Small 16 voice FM synth

Really, really small.


Not sure of how they power the thing. They stand that no power supply is needed at all … so it should take the power from MIDI current loop … What do experts say about it? Is it possible?


I was looking at a similar analogue modelling synth. It uses the 20mA current loop from the 5V MIDI socket (may not work on all MIDI outputs) to power the processor and audio output. A smoothing capacitor acts as a charge pump to allow the MIDI signal to collapse briefly without impacting processor. The use of a low power efficient microprocessor allows some significant DSP at low current consumption. It is a cool idea but I am yet to hear any demos that don’t suffer from audio degradation (hum / buzz / distortion). I hope they have solved this and they are creating neat little pocket sized synths.

[Edit] Watch the video to see a pretty complete explanation of the challenges and solutions including a lot of detail of what is inside the device and how it works. This guy knows what he is talking about and doesn’t mind sharing. It is really interesting listening to him. I am sure those with less engineering knowledge will be able to follow much of the description and there are lots of demonstrations of the devices features. It sounds pretty good… for a phase modulation synth. (I grew up in seventies and eighties and have always hankered back to the seventies analogue synth world!)


Yes, very impressive. But I don’t see the use case.

I’m sure I’ve heard that about the Zynthian project :rofl:

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:slight_smile: No seriously. The sound can only be just good, but not extraordinary.
For the UI you need a keyboard with a lot of controllers, which sound - in most cases - might be better than this device.

Ohhh! You can be sure of that!
My mother always asks me what this pot that I invented is for … and sincerely, i’ve serious problems to explain to her the project … I always finish with a “but it’s very funny, mum” :rofl::rofl:


It is (by the developer’s own admission) a bit of a gimmick and I don’t think it warrants the cost but it sounds quite good from the demos and if designed well it is possible to make it pretty good. Using it as a sound module that you don’t tweak settings much (like 90% of DX-7s) it could be a neat solution for some very portable systems, e.g. it might work well with my Wind Synth or Guitar Synth. I don’t think I will be buying one.

Hello, off topic

in the context of zynthian and/or problems let your mother study this Engineering Excuse Generator
to talk about with her friends and family. This is what I tell my mother trying to defend lonely nights fiddling strange sounds…
Just my 2 centimos…

Greetings and God bless, Marius

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It could be useful for keytars that don’t have a built in synth. Like the Alesis Vortex 1. Or a synth with strap studs and a limited synth engine, like the Korg Poly 800.

This is a pretty cool project - thanks for showing! For myself I currently have no use-case for this. But the idea is really cool.

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I have a total confidence in Mitxella… He is excellent…