Riban modular

This is a shameless plug for another, unrelated open source project! :blush:.

Following a successful exhibit at Synthfest UK 2023 I have now built a website and Discord server for riban modular - a hardware, polyphonic digital modular synth using buttons for patching instead of cables.

Please take a look at https://riban.square.site and join in the discussion at riban modular.

I would really appreciate your feedback on this as you are such wonderful and discerning people.

I wonder whether Discord is the right platform for discussion - you need an account even just to read comments which Discourse does not but there are lots of people already using Discord.

For those unable or unwilling to swing by, here is the TLDR:

riban modular aims is to make the modular synth experience more accessible by bringing down the cost with extra features that include:

  • patching without cables making for a tidier and less accident prone rig
  • 16 channel polyphony through all modules automatically
  • recall of patches (not knob settings - they are absolute)
  • ability to add your lesser accessed modules without dedicated panels saving space and money

Congrats @riban that’s an adventure !

Website looks good and appealing. But we need more: info, video, sound :innocent:

IMHO: definitively not because it is not indexed by search engines.

All the best

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This is extremely promising Brian (@riban ): so ingenious of you, to offer cable-less modules connectivity and 16 voices of polyphony in a stroke.

Despite the objective richness in sound design possibilities, what has kept me at bay from the hardware modular world so far - apart from the sheer amount of money required to build a decent setup - is the overall awkwardness of having patch cables dangling around all over the place, for nothing more than a monophonic performance.
By that I mean that, for me, a substantial provision of polyphony is paramount, for even considering to approach a modular synthesizer system.

I will keep a keen eye on the development of your interesting project! :slightly_smiling_face:


I’ve set up a Discourse instance so we can move away from Discord.


Yes ! Thank you, that’s really good.
I enjoyed reading “progress”


Hi @riban, the web is super clear and very nice. Congrats mate! You are doing it!

I hope to test it soon!! :wink:

All the best!!

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In case you didn’t see it, there is something similar today on Synthtopia.

The “Heritage Modular” looks just like an analog synth, but the sound is generated by software emulation. The technical info says that pure-data is used to synthesize 8 voices, but that an x86 SBC is used due to Raspberry Pi 4 being too slow. Patching is done using cables, but these don’t carry signals and are just used to drive cross-modulation in the software.

Certainly looks quite convincing, but I’ll bet it would be quite expensive to build…

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I’ve seen this pop up a few times. The guy said he didn’t want to build it beyond a hobby project and it still uses cables for interconnects which is one of the this that riban modular specifically targets. It is great to see others with similar goals.

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Hi Riban, very impressive synth. How did you make front panels? I need to build something similar for zynthian mini project. I thought buying laser cutter and cutting and engraving acrylic but your synth front panel does not look like it is acrylic .

Head over to the riban modular forum and ask the question there. I want to avoid hijacking this forum and it also adds content / tracking in the right place. (I promise to answer your question promptly over there :blush:.)

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