A crazy little synthesizer box handmade in the USA by Ellistronics could be an exceptionally good value step into experimental modular synthesis. The Melody Puzzle Modular Synthesizer contains a 6 oscillator wavetable synth engine and a poly-step sequencer and bristles with patch wires.
Melody Puzzle Modular Synthesizer
It’s all about combination patching. Parameters are changed depending on the combination of high/low inputs. They describe it as like rotating a Rubik’s Cube where each movement presents a new set of colours to solve. As you change the arrangement of inputs the synthesizer parameters generate a whole new set of possibilities. In a puzzle in melodic form.
The interface offers access to 4 pages of parameters. Select each page via the low/high combination of 2 elements and then there are 16 possible settings within. The 4 pages are Waveform Selection, Rhythms, Sequencer Transposers and Voice Groupings. The elements are found in the buttons/keys and knobs. Multiple patch points for single buttons allows each button to impact a number of parameters.
I’m not entirely certain that talking about it does an adequate job of describing what it does. The Melody Puzzle is a conundrum of accidental musical discovery. You’re not going to learn about traditional synthesis using this box but it’s an excellent way to encourage experimentation in sound design and generation.
Ellistronics say they’ve made 10 and they are available on Etsy for £58.09 plus shipping.
- Ellistronics Etsy page.