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Vondle POM-400 Matrix

Vondle POM-400 Matrix  ·  Source: Vondle

Vondle POM-400 Matrix

Vondle POM-400 Matrix  ·  Source: Vondle

The POM-400 Matrix Kit is a Synthi-inspired modulation matrix designed to fit on the top of the Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Modular 400 making it strangely tall and totally wondrous.

POM-400 Matrix Kit

What a strangely wonderful idea. Dave Vondle has come up with a modulation matrix add-on to the striking POM-400 modular synthesizer. This allows you to connect all the modulation sources and destinations to each other using pins in the Matrix rather than patch cables. It was a format found in the EMS Synthi synthesizers and brought a lot of order to the chaos of patch cables. It’s often used to some degree in software synthesizers and crops up in hardware from time to time.

The difficulty in using one with modular is that you have to connect everything to it in both directions which is not something you could do in a modular system that uses lots of different brands and ideas. But for a relatively self-contained modular system like the POM-400 it’s perfect. It works by replacing the back of the POM-400 with a board that has connectors that meet up to the backs of the soldered components of each module. No soldering is required, it just squeezes up against the right connections – quite genius really.

Vondle POM-400 Matrix

Vondle POM-400 Matrix

It is a bit ridiculously tall and I wonder how stable or sensible it is in use. Perhaps it could have been a desktop unit attached with a cable? Still if you own a POM-400 then you’re not going to be the sort of person who’s shy about the look of it.

The cost is $700 which is more than the cost of the POM-400 itself but this is a series piece of kit manufactured by the only company that still builds parts for the Synthi. It’s a simple enough build but it does take a lot of time taking the POM-400 apart to attach it. What a marvellous thing.

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Dave Vondle
1 month ago

Thanks for the article! My site had some misinformation I was made aware of and want to clear up. The original EMS patch matrices were made by Selectro, a company no longer in business and Ghielmetti is the only current company that supplies these parts. Thanks again!