The Shruthi is an open source synthesizer designed by Mutable Instruments and released as a kit about 6 years ago. It remains a popular DIY project for synthesizer enthusiasts. Enthusiasts such as Joshua Watson and Ian Briscoe who have put a Shrolca project onto Kickstarter in the hopes of improving upon the Shruthi by adding a bit of Volca style magic.
The Shruthi has a great monophonic sound engine, sequencer, modulation matrix and analogue filter. The Shrolca takes all that goodness and folds in a touch activated MIDI keyboard and a Volca sized box. The original kit came with an acrylic box to house it in so the Shrolcas proposed machined aluminium body should be a major upgrade.
All of the good stuff really comes from the pre-existing Shruthi. You get 2 digital oscillators with 35 waveforms, the analog filter, 2 envelopes, 2 LFOs, sequencer, arpeggiator and the modulation matrix. The matrix allows you to route 28 sources to 27 destinations – it’s great little synth with a lot of versatility driven by 4 knobs, some edit buttons and an LCD screen. All of that you can already get in a kit from your local synthesizer store.
The Shrolca offers a nice box with a cool touch-keyboard, which is all great. There’s also talk of a Eurorack mounting frame with CV patching available as a separate accessory. That’s about it…
So I guess a cool synth gets a bit of a makeover and so we have the Shrolca. You can preorder now on Kickstarter for $250 which is about the same as the current DIY kit price although you will have to add shipping and import tax to that. But you won’t have to build it yourself. It’s a lot more expensive than any of the Korg Volcas and about the same as the new IK Multimedia Uno. At the time of writing they are half way to their very modest goal of just under £10,000. So it definitely has some fans. I think it looks good and is probably just what the Shruthi needs.
- Shrolca Kickstarter page.