Soundtronics M²Synth offers a full-sized vintage-styled 5U modular system that’s designed to expand beautifully with a modular cabinet approach.
The M “Squared” Synth looks the part as a large format modular system. It has a sombre seriousness about it that has a very vintage vibe and yet also looks modern, clean and sharp. Soundtronics have gone all analogue for the modules but kept them low profile so that the cases don’t have to be as deep as you commonly find in this format. This reduction in bulk is what’s given M²Synth the ability to be portable while keeping the full-sized modules.
The idea is that the system is expandable in 10U pods which can be securely mounted together to form cabinets. There are two types of pod; an upright one and a sloped, console-style as the base. It all slots together rather neatly.
At the time of launch there are 25 different modules available including all the expected building blocks of your synth, like VCOs, envelopes, filters, VCAs and so on. They are analogue and designed around the CEM range of chips giving them a stab at the classic sounds of the Prophet, OB-8, Memorymoog and Jupiter synths.
Notable modules include a Chord VCO with 4 oscillators with internal chord tuning. The State Variable Filter has 4 filters that can be patched in series or parallel and are very useful for taking the Chord VCO into proper polyphony. And there’s a programmable digital sequencer for up to 48 notes in saveable patterns.
The M²Synth will be available in system configurations from a single base pod up to at least 8 pods. The System 10 has 9 modules configured to offer a 2-oscillator synthesizer with MIDI. You can snag one of those on a Kickstarter special for £1,025 which is an amazing price for this sort of modular. It then gets complicated from there with System 20, 30, 40 and so on with deeper mixes of modules and possibilities. The System 80, for instance, comes with 63 modules in 2 base pods and 6 expansion pods for £6,595.
The systems follow the MOTM (Mother Of The Modulars) 5U format which includes 1/4″ jacks for patching, +-15volt power and +-10v peak to peak audio.
Soundtronics are only looking to raise £7,500 to kickstart production which is only a handful of systems and they are already well on their way. I think it looks fantastic and the quality and build appear to be excellent. It offers a thoughtful synthesizer alternative to the fiddliness of Eurorack for a possibly comparable price.
- M²Synth Kickstarter page.