The Ultimate Synthesizer 4U
The Ultimate Synthesizer 4U
100% Real Analog Sound 100% Digital Control, use software instead of cables to make modular connections, extendable up to 256x256 IO
100% Real Analog Sound 100% Digital Control, use software instead of cables to make modular connections, extendable up to 256x256 IO Read more
About this project
The Ultimate Synthesizer
We from Anatal Electronics worked for many years on an extendable modular synthesizer with real analog sound that can be controlled with software instead of cables. All analog settings and patch configurations can be saved and restored. For your reference it can be seen as a real analog Nord Modular or a polyphonic Arturia Matrix Brute with up to 256x256 modulation matrix size.
Because every aspect can be controlled digitally, there is no need for physical buttons or sliders. This saves a lot of development time and production costs and is the reason why we don't need to compromise on quality for an affordable price.
Proven technology and components
The underlying concepts for the switching modulation matrix is like other networking technologies, complex but around for many decades. The audio signal switching chips we use are in production for more than 25 years. Our effort made it possible to have such a matrix in a small enclosure so that it will fit in a 19" rack.
The synthesizer modules are implemented with reissued, cloned or original chips from Curtis Electronics and SSM. By many considered as the best choice and many well known vintage synthesizer from the 70's and early 80's are implemented with these chips.
How to play
Connect a midi keyboard or midi software like cubase and control it like any other midi device. Modular connections and analog setings can be applied with our software that runs on devices with internet browsers. Also over WIFI for phones and tablets. Seperate mouse and touch interface is provided.
If you already have audio equipment then that can connect to the modulation matrix too. The consequence is that you can make a snapshot of your studio at any point and store it on disk for recall later. Any patchbay will be effectively automated when it is fully connected to the modulation matrix. Our software offers several mono and polyphonic modes that also apply to connected external modules. You can easily play one complex chord with several completely different VCO modules without any effort. The software will find a way to use your modules to their maximum polyphonic potential.
How to choose
Since the system is designed to be as flexible as possible we don't offer a "one fits all" solution. Instead we break up the system in the smallest possible parts. You can select items based upon your personal needs. Some have hardware already and might want to have the DB25 connector board for half of the channels. Others prefer to have one box and only use X-Mods. It makes as much sense to work with external gear only and use your own design enclosure and existing power suply, in that case you only need a certain size modulation matrix. We offer 15 items to start with, the amount of possible combinations therefore is endless.
Because the modulation matrix is extendable you can start small and let the system grow to your needs and budget.
What others think
We wrote many articles on forums about our plans and ideas. The feedback we got was hartwarming en encouraged us to keep on going. We like to share some reactions here to support our claim that we made The Ultimate Synthesizer.
User email@example.com : This seems to me to be a thing that could be somewhat revolutionary. It looks incredibly deep and flexible.
User firstname.lastname@example.org : Looks really promising. I don't do modular ATM but am tempted by your invention.
User Tangent@gearslutz.com : This is an excellent idea!
User email@example.com : Potential applications of this are very exciting. Please keep going with this important project!
User RecMyWorld@gearslutz.com : Incredibly cool.
User Tempertemper@gearslutz.com : Really cool stuff going on here.
User firstname.lastname@example.org : This sounds super awesome! I once spent a good deal of time dreaming up something like it.
User email@example.com : I can see using this to build a programmable VCS3 or ARP 2500 type synth. Hmmm. Anyone for a new modular format?
User firstname.lastname@example.org : then you could eliminate cables and do all your patching via software....and save the results for recall? If that is correct, that would be a very cool project indeed!
User email@example.com : Questions, are you a super-villain? If so do you need henchmen?
User firstname.lastname@example.org : Being able to quickly patch would really change my approach to writing music. Even being able to randomly patch might be fun.
User Paranormal Patroler@muffwiggler.com : 256 inputs would be crazy. I am extremely curious to see this beast patched up entirely.
Many years went into development of the modulation matrix and it is ready for production now. Since a few months we are working on the analog synthesizer modules we call X-Mods. The VCO, VCF, ADSR and VCA we offer are the first that are ready for production and are the ones we offer for sale here. Several independent module developers are working on the following modules that we will also offer once they are ready for production.
- Jupiter 8 discrete VCO,VCF,ADSR and VCA.
- Advanced multimode version of the Jupiter 8 VCF, offering much more functionality.
- BBD analog delay chip board
- SEM discrete VCO,VCF,ADSR and VCA.
- Minimoog discrete VCO and VCF.
- Digilog digital reverb.
We are constantly looking for new independent developers or will make ourselfs the following
- Drum voices from 909,808 DMX and Linndrum.
- Dedicated surface controller.
- Keyboard version with keyboard wide touchscreen that can project vintage synthesizers so that the vintage X-Mods can be controlled as intuitive as could be.
What is probably clear by now is that we are working towards the Ultimate Studio in a box that fits under your arm and will offer the possibility to take your completely Analog studio to stage with minimal effort and risk.
Risks and challenges
As with some Kickstarter projects it happens that eventually products could not be delivered because there are too many custom parts involved and it is underestimated how easy things can get out of control.
The only custom parts we have are the pcb's and a 19" frontplate. Those are not very exotic items. Making a pcb is not something new. It is a well established industry. It is our design that makes the end result very special. Since that has been ready for a while we don't see major risk involved.
Since we develop new exciting hardware there is a risk that we not covered every possible situation and set up with our tests. It might be possible that not everyone is completely satisfied with our delivery. That is why we include one hardware update in the price. When we come with improved boards then you also get those boards at no extra cost. The chips need to be transferred to the new boards, that's all. We place them in sockets for this reason. The chips can be taken out of those sockets at any time and plugged into the sockets of the new boards. A special tool is provided and an instruction video how to do this safely.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter