This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Magus Modular Synthesizer Toolkit
Magus Modular Synthesizer Toolkit
Algorithms are modern day magic spells. Add magic to your music with the Magus, a patchable, programmable synthesizer toolkit.
Algorithms are modern day magic spells. Add magic to your music with the Magus, a patchable, programmable synthesizer toolkit. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" -- Arthur C Clarke
Algorithms are the magic potions and spells of the modern day. In electronic music, they make the wooshes, booms, squeals, screams and bops that might have us contemplate the universe, reach personal insight, or dance like mad for days on end. Join us on a journey to create ever more powerful algorithms, and to make them open and available to everyone. We already have a community of hundreds of talented synthesists sharing their work. Let's make it bigger, let's make it better, let's do it together!
Magus Synthesizer Toolkit
The Magus is like having a compact modular synthesizer without being limited by the modules you've got in it.
Unlike traditional synthesizers, the Magus doesn't confine itself to a fixed function or paradigm. Whether you want granular, additive, FM, subtractive, spectral, chaotic or stochastic synthesis, Magus gives you the freedom to pick the right algorithm for the job and then lets you loose to patch up a storm.
Enjoy the creative power of a hardware synthesizer with the flexibility of audio plugins.
If our existing library of algorithms doesn't do it for you, you can even create your own, for truly unbounded creative freedom. And you can use any one of more than two hundred patches from our library as a starting point. Patches can be authored in Max Gen, Pure data, FAUST or C++, giving you an impressive range of powerful musical programming tools to choose from.
The Magus' little brother is the Wizard. It runs the same patches and is also patchable as well as programmable. This means that you can change the signal flow on the fly and connect it to other kit. It is incredibly compact but still sports five assignable control knobs and four buttons, and a total of six patch points. Like the Magus it has both USB MIDI device and host connections so that you can plug your favourite controller straight in - be it keyboard, drum pads, sequencer, grid, or multidimensional controller. It makes an excellent stand-alone synth or effects unit and has huge integration capabilities.
The Alchemist is the baby of the family, but it packs a powerful punch. With four knobs, two trigger buttons, one mode button and trigger and CV inputs it amazingly still fits in your hand.
All three devices have a USB socket and can be powered by USB or by an external DC supply.
The Alchemist, Wizard and Magus are capable of an infinite range of sounds and effects. Here are some samples to give you a taste.
The Magus, Wizard and Alchemist are all built on the Rebel Technology OpenWare firmware and can run the same patch programs as two of our existing products: the OWL Pedal and OWL Modular. This means that our entire library of more than 200 patch programs is ready to use right now!
To load a patch, simply plug in the USB cable and load it directly from the web, or download it as a MIDI Sysex file.
You can also create and edit patches directly in the browser, or if you prefer, simply upload the source files. Use our online compiler, then load, store, test, download and share the patch online!
For Cycling '74 Max users it is even easier: there is an OWL package available from the Download Manager that lets you compile and load Gen patches straight onto the device. Pretty cool, huh!
We'd really like to help you get started, so we have made a collection of tutorials for anyone who wants to create their own patch programs in Max Gen, Pure data, FAUST or C++.
- 48kHz 24-bit stereo audio
- 32-bit floating point DSP
- Powerful ARM Cortex M4 processor
- 8 Megabyte RAM
- Latency down to less than 1 millisecond
- 3.5mm stereo headphone / line level output
- 3.5mm stereo line level input
- 20x 12-bit bidirectional CV patch points (Magus only)
- 128x64 OLED display (Magus)
- Dual mono audio inputs and outputs (Magus)
- 2x CV in and 2x CV out, 12-bit (Wizard)
- 1x trigger input, 1x trigger output (Wizard)
- 1x trigger input, 1x CV input (Alchemist)
- USB MIDI Host interface (Magus and Wizard)
- USB MIDI Device interface
- 16x RGB LEDs (Magus)
- 1x RGB LED (Wizard and Alchemist)
- DC Power Jack, 2.1mm centre positive
Bidirectional Patch Points
The Magus has 20 unique bidirectional, analogue patch points. These can be configured by the patch program as either inputs or outputs. Sixteen of them also have RGB LEDs which indicate the level and the direction: purple-blue-cyan for inputs, orange-red-pink for outputs. All output parameters have an '>' at the end of the name making them easy to identify on the display, too, and changing the value will set the gain for the output. The patch points are fully Eurorack compatible, with -10V to +10V signal levels.
Prototype vs Production
The Magus that you see in the video and photos above is a fully functional prototype. It works fantastically, but it is made of plastic. To give the Magus the presence that it deserves we have designed a beautiful case. It has a silk black panel, gunmetal sides and is made from aluminium and steel, with a solid feel and sophisticated finish.
KickStarter rules means we can't show you a realistic render, but this gives you an idea of what your Magus will look like when delivered.
Magus Eurorack Edition
Really into synths? Why not get the Eurorack version of the Magus, and enjoy endless patching possibilities. It comes as a 20HP wide module with a 4HP USB expander. Please be aware that, like all Eurorack modules, the Magus Eurorack Edition requires a compatible case and power supply, which is not included in the reward.
Magus Timeless Edition
The Magus already looks great, but we decided to pull out all the stops to create a luxurious limited edition with classic solid wood cheeks. The cherry wood perfectly offsets the silk black finish of the front panel, and shines with a deep, mysterious lustre. This thing glows with magic!
We met our funding target in only five days! To thank and reward our backers we've prepared some stretch goals.
£24,000 Stretch Goal : Tote Bags
If we reach 24k of funding we will give a free tote bag to every one of our backers. Featuring a gorgeous Magus design by fine artist James Self, this is the bag to carry your magic in.
£32,000 Stretch Goal : Flash Memory
At 32k we will add extra Flash memory to every Magus, Wizard and Alchemist that we make. Another 32 Megabytes to store patches and samples!
Rebel Technology is a synthesizer manufacturer based in London, UK. We've been making radically innovative music electronics for more than a decade. Our products includes a full range of eighteen different synthesizer modules. All our products are Open Source and Open Hardware, and we are committed to using technology to create positive change and help people realise their creative potential.
A few years ago we did this KickStarter campaign: OWL Programmable Effects Pedal
The OWL not only exceeded our funding goals several times over, but was also delivered in full to all supporters. We now have a user community of more than 500 active members. Here are some of the things that people have said about the OWL Pedal and OWL Modular:
- I bloody love this thing! -- Anil Sebastian, Musician
- I just ran the OWL through a very good large pa in Edinburgh. 2x D&B C7 tops and 4x C7 subs and it sounded really great. Really detailed clean sound. Lots of depth and texture. Really good. -- Mark Fell, Musician
- I have the OWL Pedal and I love it! -- Renato Quaroni, Editor of The Book of Bad Ideas
- OWL is a great module! Very well done, Sir! -- Steve Everitt, Eat Static
- I LOVE IT! -- Steph Horak, Musician
- I use the OWL Modular in every patch, truly a gem. -- Alec Brady, Musician
- OWL is amazing! I run pro studio and doing music for 20 years in a professional environment. So I learned all sound space craft from Lexicons hardware in the analog days. -- Andrius Kauklys, Studio Engineer
Because Algorithms are Magic
As a final word, let's be clear that when we talk about magic we definitely do not mean "things that cannot be explained". The Magus is all about learning, demystifying, and creating your own magic. We believe that the beautiful art and science of advanced audio algorithms belongs to everyone!
Risks and challenges
Designing and manufacturing innovative products is full of uncertainty: will the design work, can the parts be supplied, will the end result be ergonomic and fun to use!
We started this work more than two years ago, and have done countless prototype iterations, dealt with dozens of suppliers and explored hundreds of options. What we are presenting to you here is the end result: a production ready design that will work from day one.
For the manufacturing to work on the small scale that we operate on we do most of the work ourselves, including all the assembly and testing. This ensures that we can keep a very high level of quality and respond immediately to any changes or variations in the supplied parts.
We also have numerous supply paths for all critical components, and we have set a realistic delivery schedule to ensure we don't overextend our production capacity. If in spite of this there are delays we will always inform our backers directly through KickStarter Updates.
tl;dr: Producing small scale music electronics is a difficult, challenging process, but it is something that we are really good at! We will do everything we can to minimise delays, and will never compromise on delivering on our promises.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter