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A fun, expressive musical instrument you can make, hack and play. Build a beautiful analog synth that responds to touch and movement
A fun, expressive musical instrument you can make, hack and play. Build a beautiful analog synth that responds to touch and movement
A fun, expressive musical instrument you can make, hack and play. Build a beautiful analog synth that responds to touch and movement
542 backers pledged $105,760 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Hyve Touch Synth: Make the future of musical expression

$105,760

542

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.

Notes on the Hyve span 6 octaves
Notes on the Hyve span 6 octaves

 

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.

A beautiful instrument, in the studio or on the go
A beautiful instrument, in the studio or on the go

 *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.
Hyve Maker Kit comes with legs
Hyve Maker Kit comes with legs
     
     

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.

People have been hacking the Hyve
People have been hacking the Hyve
      

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"

    

Tech specs

  • 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

 Hyve Synth Documentation

 

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"

       

HyveSynth.com

        

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.

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    Hyve High Five

    Give a virtual high five to cheer on the project! Thanks for your support!

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    Hyve Synth Hacker

    I'm a DIY guru hacker. I want just the bare circuit board with touch interface to make my awesome ideas come to life. No components included.

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    Hyve Synth Maker

    I want to build the Hyve Touch Synthesizer at home without soldering. Teach me everything I need to know.

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    Hyve Synth Premium

    I want to start playing the Hyve synth right out of the box. Make it for me with that beautiful wood back.

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    Hyve Synth Hacker 10 Pack

    10 Hyve Synth Hacker circuit boards. Host a hacking party!

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    Hyve Synth Maker 10 Pack

    10 Hyve Synth Maker kits - Host a makerspace workshop or synthesizer party.

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Funding period

- (27 days)