Out of modular makers Plankton Electronics comes a complete, self-contained, but modular desktop synthesizer. Ants! (always with an exclamation mark apparently) is fully analogue with 49 patch points and internal normalising so it’s both ready to go and eager to be patched into a larger system. They are looking for €27,000 on Kickstarter to get production off the ground.
It’s small but really rather beautiful. It’s perhaps a little bit too ordered for my taste – I like the chaos of the 0-Coast approach – but the layout with definitely appeal to people with tidy minds. Ant! consists of 4 triangle oscillators, a noise generator, resonant filter, 2 envelopes, 2 LFOs and 2 VCAs. There’s also an AND gate, sample-and-hold, mixer and MIDI to CV. It’s a tidy and complete little box. It’s laid out a bit like a mini Eurorack with modules at the top and bottom and a 1U section of utilities between them. All very sensible.
Plankton say that they wanted to do something complete. Something that’s affordable and gives the same experience as Eurorack but without the stress, option anxiety and expense that often goes along with that. I’m all for that!
The size, design and price point of around €529 puts it in the same sort of bracket as the Moog Mother-32, Make Noise 0-Coast and Dreadbox Erebus. All of these synthesizers are offering a similar analogue modular experience without the hassle of going fully modular. There’s no mention of whether you could put Ants! into a Eurorack, which could be handy if you take things further, but only the Mother-32 offers that possibility.
If you get in early you might be able to snag yourself one for €419. As I’m writing this the first backer has just bought one – going fast! They estimate delivery in April 2017. I have to say that the promotional video is…. ok, the synth sounds nice but there’s a lot more interesting stuff going on in the SoundCloud playlist and wish they’d been a bit more crazy in the video to show off the range of sounds and madness alongside the tone.
The Kickstarter ends on the 8th of January 2017. More information on the Kickstarter page.ARVE Error: The [[arve]] shortcode needs one of this attributes av1mp4, mp4, m4v, webm, ogv, url