Opto: Stunning West-coast style portable modular synthesizer from Rob Eris
Opto is a breathtakingly beautiful take on modular West-coast synthesis in a handy portable format featuring a complex oscillator and touch plate keyboard. But is it real?
It’s very tempting to believe this is real but, at the moment, it’s only a concept. Rob Eris is an industrial designer who has turned his attention to the world of modular synthesis. Opto is an idea that he’s developed in Keyshot to produce photorealistic images of a potential product.
Assuming that his intention is to push this idea into reality, Opto is based around a dual oscillator, each with triangle, sine and square wave outputs. The oscillators operate as a pair with a single 1v/Oct input plus Sync and FM inputs. The oscillators have individual pitch control as well as FM depth and wavefolding. From there, there’s a variable response dual lowpass gate with a single mic output that can go to line level or headphones.
A Motion module offers a loopable envelope while Rnd appears to be an LFO. On the left is a 16 note sequencer and clock generator that can feed melodies into the Dual Oscillator. Although there is another option.
Hidden within the drop-down lid is an 8-note touchplate keyboard. It seems to have a 1v/Oct output with Gate, a Mod input and individual outputs on each note. Maybe it can be used for notes and modulation, either mixed or individually.
The design is beautiful. Little things like the knob shapes and colouring are just gorgeous. Making it carriable with the handle is a nice touch. I wonder if Rob has considered putting a speaker in the back somewhere.
Opto looks like the sort of thing you could drop onto Kickstarter without too much trouble. Rob says that it’s Eurorack compatible and so you could swap out the modules if you wanted to ruin that minimalist aesthetic. He definitely has an eye for imagining an alternative vision of Eurorack modular and this sort of diversity is very welcome. It has a Teenage Engineering vibe about it which also makes you ponder the price.
I asked Rob where he thought this might be leading him. He said:
I’ve received a lot of great feedback about Opto, and I would be keen to talk to anyone interested in helping take it further.
- Rob Eris website
- Rob Eris Opto: Rob Eris
- Rob Eris Opto: Rob Eris
I was about to go and buy this right now. Dam.
It’s beautiful and looks like an absolute blast to play.
The colors on the cables are problematic. It feels too much like a suggestion. I’m into modular synthesis because I don’t want anybody telling me where to make my patches. It being so free form is what is appealing to me.
The colors are amazing. Put ’em on the knobs.
this clearly a mock up but it doesn’t look like it would close if patched. also it seems weird that the sequencer is not apart of the touch interface, seeing as the sequencer takes so much space.
The link says “ron eris”
not any more
Thanks for the clickbait
I like the design somehow.
There is what seems like a lopass-gate in it but thats not enough to call it westcoast for me.
I would say its a filterless eastcoast with a lopass gate. kinda useless if you ask me.
The wavefolding doesn’t catch your eye?
unfortunately rob ignores emails and messages. so obviously he is not keen to talk to anyone….