Berna 2.0 – 1050s Electronic Music Studio


Between the 1950s and the mid 1960s, long before Robert Moog and Wendy Carlos pushed electronics into pop-music (with a few exceptions like the Barrons and Raymond Scott), electro-acoustic music was pioneered by European radio laboratories and US universities. Composing with tapes and electronics was a serious painstaking and expensive affair, prerogative of a restricted elite of    contemporary music composers and adventurous sound engineers. At that time there wasn’t any electronic musical instruments market, as a matter of fact, most of the equipment was adapted from scientific tools belonging to radio engineering departments.

Sometimes the equipment was built from scratch cannibalizing anything that had wires, tubes, and pots; more rarely, the studios used the few commercial instruments available in those days, such as the Melchord, the Trautonium and the Theremin. Contrarily to what happens today, electronic music in those days was everything but fast and easy to create. A few minutes of electronic composition could take many months of work. Everything was handmade, from complex timbres with multiple sine oscillator bounces (no keyboard was used), to tape editing with scissors and scotch-tape. Even sound envelopes were manually built by cutting tapes’ edges at different
degrees of inclination. The ADSR was yet to be invented!

Berna is a software simulation of a late 1950s electro-acoustic music studio. Oscillators, filters, modulators, tape recorders, mixers, are all packed in a easy-to-use interface with historical accuracy.
Explore serial music, musique concrète and tape music or create new strange sonic worlds with instruments inspired by the greatest studios of the early days of electronic music.

Berna 2.0 is a major upgrade, totally re-written from scratch.
Berna 2.0, not only  has a new stunning realistic UI but also it includes new processors like the Comparator, an 18 bands 1/3 Octave FilterBank and an 18 Bands Vocoder, plus new Tone Burst Generator, two Dynamic Modulators, new Reverb, new Frequency Shifter (with modulator input), new FM Oscillator (with modulator input) and 8 new Complex Oscillators!

This is a serious learning and creative tool for musicians who want to explore the way of the early days of electronic music.

Berna 2.0 will be available at in May 2013

The software was entirely made with Max6 and Photoshop.

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Apr 11 2013 | 10:37 am

This looks absolutely beautiful!

Apr 18 2013 | 5:15 am

Giorgio, everything you create is fascinating. Thank you for your Labor of Love and Desire in the first place. Again, I will support your work and use your tools in my studio environment. Thank you.

May 20 2013 | 6:38 am

It looks very interesting. look forward to placing demo

Jul 27 2013 | 2:02 am

Wonderful project! Is there a typo in the title? (it may be the late hour I’m reading this)
"1050s Electronic Music Studio" or "1950s Electronic Music Studio" ?

Feb 25 2015 | 9:50 pm

This is so beautiful and it sounds great too, one of the best max app I have ever seen, impressive GUI you made.

Feb 26 2015 | 2:53 am

i can’t find a download link ?

Feb 26 2015 | 2:57 am

This looks very interesting, but I don’t seem to be able to buy or download.


May 17 2015 | 3:11 pm

I’m sorry for the closed shop, the apps need update but I have no time right now due to concerts and classes.

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