About this project
Hyve Touch Synthesizer is a fun, expressive musical instrument that anyone can make and play. It responds to human touch, even your slightest finger movements give you powerful control. Turning these gestures into sound allows you to play music like never before.
Expressive touch, analog synth
Slide your fingers across the surface to explore new ways to touch sound. It’s a 60-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer that is controlled by pressure, horizontal, and vertical movements of each finger on the surface. Even the smallest wiggle of your finger makes the sound come alive, giving expression to the music you make.
Explore and harmonize
Notes on the Hyve are arranged so that you can easily explore harmonies and tone combinations with small movements of your finger.
The bottom half is arranged like a piano keyboard. Each key senses pressure, vertical position, and horizontal position. Moving vertically allows you to sweep through octaves and harmonically combine them into evolving tones. Horizontal movements push the sound right and left in stereo. Touching the bottom row causes a pressure-controlled pitch bend.
The top half uses a hexagon grid to put notes that sound good together right next to each other. Every adjacent note is harmonically related: straight up is a perfect 5th, up to the right is a major 3rd, and up to the left is a minor 3rd. This means that one finger can play a chord and slide to the next chord in the song. Each hexagon also senses pressure and horizontal position like the bottom half.
Cuckoo: "It's magical. This is extremely cool."
How do I play it?
The Hyve was designed to be immediate and accessible. You don't need to know anything to start touching sound.
1. Plug in power and headphones
2. Touch the surface
3. Slide and explore
Joey Gage: "It kind of makes the Hyve synthesizer feel more natural and organic in a way, that what you put into it and how you touch the instrument actually affects the sound."
Hands on, educational experience
Learning through doing is a powerful way to inspire a lifelong curiosity for STEAM fields. Hyve combines tech and arts concepts into a tactile playground for sound.
- Durable - No fragile glass screen
- Goes with you everywhere - 40 hour battery life
- Explore musical intervals by playing
I have teamed up with local woodworker Jeff Nardoni to develop a handcrafted hardwood enclosure. Hyve Synth Premium has a walnut back that looks and feels wonderful. This instrument comes to you ready to play and requires no assembly or tuning.
*UNLOCKED* Hyve Premium Stretch Goal
All Hyve Premuim rewards will now come with a free Hyve pouch!
This is a soft padded neoprene mini gig bag. It is the perfect size for your Hyve and battery pack, and has enough extra room for ear buds or small headphones.
This Hyve Touch Synthesizer kit comes fully working and requires no soldering and no experience. You tune the notes and assemble the legs to start playing. If you want to take to the next level, make your own back for it. You can use wood, cardboard, cork, or 3D print one at your local makerspace.
What can you do with it?
- Tune it and attach the included legs and you are ready to play
- Add modifications and make a frankensynth
- 3D print a custom back for it
- Make a back from wood, mat board, cork, etc.
Stretch Goal: Back design files
When we reach 250 Hyve Maker backers (single + 10 packs) it will unlock free design files for creating your own backs.
- Hand cutting templates - used for the cork back pictured above, three layers cut with a hobby knife and glued together.
- 3D print model - used for the white PLA back.
- CNC model - used for the wood enclosures of the Hyve Premium.
Get the Hyve Touch Synthesizer bare circuit board that you can build or hack. No components are included, only a circuit board with the touch interface. For experienced circuit builders only.
What can you do with it?
- Learn surface mount soldering - make the Hyve with your own parts. (bill of materials and schematic provided)
- Hack your own touch instrument invention
- Hang it on the wall as art
- Use it as a 30hp eurorack modular synthesizer blank
- Something nobody has even thought of yet
*UNLOCKED* Stretch Goal: Double Hyve Hacker
All Hyve Hacker rewards will come with Two Hyve Hacker bare circuit boards when we reach 100 Hyve Hacker backers (single + 10 packs).
- Build one and hack the other
- One for you and one for a friend
- Make a double wide Hyve by chaining them together
There is a chain area on the circuit board which allows you to connect two together to create one larger instrument. Four wires connect them, which joins power and audio, so you have one power input and one headphone output for both.
Edmund Eagan: "The uber cool Hyve synthesizer, processed through custom looping software, controlled via a Wii remote. All live one take."
Redesigned for Kickstarter
By backing this project you are making the experience of a new Hyve accessible to everyone. Together we can meet manufacturing quantity that keeps the Hyve in reach for everyone who wants to build, hack and share their creativity. Help bring this beautiful instrument to life and make expressive music. With upgrades to the sound and a streamlined design, you get to build and play the best Hyve ever made.
Jake Metz: "It's a fun way to move around musical scales"
- Dimensions: 153mm x 127mm x 13mm (6" x 5" x 0.5")
- 60 note polyphony
- Responds to horizontal position, vertical position and pressure for each key
- Input: 9V DC 5.5mm x 2.1mm barrel connector center positive (7-18V input voltage compatible)
- Output: 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
- Extremely low power, average 15mA
- 10 SOIC ICs, 24 1206 resistors, 18 1206 Capacitors, 1 1206 diode, 12 trimpots, 2 connectors
Christophe Duquesne: "First meeting with the Hyve from Skot Wiedmann. It is a small, simple and highly expressive instrument. One thing I really love with it is that there is no predefined way to use it: you have to experiment and find your own way. So this is a small 2 tracks demo (with additional delay and reverb)."
VoidPulse aka Kyle Werle: Workshop Hyve with reverb and delay
Meng Qi: "A self-contained eurorack system
instant and tactile like an acoustic instrument"
Risks and challenges
The money raised in this campaign will go toward manufacturing and shipping the Hyve to backers. As with any hardware manufacturing, delays could arise from parts availability or assembly errors. I have partnered with a USA based manufacturer as my primary manufacturer, and I have also lined up two others to assure that the process goes smoothly. The core design has proven reliable and repeatable at workshops where the assembly was done by novices. The new design changes are fully tested, and a handful of prototypes are playing beautifully. The woodworker has done two prototype runs of backs and has years of experience producing the highest quality and consistency of large and small scale wood products.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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