Plankton Electronics hit Kickstarter in December last year with this little desktop semi-analog synthesizer. After getting an awful lot of enthusiastic funding, the final production version of Ants! is in production and will be shipping soon. Plankton say they can now start taking preorders from people who missed the Kickstarter campaign.
Ants! is a cool and dark looking desktop analog synthesizer. It’s designed in a modular fashion, laying out all the elements as a mini modular system. It has more than 50 patch points, 19 knobs and “infinite possibilities.” It has 4 oscillators, 2 LFOs, 2 VCAs, a low or high pass filter, two envelopes, mixer, noise and sample and hold. All the ingredients for a highly enjoyable modular synthesis experience.
They’ve been able to add a few features and stretch goals since the Kickstarter. They’ve added a MIDI In on the back with a DIP switch to select the channel. A second CV output has been added and they’ve put in a LED to show the reception of a gate signal. The triangle wave on LFO-Y has been replaced with a sine wave. They’ve added “Sync In” on the OSC-Y and LFO-X. These are triangle core oscillators so the sync is not resetting the wave like in a sawtooth oscillator which they say is creating a slightly weird but good kind of sync.
Next they added an Attneuverter. Followed by a redesign of the case, removing the visual screws, adding the MIDI port, that sort of thing. The first envelope has evolved into a “super snappy” Attack/Decay triggered envelope, which is ideal for drums. The LEDs have been incorporated into the trigger and gate buttons. And finally, a small hole’s been created to show a light for the MIDI-to-CV signal indication. That’s all the stretch goals achieved.
They did hope to deliver in April but various snags and do-overs have bumped them to being about a month behind. Backers should be receiving their Ants! synthesizer in the next week or two. After that they will be available for general sale.
Plankton Electronics say that they can now take pre-orders, although none of the UK suppliers have it on their websites yet. But I’m sure if you get in touch they will be happy to take your money. The price is expected to be €490 ex VAT.
The video below gives all the reasons why this is a great little synth. It’s a massive improvement on the Kickstarter video which was, I thought, a trifle underwhelming. More information can be found on the Plankton Electronics website.