About this project
Low epic throbbing halls, rasping vocal choruses, burning thick churning waves of static. The Yowler is waiting.
The Yowler is a versatile little noise/drone synth, don't let it's size fool you, it is packed with features most small synths don't have:
External trigger + decay: trigger the Yowler from external gear, use it as a drum synth
Built in speaker + mono/stereo output: means you can use it with mono gear like guitar pedals or a modular synth, or stereo gear like mixers, headphones etc...
Pitch knobs + light dependent pitch control: get crazy sounds from the three oscillators by shining light on them
BUT WAIT THERE IS SO MUCH MORE...
If the minimum successful funding amount is raised, you get the Yowler as you see it in the video, with all the features described. BUT, once we reach the funding goal backers will be able to contribute to the design and development of the final product. How? Read on.
WHAT'S A COMMUNITY BUILT SYNTH?
Ever $1,000AU above the fully funded amount unlocks a bunch new options for features that the backers get to vote on having included in the final design. Some of these upgrades are aesthetic, like better knobs and buttons, others are extra features like a filter or the design becoming open-source, or Eurorack compatibility, and others are design improvements, like a case, a thicker PCB, or rubber feet.
The idea is that as a community the backers will steer and shape they Yowler through their choices. The more people who support the Yowler the better it gets.
When each voting milestone ($1,000AU over the funding goal) is reached, I will send out a survey to backers to decide between two new features. If enough voting milestones are passed then features are passed over will return for a second chance of inclusion. If your favourite feature missed out early on, with enough backers, it may still end up in the final product!
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE SYNTH!
At its heart the Yowler is three square wave oscillators with pitch control that goes from very low to uncomfortably high. The pitch is controlled by knobs with switchable light dependent resistors. The oscillator mixing happens through two XOR gates creating rich harmonics, screaming highs and throbbing lows. The third oscillator can be switched off. A diode VCA (voltage controlled amplifier) can be switched on to allow external triggering of the synth, turning its voice off and on. The diode VCA can also be controlled with CV (control voltage) to create primitive volume changes. A switchable decay capacitor creates drum sounds. The Yowler can be battery powered or powered from a DC wall wart and it has an independant volume control knob.
WHAT KIND OF FEATURES GET UNLOCKED?
I don't want to give them all away but here are a few exciting choices you may get presented with:
- Choose between upgrading the buttons and jacks and a thicker PCB
- Choose between the project becoming open source and a case for the synth.
- Choose between the synth being Eurorack compatible/Eurorack mountable and an extra oscillator.
Got a great suggestion for a feature? I'll be putting out the call for these too if we pass enough voting milestones!
WHO IS IT FOR?
The Yowler is perfect for lots of different types of people such as:
- People who want to learn about electronics and synthesizer design by building their own kit
- Noise and drone aficionados, who love exploring a vast world of sonic possibilities
- People who want to get hands on and build a cool electronics project
- Musicians who play with synths, guitar pedals, laptops and drum machines
- People who want to see what happens when the backers help to steer a project and have a say in what the final product looks like
HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN IN THE WORKS?
Well, there have been two prototypes so far, and the one you see in the video is the third revision of the design. The Yowler was originally developed for a workshop series at The Channel, in Melbourne, and those workshops were a great opportunity to see how a group of 28 people went about building their own Yowler. The upshot of this? You will get a synth that has been road tested, and built by people of varying experience levels 28 times.
The Yowler can be built by people with all different skill and experience levels and I will provide detailed video and text instructions to help you built your own awesome little noise synth.
Risks and challenges
I've designed, manufactured and delivered more complicated products on time and under budget, like the Hell Synth in 2015 and Video Equations earlier this year.
This product has been designed to use generic footprint parts that can easily be interchanged if supply of one part runs low or has its delivery delayed.
The PCB manufacturer I use has a high quality of work and a fast turn around time.
I will run the project surveys through Survey Monkey.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (31 days)