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$219
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By Anatal Electronics
$219
pledged of $57,778 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

D12f5af01471deda39d50e69d558abfc original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About

Dear all, The past days there were a lot of reactions that reached us through social media and on the different forums about our campaign. People understand what the idea is in general which is good. On the other hand what we offer as the pledges was perceived as confusing and also too much to choose from. This feedback is very helpful and therefore we have changed the pledges to package deals which should be easier to decide on. Basically you can choose between the automated patchbay version or the synthesizer version with integrated modules. This change of plan can mean that you are missing information about the xmods that have now disappeared. If you have any question drop us an email at info@anatal.io Thanks for your understanding

The Ultimate Synthesizer and/or patchbay

Imagine that you can capture all the patch capabilities of your analog modular in one magic box. Maintaining the full analog signal path, configuration and recall via software. Imagine that you can put together an analog synth like a car in a computer game. A Jupiter oscillator, an Oberheim filter, a Korg envelope ...  assembled in a few clicks and with endless routing options.

  • Nothing virtual, genuine vintage analog sound with famous synth chips from the 70's and 80's.  
  • Completely modular with cable-less analog patch matrix.  
  • Patch cable-less with analog switching chips and software, full digital control. 
  • Without AD/DA conversions between matrix input and output for 100% analog signal path and true zero latency. 
  • Option to function partly or fully as cable-less patchbay for all external devices too.
  • Option to cable-less patch and control other 3th party modular synths too.
  • Total analog recall, switch between cable-less wiring configurations instantly. Option to work with downloadable presets too.
  • Extendable cable-less patch matrix with switching cards, can grow to your needs and desires.
  • Extendable sound with vintage module cards.
  • Compact and robust 19" enclosure with optional custom front plate for enclosure pledges that fill up our goal.  
  • Xtreme price break, affordable automated analog audio matrix (search ebay on "64 audio matrix" and see for yourself).
  • Hard gold plated pcb's assembled in Europe, build to last a lifetime.

We from Anatal Electronics worked for many years on an extendable analog patching matrix that works with chips and software. Upon that patch matrix we build a modular synthesizer with real analog sound that can be controlled with chips and 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, an extendable polyphonic Arturia Matrix Brute or a modular Omega infinity with up to 256x256 modulation matrix size.

X-Bay works with cards for extending the matrix and also for adding more of our our vintage modules. The matrix can be extended from 32x32 to 256x256 IO. 

 

 

The matrix IO can also connect to external studio or live equipment too, serving as an automated patchbay.

 

 

Affordable quality

Because every aspect can be controlled digitally there is no need perse for physical buttons or sliders, they are optional not mandatory. 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. We use ddr pc memory connectors for all extension cards because they are around for decades and many are familiar with their ease of use. Another benefit of not having physical knobs or sliders is that they cannot  wear out and cause noise.

The price of components and connectors often depends on how many are sold. Because the connectors we use are in every pc they are affordable and reliable.

Our offer is so generous compared to comparable products that one might wonder if it can be any good. Our pricing is partly business strategy but for the greater part the result of having the right group of people get together at the right point in history. Over a century of combined experience in electronics, software development and vintage synthesizer technology, ignited with passion and the desire to make a difference, can cause a true genuine revolution in a significant industry. We did it because we can and now we need you to make it happen. Be part of something majestic!

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 settings can be applied with our software that runs on devices with internet browsers. Also over WIFI for phones and tablets. Separate mouse and touch interface is provided. It does not mean that X-Bay cannot be controlled by knobs or sliders. It is even remarkably easy to make a true analog controller with direct contact pots. Mind you many, if not most, synthesizer have encoding controllers which is basically digital control and differs not much from a midi controller that you can already use since X-Bay is midi controllable. For sure in the near future an analog controller will be provided by either us or 3th parties. 

A demo of the grid interface with 3 vco's modulating each others frequencies.

 A sound-less demo showing the 3D patch interface.

 Demo how to work with other 3th party midi software.

We are working on panel interfaces for well known synths like this minimoog panel. When using these panels there is no need to patch anything yourself. Your modules will be instantly wired like a fixed synthesizer of choice and can be controlled accordingly. Even if you don't have a clue about modular synths you can still benefit from the advantages it offers instantly and learn step by step on the way.

A simple dynamic controller we made for testing purposes and proof of concept. Any signal can be routed through the pots and controlled. Something useful would need little screens per pot to show what it is controlling and an ADC to scan the values so that the setting can be stored once the pot is detached from the signal or another signal is routed through it. We show this only for an impression so you know that storable and recallable physical analog control is an option.

Studio integration

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, apart from the fact that X-Bay itself can function as a standalone automated patchbay already. 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.

The following video shows a demo setup with external gear connected together with internal X-Mod modules behind the front plate. Full analog integration, totally recallable.

The rewards

System overview with the reward categories in blue.

X-Bay matrix

X-Bay is available in 4 sizes and can be populated with X-Mod modules and/or automated patchbay db-25 cards. The images show by size a visualization of the core switching algorithm at random full capacity. 

X-Bay small 32 matrix IO


X-Bay medium 64 matrix IO


X-Bay large 128 matrix IO


X-Bay xtra large 256 matrix IO

Any X-Bay can be upgraded later to a larger size by adding more of these matrix cards on another bottom board.

Like this 64x64

Control board and module distribution board are inclusive.

A 32x32 can grow to a 256x256 easily and convenient. DIY minded users can make their own solutions. We therefore offer it separately. X-Bay can function as automated patchbay and/or modular synthesizer patching system. 

X-Bay mini board

 

The X-Bay mini offers the opportunity to have a 16 x 16 matrix for 10 euro. Anyone can get a sample chip for free here http://www.analog.com/en/products/switches-multiplexers/unbuffered-analog-crosspoint-arrays/ad75019.html#product-samplebuy

We supply the board with a soldered socket for the switch chip. No need to solder anything. The chip can be pushed into the socket easily by hand. 

The only thing you need to get yourself is an arduino nano that can also easily be inserted into the supplied socket, a +-12v power supply and you can start experimenting with the software and the 16x16 analog signal matrix.

X-Mod synthesizer module cards

For users that want to get started out of the box we offer our X-Mod module cards that can plug into an X-Bay matrix. All plugged in X-Mods can interconnect with each other and optional with external connected gear (see automated patchbay db-25 cards).

These modules are designed by Marc Marc Amsterdam specifically for the Anatal X-Bay adapter system. They are featuring 40 years of experience in both analog and digital modular design which nowadays is called vintage. All possible synth's designed from the first Moog's in the seventies up to all the developments in synth design that came after has been explored through the years. With the gained knowledge many modules were designed with deep understanding leading to extras and extraordinary useful features. This knowledge and experience is now put in service to X-Bay of Anatal. The ultimate goal is that any useful analog design ever made will become available in form of an Anatal X-Bay module, for you to plug and play in any combination to extend your boundaries.

This is a compact table view on the modules. The number of X-Mod modules that can fit in a certain X-Bay matrix depends on the total number of module input and output. All X-Mods have hard gold plating instead of standard ENIG gold plating.

Although any combination of modules is possible we suggest the following configuration if you are too confused to make a choice, you can't go wrong with this X-Bay 32 modular minimoog setup 

The CEM3340 chips, used in many polyphonic synth's and although vintage for many years now is reproduced by Curtis because of its unabridged properties in analogue design. The m2 design features to switch to lfo mode. It outputs a positive rising sawtooth, triangle, square/pulse and one octave lower sub frequency. The square output has pw and pwm control. The sync can be set for hard or soft sync. Both the dac steered and the external frequency control are trimmed for a perfect v/oct response. 

 

 

The Roland Jupiter/Juno VCF module combines a 24dB vcf, a vca and a vcf input overdrive stage. It covers many Roland filters like the Juno106, Jupiter 4 and 8, Promars, SH101 and others. It is a classical design used in many synth's. The controllable overdrive input stage let's you cover even more sound characteristics by creating more harmonics before filtering. Matrix use: 5/3/1 It has the vcf input (overdrive stage) controlled by a dac channel and a matrix channel for a dynamic overdrive control (modulation). The filter frequency can be set by a dac (v/oct) channel and two matrix channels (½ v/oct). The filter can go into full resonance to become a tuned sinusoidal generator. The resonance amount can be controlled by a dac channel and a matrix channel for modulation. The output vca can be controlled by a matrix channel. The vca stage has it's output to the matrix.

 

The voltage-controlled ADSR envelope generator chip is a completely modern, microprocessor based design that emulates the analogue ADSR chips of the late 70’s and 80’s. The two key chips that were used as a model are the CEM3312 Voltage Controlled Envelope Generator and the SSM2056 Voltage Controlled Envelope Generator. The first of these was used in the Sequential Pro-One (and probably many other Sequential synths) and the SSM was used in the Korg Polysix, amongst others. In many ways these are extremely similar ICs. Both chips include control voltages for A, D, S and R.

 

The mix/split/level module combines 8 linear CV steered vca's with a sub-matrix of 16x16 channels to interface with any module connected to the main X-Bay matrix. It provides to cv control of 8 channels, routing, mixing, fan-out and external input routing to the X-Bay matrix through buffers, mixers and/or vca's. This module has a less straight forward structure. You may even call it complex because it involves a sub-matrix within the main X-Bay matrix system. The structure of stages and the connections to the sub-matrix and main matrix are set-up in such a way that it offers a maximum on flexibility used in the modular world with a 32 X-bay configuration. It also servers the so called 'MiniMoog plus set-up' to produce the functionality of a MiniMoog and beyond.

DIY experiment / prototyping card set

For DIY minded users we offer module experiment / prototyping boards. You can implement designs or attach existing boards and connect to the X-Bay matrix IO instantly by plugging in the card. Your module will be directly and fully integrated with the software and anything else that is connected to the matrix. A set contains 5 cards.

32 channel Midi to CV card

Since all modules are analog they are controlled by control voltages. You can use your own external midi to cv solution by connecting it to the matrix or use our internal solution that connects directly to the module input, bypassing the matrix. 

Automated patchbay db-25 cards

The automated patchbay db-25 card is a simple db-25 breakout with overvoltage protective and buffer circuitry that you can connect to a multi cable (not provided) of choice. All external gear can interconnect with each other and the internal X-Mod modules. Your enclosure will of course have all the db-25 connectors you need cut out the backplate.

 

Example X-Bay 32 automated patchbay / external modular patch matrix

The enclosure specification

A robust 4U 19 inch one with a drawer and a custom front/back plate. X-Bay is meant to be extended with more channels and modules. We made sure you don't need tools to update your X-Bay and that there is no risk of losing parts somewhere along the way, how annoying would that be. 

The assembly of a high end quality linear Power Supply Unit and the rest of your rewards are included. Ready to play. The Power Supply Unit comes with the X-Bay system as a base for an excellent analog power supply. It has laboratory specifications. It will be calibrated up to the millivolt precision to have any pre-calibrated module work up to its specifications. It delivers +12V, -12V and +5V, each at 3 Amps max. For the 12V it is dual tracking. This means that the positive supply controls the negative supply and it never can happen that the positive supply drops out while the negative remains (deadly for many chips). It is the ideal PSU to also experiment with your own experimental made modules.

X-Bay is specifically meant to perform on stage and blow usb sticks, laptops and cd players out of the water. It goes without saying that it is much more convenient, affordable and safe to take with you than a truckload of precious and vulnerable equipment. You will not be unnoticed. 

Enclosure pledges that will fill up our goal can have a custom front plate. Any image we can drill out in halftone with the backlight. Your name, logo, face or anything else you like.

Because X-Bay is meant to be extended a drawer is provided to make it easy to add new hardware.

A double bottom plate inside. The module slots are isolated from the rest.

Push in a card like this midi to CV module till it clicks and the levers are up. 

Connected, integrated and ready to play.

 

Who are we

Anatal Electronics is  

  • MrX. (X = cross, period = point) : Musician, imaginator, analog networking and software specialist with more than 25 years experience. Crazy dude, appreciates his privacy.
  • Marc Marc AKA MarcMarc : Electronics specialist and vintage synthesizer repairist with more than 40 years experience. Stands for the H in HQ. He knows vintage in and out so much that he can design a module in one day, and he does. https://marcmarc.home.xs4all.nl/ele/index.html
  • Johan Overloop AKA Ambi-J: Musician, electronics specialist, construction specialist and vintage synthesizer repairist with more than 40 years experience. He designed and build the modular he plays from scratch, the pcb's, the front plates & the cabinet. 
  • Ruud Blom : International sales expert with more than 25 years experience. Sees huge potential in X-Bay and likes to free the world from cables without losing real analog sound.

What others think

We wrote many articles on forums about our plans and ideas. The feedback we got was heartwarming and encouraged us to keep on going. We like to share some reactions here to support our claim that we made The Ultimate Synthesizer 4U.

User jvd1291@gearslutz.com : This seems to me to be a thing that could be somewhat revolutionary. It looks incredibly deep and flexible.

User midiquestions@gearslutz.com : 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 kkonkkrete@gearslutz.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 mojopin@muffwiggler.com : This sounds super awesome! I once spent a good deal of time dreaming up something like it.

User nigel@muffwiggler.com : I can see using this to build a programmable VCS3 or ARP 2500 type synth. Hmmm. Anyone for a new modular format?

User daveholiday@muffwiggler.com : 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 calaveras@muffwiggler.com : Questions, are you a super-villain? If so do you need henchmen?

User mojopin@muffwiggler.com : 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.

User kingmaxwell@muffwiggler.com : This is a mind-blowing thread.

User Dcramer@muffwiggler.com : You sir are a genius.

User SynthBaron@muffwiggler.com : This is the future. I seriously await the day there's 100 plug-in modules for this now.

User kindredlost@muffwiggler.com : This is the best art project I've ever encountered. 

User jupiter8@muffwiggler.com : Kudos and outmost respect to you dear Sir. Well done.

User hippasus@muffwiggler.com : Wow, beautiful work, keep going!

User floater@muffwiggler.com : this is a modular dream come true, saving patches! 

User milkshake@muffwiggler.com : Still eating popcorn. Any news?

User Eric the Red@muffwiggler.com : Damn. This is an intense thread. 

User initvoice@synthforum.nl : Goffedikke vette shit Anatal, keep it up!

During and after the campaign

During the campaign we will keep on developing the redesigned X-Mods. Currently they are on order to be manufactured. We aim to assemble and demo them during the campaign but sound wise there will be no difference from what is already shown in the demo's. 
We will also make sure that all software bugs are solved before we add any new features. The software development will be an ongoing process that will continue for years to come. The software is and stays free of charge including all updates.

The software has been stable for years and does not need any funding to be distributed. We buy off the shelf enclosures with a custom front plate that we make in our own workshop with our own cnc router. We went to great lengths to ensure easy assembly for ourselves and the end user. 

If we met our goal we immediately order a small batch of all pcb's and do a final test for all matrix sizes. We might find small problems that we will fix. Every cycle of testing and ordering takes about 2 weeks. It is very uncommon to have more than 2 of those cycles. We need this testing time to ensure a stable product. It would be irresponsible to take the chance of ordering a large batch straight away and have no more funding to resolve an unforeseen vital issue. 

Finally we will order a larger batch of pcb's and will start assembling the first units. We have a relatively easy job assembling. The pcb's are of course assembled professionally and automatically by a specialized manufacturer. 

We will immediately ship a unit when it is ready instead of assembling all units before shipping any of them. Whomever ordered first will receive the first unit and so on until everyone is served.

Roadmap

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 as reward 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
  • Oberheim SEM discrete VCO,VCF,ADSR and VCA.
  • Minimoog discrete VCO and VCF.
  • Digilog digital reverb.
  • Drum voices from 909,808 DMX and Linndrum.
  • Vocoders
  • Equalizers
  • Compressor
  • 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.
  • Dynamic analog dedicated pot controller. You can have physical knobs if you desire so. 

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

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. All designs and redesigns are prototyped and successfully tested, we don't see major risk involved regarding our own designs and production of pcb's.

There is risk that certain chips are out of stock and that we need to wait for another batch or use other chips. We therefore initially limit the number of rewards that are available. If we add more rewards we will first make sure that the used chips will be available.

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    Pledge 1 euro or more and wonder for the rest of your life if the music you hear originates from the revolution you were part of.

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    MINI board only, 1 chip for free

    Yes it is true for only 10 euro you can have a 16x16 system. Analog devices, the chip manufacturer, will supply one chip per person for free. You have to contact them and request a sample of the chip here http://www.analog.com/en/products/switches-multiplexers/unbuffered-analog-crosspoint-arrays/ad75019.html#product-samplebuy. The chip can be plugged into the socket on the board. No soldering required. Arduino Nano and +-12v power supply not included.

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    Pledge €1,278 or more About $1,483

    X-Bay 32 patchbay

    Ready to play analog cable-less 32x32 patchbay, without AD/DA for true zero latency and extendable.

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    Pledge €1,849 or more About $2,146

    X-Bay 64 patchbay

    Ready to play analog cable-less 64x64 patchbay, without AD/DA for true zero latency and extendable.

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    Pledge €2,249 or more About $2,610

    X-Bay 32 synthesizer

    Ready to play X-Bay 32 with one synthesizer voice, unlimited routing options and extendable.

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    Pledge €3,799 or more About $4,410

    X-Bay 64 synthesizer

    Ready to play X-Bay 64 with 2 synthesizer voices, unlimited routing options and extendable.

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