With a breadboard and a range of Syntaxis micromodular modules you can build your own modular synthesizer for a fraction of the price of Eurorack.
These are tiny shrunk down circuits designed to plug directly into DIY electronic breadboards. They still manage to contain all the functionality and (we’re told) quality of regular modular modules. All you need to do is add pots and knobs to the breadboard to connect to the various functions on the micromodule. There’s no expensive case or power supply to consider and micromodules start at around £17 for a uVCA, £21 for a uVCF and £33 for a uVCO.
So far we have:
- uVCO-3340-A: Based on the AS3340 CEM clone oscillator with 3 waveform outputs.
- uVCF-3320-LP4-A: 4-stage lowpass filter based on AS3320.
- uVCA-3360-LIN-A: AS3360 based VCA with 4 inputs, 4 CV controls and a single output.
- uADSR-3310-A: AS3310 based envelope generator.
- uLFO-3340-A: Based on AS3340 with triangle, pulse, saw and inverted saw outputs.
- uPSU-112-A: Power supply unit.
There’s a Starter Kit available containing one of everything, 3 breadboards and 20 potentiometers and some rotary switches for £235.20 which is an interesting price for a fully modular monosynth. It’s also a system which would be easy to upgrade and build upon by adding more modules. The voltage range output seems to be normalised to 0 to 5V and so could potentially work with Eurorack modules if you can make up some cables. In the demo video below they have it wired to an Arturia Keystep via a couple of patch sockets attached to the jump wires used on the breadboard.
Syntaxis micromodular is a decent attempt at making modular synthesis available at an affordable price. I’d love to try it out and see where it could take me. It could also lead you down the road of circuit design because you’re already sitting there with a breadboard and pots there’s nothing to stop you building in your own circuits. At the very least every school should have one.
- Syntaxis website.