Glo works by collecting all surrounding noises, pleasant or annoying, and wrapping them in a beautiful ambient track, which you can interact with in many ways.
First, pick a channel to set the background rhythm. Then sing, tap, hum, go for a walk in a busy city, coastline or a forest full of singing birds - using Glo's sensors and musical algorithms to interact with it all.
Polyphonic Whale has very sensitive microphones able to pick up the faintest noise. Environmental sounds instantly mix with an organic background tune, resulting in beautiful ambient music.
Choose from various channels, each with a unique sound texture.
We designed Pocket Whale without any screen - good for you and your children's eyes - while keeping it highly interactive.
Just connect your headphones and select a channel. With a rotation sensor, light sensor and sensitive microphones, it creates musical soundscapes that change and morph as you move Glo through the air.
It is an amazing feast for your brain, very creative and almost therapeutic experience. Explore the world in a new, amazing way.
Every channel is set up with a different background texture and rhythm that interact with sounds around you in a different way. Use the Channel buton to pick one you like.
The channels have been created to aid relaxation, hear the sounds of nature or the city in an amusingly new way, or help you to find your inner peace.
Interaction with this special kind of music tends to improve focus, concentration and cognitive skills in an easy way.
The Whale is battery powered and small enough to be with you everywhere you go.
The experience is different to passively listening to music. You can influence the composition, sing a melody and hear it resonate with various textures, surfaces, trees and rocks. Use light sensor to scan patterns or simply play with it as with theremin.
You are instant composer, while the people, things, animals and elements around you are the performers.
Glo fits into your pocket comfortably, however you will be tempted to drag it out of there very often! :)
There are eight "channels", represented by symbols. Those on the left are soundscapes inspired by one of the elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Each one has a different rhythm and background texture: forest with birds, howling wind, ocean sounds or a pleasant crackling of the fireplace. A musical theatre, designed to invoke different emotions.
Those on the right are combinations of effects like reverbs, granular samplers, loopers and pitch shifters.
Whale is aware of its orientation in 3D space. To make your track even more interesting, variations are introduced, depending on roll, yaw and pitch.
Instead of the built-in microphones, you can connect any sound source you want!
Normally it senses ambient light, allowing you to play melody in a theremin-like style. When you turn the whale upside down, the "eye" starts glowing, then it can see differences in darker and lighter areas on various surfaces, converting textures to sound.
It is easy to grasp the controls and understand how different movements translate to sound effects and variations. You don't need to be a musician to play it, you will be in a full control of the soundscape in no time. However the mighty whale may have a surprise for you here and there.
The case is made from Ash hardwood finished with natural linseed oil. The "tail" strip is made from faux leather.
It can be powered via USB or by 3 AAA batteries, rechargeable cells work very well too, to protect the environment.
There are similar channels in both old and new version - four elements-inspired channels, and a few other sound engines. This improved model has more memory and can run infinite looper with loops up to 10 seconds at maximum sampling rate, or more at lo-fi rates, trading off sound quality for loop length. There is also a line input as an alternative for built-in microphones, and optical sensor which can measure either ambient light, or light reflected from surfaces, converting patterns to sound.
You can see the first demo here, advanced features will be demoed as soon as they are fully implemented.
To make the interaction with Glo more therapeutic, we added binaural beats to help achieve deeper meditation. They are proven to reduce stress, increase confidence, improve quality of sleep and mood in general. Learn more about their possibilities.
We have received amazing fedback after releasing the first version of Glo, which had mostly the same functionality in a different package (apart from new features like the light sensor and line input). So, before new model reviews appear, feel free to check the videos in this playlist, with some of our favourites highlighted below.
"This is a little box that contains a great reverb, stereo microphones, a version of Mutable Instruments Clouds, a granular sampler, and meditative engines to chill out with."
"I have been crazy about Glo, the polyphonic whale, since I first saw it in 2019. It's not really an instrument or an effect, it's more of a listening experience device. Glo transforms the world around you into a soundscape."
"A multimode polyphonic synthesizer, in the shape of a wooden whale, of course! It's a fascinating bit of technology that creates mesmerizing soundscapes for meditation or just for fun."
Scott's Synth Stuff
Let us explain a few things about Glo, The Polyphonic Whale which might not be immediately obvious.
The headphone connectors is very standard 3.5mm jack. You can't use wireles headphones. There is no built-in speaker. It isn't the best tool for live performances or for concerts; because of the sensitive microphones it will be subject to acoustic feedback (Larsen effect). You may get interesting results using line input or no input at all (microphones off), however it will no longer be influenced with your voice or sounds from the environment.
It runs on 3x AAA batteries (not included), or you can power it externally via micro-USB connector from power banks, computers or various adapters that supply 5V. For portable powering you can use standard disposable batteries, or even better Ni-Cd, Ni-MH or Ni-Zn rechargeables (with 1.2 - 1.6V nominal voltage). All batteries must be charged externally (if you power the whale via USB cable, batteries will be disconnected and won't be charged - Glo would not know if they are of a rechargeable type or not). To access batteries pull by the 'tail' to remove the wooden shell which is held in place by magnets.
You can record sounds from Glo just as if you recorded from any other device with a headphone-level sound output. If you are recording using a digital recorder (Zoom, Tascam and simialar) and there is extensive noise in the recorded signal, altough you don't hear it in the headphones, the culprit is usually that the volume is too low and what you hear is quantization noise. To mitigate this problem, turn the volume up at the Glo side, and turn the sensitivity down at the recorder's side.
In addition to the printed manual that you will receive with the whale, you can find more information here.
Something is not working as expected? Internally, Glo remembers settings like input levels and sound source configuration even after powering off. If you think something is mis-configured and it's hard to tell what, you can reset all settings to factory defaults: hold both POWER and PLUS (+) buttons for 5 seconds, until lights starts blinking. Glo will reset and work like new!
To our knowledge it is not a cure for tinnitus, although a few owners reported that it helps them to some degree. We believe that the natural sounds of Glo can distract you from the tinnitus in more engaging way than the typical white noise generator.