’t understand what you mean by “static effect chain”


Hmm, I don’t know what I mean either. Essentially I should be saying - you don’t mind scrolling to adjust wet/dry, scrolling to adjust decay - not being able to do both at the same time? It would be incredibly frustrating with just one knob to control every parameter on say - a Minimoog. You could probably put together an emulation of a minimoog on this thing - tantalising, but controlling it would be a bastard.


Yep, but from an OT or DT, you wouldn’t care that much about H9 having no knobs, given all the CCs are available.
Zola is different in the sense that the extremely small grid interface seems to be way more that automatisable through CCs. The whole workflow seems to be about pushing these tiny pads, maybe a couple of them at the same time…