POLYTIK modular synths: playing with graphics and sound (Canceled)
POLYTIK modular synths: playing with graphics and sound (Canceled)
POLYTIK is a collection of beautifully designed hand-held synth modules exploring the border between play and sound.
POLYTIK is a collection of beautifully designed hand-held synth modules exploring the border between play and sound. Read more
About this project
First of all, we want thank you for your support. We've had great feedback, press coverage and enthusiasm for the project and learned a lot about where Polytik sits as an artwork and synthesiser.
The chief thing we've realised is that while it's clear people love what we've designed, it's also clear Kickstarter probably isn't the best way to get it out into the world.
So, we've decided to end the campaign early and go straight into an initial production run. We're very proud to be selling online exclusively through Bleep.com for the next three months.
Please join us: https://bleep.com/label/6906-polytik
Polytik is a collection of beautifully designed hand-held synth modules exploring the border between play and sound.
Born out of a DIY ethos and the maker community, Polytik has been crafted into something very different – a series of beautifully designed objects in their own right.
Polytik is open-source hardware and encourages users to make new modules and hacks.
The brainchild of John Richards and Jack Featherstone in collaboration with Artists & Engineers, these hybrid analogue/digital devices can produce a palette of sounds ranging from angular rhythmic sequences to abstract noise, pads and drones. The synths are designed to be tactile, to be held and touched when playing.
Polytik comprises four separate, colour-coded, battery powered modules. Every Polytik system needs a Core module and at least one sound module. The sound modules connect to the core with ribbon cables, these carry audio and control data to connect the system together giving you a single audio output for all modules. You can have up to three sound modules connected at one time.
The Starter Pack comprises a Core module and a Combi module, which we think is a really good way to start using Polytik.
Core (Blue) - A sequencer, programmer and mixer. YOU NEED TO HAVE THIS MODULE TO START, you can then add any or all of the other modules to expand your experience.
Combi (Black) Voltage-controlled feedback, voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and filtering
VCO (Red) Voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and voltage-controlled filter (VCF)
Noise (Yellow) Noise generator, patchable feedback networks and voltage-controlled filter (VCF)
THIS IS HOW THEY SOUND:
The Core module comes loaded with 30 pre-programmed sequences; this module plus one of the others is required to start making music. Further modules can be added at a later date to expand the experience.
The Golden Chip special-edition starter pack consists of two modules, Core and Combi, together with an individually signed and numbered chip containing an additional 20 pre-programmed sequences from Polytik makers and a curated set of 10 sequences, comments and interviews from leading electronic musicians and artists including: Jas Shaw (Simian Mobile Disco), Mark Fell, James Ginzburg (emptyset), Nik Colk Void and Gabe Gurnsey (Factory Floor) and Frieder Nake.
Jas Shaw from Simian Mobile Disco shows us how it’s done.
POLYTIK IN THE MEDIA:
Each module looks like a work of art, but Polytik's unique design is more than purely aesthetic. The key to the Polytik experience is the ability to work directly with the boards and components, rather than through the once-removed medium of swiping or tapping a screen.
Touching parts of the circuit boards and the visual design details enable you to physically interact with Polytik to produce different sounds and sequences.
Deliberately designed without any instructive markings, the intention is to encourage the user to explore the synths’ capabilities through intuitive play.
Play + Explore:
- Customisable desktop modular synth
- Sound and design through intuitive play
- Battery powered and portable
Artwork + Synth:
- Limited-edition artwork
- Touch sensitive control
- Collectible modules
Analogue Sound + Digital Control
- Stored patterns
- Make your own loops step-by-step
- Guest artists’ sequences
Expand + Connect:
- Open-source hardware and hackable
- CV control with your computer or other music gear
- Headphones or line out with 3.5 jack
Download the USER GUIDE here.
INDIVIDUAL MODULE SOUNDS:
POLYTIK OPEN SOURCE:
Polytik is open source hardware - all software, hardware design files, schematics, layouts and bills of materials are free for you to download, modify and use. This makes it possible for you to hack/bend the modules, create new presets, develop new modules, and share your projects with the community.
Hardware and software will be published on Github under a BSD license at the end of the campaign.
To accompany the synths we've commissioned Jack Featherstone to design select products in keeping with the Polytik aesthetic:
A Polytik T-shirt with a Jack Featherstone design screen-printed onto high-quality T's.
Polytik limited-edition screen prints, printed by hand onto high-quality paper stock and signed by Polytik designers Jack Featherstone and John Richards
Polytik creators John Richards and Jack Featherstone in conversation
John Richards (Dirty Electronics) explores the idea of Dirty Electronics that focuses on shared experiences, ritual, gesture, touch and social interaction. In Dirty Electronics, process and performance are inseparably bound. The 'performance' begins on the workbench devising instruments and is extended onto the stage through playing and exploring these instruments. He has been commissioned to create performance works and sound objects for various arts organisations and festivals and has produced two hand-held synths for Mute Records.
Jack Featherstone is an artist, designer and moving image maker. He studied at Chelsea College of Arts, London and has created work for Wallpaper*, Volvo and Warp Records. He has produced artwork for numerous albums for the likes of James Holden and Nathan Fake, among others; created limited edition artworks for bleep.com; and has collaborated on audio-visual projects with Simian Mobile Disco.
Artists & Engineers is a production and technology studio. We help artists, creatives and brands realise complex projects. Based in London and working worldwide, Artists & Engineers comprises a small team that draws on a large network of skilled people. A&E’s skills and experience cover a broad range of disciplines from electronics and physical engineering to events production and live performance technology. We love supporting artists and researchers in the fields of performance technology, interaction and audio-visual work.
Risks and challenges
__Accurately colour matching PCB soldermask can be tricky - there are multiple separate processes involved in board manufacture and many of them have the potential to cause pigment discolouration. We've been working closely with our fabrication partner and are confident in their ability to achieve a surface finish we're happy with, but it's possible that there may be slight colour differences between batches of modules. This does not impact overall functionality or finish quality.
__Design and prototyping is already completed, and small batches of the final design have been manufactured using production processes. All components are in stock with our suppliers at the time of Kickstarter launch, and capacity has been confirmed with our manufacturing partners. Whilst it is always possible for delays to occur in supply chain unexpectedly, we're ready to start production as soon as this campaign ends.
__Quality is important to us - all modules will be tested and inspected prior to shipping.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
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