About this project
Update: Thank you to our early backers! If you missed the $300 reward level, please scroll down the page for more options. For the latest project news, please click the "Updates" tab at the top of this page.
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We are proud to present the NTH MUSIC SYNTHESIZER: fun to use, sonically rich, and hackable by design.
The NTH is designed so that a complete beginner can quickly craft incredibly varied timbres. For the synth veteran, the NTH offers relief from layered menus and obscured functions. The NTH puts a smile on the face of musicians and non-musicians, synth geeks and synth novices, children and adults alike.
We started with a PIC microcontroller and 8-bit DAC to create a dual-pitch oscillator with modulation by waveform, amplitude envelope, detuning, and glissando. Then we added a gritty analog low-pass filter, integrated step sequencer, and simple, intuitive controls. Your initial experimentation will quickly reveal an astonishing range of output: from sweet and sublime to raw, thrashing, and retro sounds.
The NTH is designed for easy modification:
- The NTH's spare hardware DAC channel and electronics prototyping area await your experiments.
- We've included an ICSP port for connection to the NTH's PIC16F microcontroller. Use a low-cost USB programmer to modify, upgrade, or completely rewrite the firmware on your NTH.
- If Kickstarter funding succeeds, we will publish the NTH Design Source Package, which includes the design files and source code for every detail of the NTH including electronic hardware, firmware, and enclosure. The package will be available for free download from nthsynth.com.
- Backers inside the United States: Each reward includes free insured ground shipping.
- International backers (NTH or NTH PCB rewards): Pledge the extra amount as noted in each reward description to cover insured USPS Express Mail International service. If you prefer FedEx International Priority, please double the amount added for shipping.
- International backers (t-shirt and flash drive reward): Pledge the extra amount as noted in the reward description to cover USPS Priority Mail International service.
FOR MORE INFORMATION...
We've posted the user manual, photos, and demo media at the NTH website:
We'll be posting more in the coming days. Join us.
Please send email to: email@example.com
We will send you availability updates. You can also find NTH news at:
You still have several options:
You can get an NTH for $350 if you pledge with a friend and purchase the 2-pack. This will net you 2 fully-assembled NTHs, 2 t-shirts, and 2 flash drives with the NTH Design Source Package.
At the $400 level, you will receive 1 fully-assembled NTH, 1 t-shirt, and 1 flash drive with the NTH Design Source Package.
At the $250 level, you will receive 1 fully-functional NTH, but without the enclosure. You will also receive 1 t-shirt and 1 flash drive with the NTH Design Source Package. Use the files on the flash drive to build your own case!
You can also support the NTH by contributing at a lower reward level, and build one from scratch using the files in the NTH Design Source Package. (The NTH would be a challenging DIY project. Please see our response to "Why no kit version?" below.)
The NTH PCB is a lead-free mixed SMT/thru-hole design. This would make it an extremely difficult DIY soldering project. Therefore, we feel that the NTH is a not a kit candidate. We will not be offering a kit version.
If the project is fully funded, the NTH PCB will be open-sourced. This means that anyone willing to undertake a challenging DIY project will be able to order a PCB from a fab house, source the parts, and build an NTH "from scratch".
If you are interested in using the NTH design for a DIY project, please consider backing the project at the t-shirt level.
For more information about DIY NTH modification, please see our response to "What do you mean by 'hackable'?" below.
The flash drive contains what we are calling the "NTH Design Source Package", which includes source code for NTH firmware, schematics, the EagleCAD board file, PCB Gerber files, enclosure drawings, and every other design file that we used to build the NTH.
Upon funding, the NTH Design Source Package will also be available for free download from nthsynth.com. Therefore, the flash drive can be considered a memento for our backers.
The NTH firmware is extremely hackable:
Except for the analog filter controls and power indicator LED, every button, knob, slider and LED on the NTH is firmware-assigned. This means that new versions of firmware can be loaded to alter or completely re-purpose any of these controls.
Oscillator algorithms and sequencer function are also firmware-based. Alter them however you like with your own code.
The NTH is designed with an ICSP port on the side. This means that anyone with a $35 USB PIC programmer can alter the firmware. Upon funding, we will be publishing all of the source code and we hope that users will freely exchange code modifications with each other.
The NTH hardware is also ready for modification:
Upon funding, we will publish schematics, the EagleCAD board design, and Gerber files for the NTH PCB. Anyone will be able to order a one-off PCB from a PCB fabricator, either in its original form, or with modifications. Please keep in mind that the NTH would make a very challenging DIY soldering project. See our response to "Why no kit version?" above.
The board design includes a thru-hole prototyping area for use with the NTH's spare DAC channel.
Since the enclosure is open-source as well, you can easily create a top panel with a new legend to match any of your other mods.
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