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Invent the sounds of the future! Create your own astounding electronic instruments with lego-like hexes & physical sensors.
Invent the sounds of the future! Create your own astounding electronic instruments with lego-like hexes & physical sensors.
240 backers pledged $33,672 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Molecule Synth:An Electronic Musical Instrument for Everyone project video thumbnail
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$33,672

240

Kickstarter is over, but you can still get info and BUY from the Molecule Synth Website!!

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Order NOW

REVIEWS:

BoingBoing: "...Molecule Synth looks like terrific mix of [neat noisemakers, games, water sensors]! ...I can't wait for my son and I to get our hands on a set!"

MakeZine Blog: "[Molecule Synth is] a cool synthesizer that can be pieced together, Lego-like, from a series of hexagonal modules that feature different effects"

Coolhunting.com: "Resembling more of a genius child's wind-up toy than a musical instrument...Molecule Synth combines rearrangeable hexagonal pieces to create an unconventional version of the traditional keyboard synthesizer."

Gadgetronica.com: "From now on, not only are your compositions your brainchild but the instrument on which it was created will be too! Thanks to...the Molecule Synth."

WHAT IS THE MOLECULE SYNTH? 

The MOLECULE SYNTH is a unique, utterly new kind of musical instrument. It offers the elemental components of a traditional keyboard synthesizer — a speaker & amp, a sound generator, and a pitch controller — but presents those elements as pieces that you arrange (and rearrange!) in various combinations to create your own musical device. The MOLECULE SYNTH is designed to be intuitive to use: each of its hexagonal pieces is color-coded to indicate what that piece is and does, and each piece is marked to show how it connects to other pieces. With these building blocks, you choose how to configure your instrument, and, later, you can move the pieces and configure an entirely new instrument!

<<  LEGO-LIKE INTERCHANGEABILITY  

                                       +SYNTHESIZERS 

                                                 +PHYSICAL ELECTRONICS  

                                                                 =  MOLECULE SYNTH!!!        >>

Molecule Synth
Molecule Synth

“I must Create a System or be enslav'd by another Man's” -William Blake

I was inspired to create the MOLECULE SYNTH by experiences circuit bending toys and building my own electronic instruments, and I wanted to make something with sounds that were more wild and less predictable than what comes from traditional keyboards. I wanted an instrument that was more interesting than just pushing buttons, but I also wanted to get away from the “black box” pre-fab technologies that makes us all passive “consumers” using someone else’s designs. So I made the MOLECULE SYNTH to be an open ended, hardware-based, stand-alone musical instrument that is easy to hack & modify, that is DIY to the core, that totally rocks, sounds amazing, and is guaranteed super fun to play!

The MOLECULE SYNTH has the pitch-accurate musical capabilities of any old random store-bought keyboard, but with the MOLECULE SYNTH, you can see and change the way that the instrument works. You can plug in a MIDI keyboard to control the MOLECULE SYNTH, or you can use the physical controllers for more experimental sounds.

Using the MOLECULE SYNTH is fun and easy! The MOLECULE SYNTH ships with a complete set of directions and tips for use, but, thanks to the MOLECULE SYNTH’s color-coded pieces and intuitive design, practically ANYONE can figure out what to do without reading anything. 

Here’s how it works: Take a RED giant-sized hex, connect it to a YELLOW hex; now connect a PURPLE hex to the YELLOW hex. That’s it. You have just created a new MOLECULE synthesizer! But hold on, maybe you want a different PURPLE? Try it -- grab a different PURPLE and connect to the YELLOW.  Now you've made a different MOLECULE synthesizer!   

  • We spent lots of time putting sound samples in our Kickstarter video that demonstrate what the MOLECULE SYNTH can do. The entire video was made with the MOLECULE SYNTH, a Korg Kaossilator and a vocoder.  The video is a good source for getting an idea of how the MOLECULE SYNTH will sound, and what sorts of synths you might create with it.

  • HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?  PLEASE SEE FAQs BELOW, AND CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE, WWW.MOLECULESYNTH.COM FOR MORE PICTURES AND INFO. 

>>>>>REWARDS!<<<<< 

1. MOLECULE CHEER. For a donation of $5 to $39, you will receive our undying gratitude for helping the project get going, and have your name immortalized in the online Sound Lab, moleculesynth.com, special list of supporters.

2. MOLECULE CATALYST. For a donation of $40 to $74, you’ll receive a Limited Edition MOLECULE SYNTH T-Shirt with your choice of one of our two designs featured below, "Hex Perception" and “Let’s Get Physical.” We use American Apparel shirts, and you can specify size, color and M/F style with your order. 

3. MOLECULE SCIENTIST. For a donation of $75 to $249, you’ll receive both of our Limited Edition MOLECULE SYNTH T-Shirts (or two of one design, if you like).

T-Shirt Design#1: "Hex Perception"
T-Shirt Design#1: "Hex Perception"
T-Shirt Design#2: "Let's Get Physical"
T-Shirt Design#2: "Let's Get Physical"
4. ISOMER MOLECULE SYNTH SET. For a donation of $250 to $299, you receive the eight-piece MOLECULE SYNTH, a detailed “Owner’s Guide & Molecular Sound Lab Manual,” a packet of Sugru, and an attractively designed box that stores and transports everything and can be turned over for an awesome tabletop surface on the go!

5. POLYMER MOLECULE SYNTH SET. For a donation of $300 and up, you receive the nine-piece MOLECULE SYNTH, which includes everything in the ISOMER SET plus the MIDI-Input hex. Also comes with “Owner’s Guide & Molecular Sound Lab Manual,” a packet of Sugru, and a box of awesome.

6. MOLECULE BUNDLE. For a donation of $1,100 and up, you or your institution can be among the first on the block to have FOUR COMPLETE POLYMER MOLECULE SYNTH SETS, which means having more of the best new technology/electronics learning tool around and the most fun new musical instrument since the kazoo. The four sets can be used individually or combined into one enormous MOLECULE -- totally radical!


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

OK, BUT IS THE MOLECULE SYNTH FOR ME?...   

YES! The MOLECULE SYNTH is for all musicians, kids, artists, makers, educators, designers, and ANYONE ELSE who enjoys experimenting and discovery!  

You don’t need any technical knowledge whatsoever to enjoy improvising and exploring the possibilities of the MOLECULE SYNTH. In demonstrations of the MOLECULE SYNTH at ADX-Portland’s Open House, and at the June 28, 2012 Dorkbot-Portland Backspace Meetup, I watched as an incredible variety of people, ages 6 to 86, had their own fun playing with it.  KIDS LOVE IT! -- it is designed and hand assembled to be a high quality musical instrument, with excellent sounding audio input and output that can be easily and reliably interfaced with other musical devices, but it is also a toy and is a freaking blast to tinker with, variable and crazy enough for the mad music scientist and beat chemist in everyone.

MOLECULE SYNTH PROTOTYPE PCBs
MOLECULE SYNTH PROTOTYPE PCBs
5 Elements of Molecular Synthesis
5 Elements of Molecular Synthesis
Table of Elements (showing hexes available now & coming soon!)
Table of Elements (showing hexes available now & coming soon!)
Speaker/Amp/Mixer
Speaker/Amp/Mixer
This was our prototype mixer, now it is included on the Spkr/Amp hex
This was our prototype mixer, now it is included on the Spkr/Amp hex
Sound Generator - Digital - 556 Timer
Sound Generator - Digital - 556 Timer
Sound Generator - Analog - 1458 Op Amp
Sound Generator - Analog - 1458 Op Amp
Sound Generator - Digital - 2LFOs (40106) -- these are primarily for Control Voltage w other Sound Generators, but they can be used for drum-like beats and pulses, too.
Sound Generator - Digital - 2LFOs (40106) -- these are primarily for Control Voltage w other Sound Generators, but they can be used for drum-like beats and pulses, too.
Flex Sensor - one of the most fun ways to control pitch and timbre!  why aren't these on all synths? I dunno, but with the MOLECULE SYNTH we're trying to correct that oversight!
Flex Sensor - one of the most fun ways to control pitch and timbre! why aren't these on all synths? I dunno, but with the MOLECULE SYNTH we're trying to correct that oversight!
Photo Sensor (pictured with a contact sensor that is not included -- the contact sensor will be included in later hexes)
Photo Sensor (pictured with a contact sensor that is not included -- the contact sensor will be included in later hexes)
Pressure Sensor (coupled with a turn knob the physical variance of pressure allows for some really pleasant sound control accents -- pulses, bends, squeaks, taps, and so on)
Pressure Sensor (coupled with a turn knob the physical variance of pressure allows for some really pleasant sound control accents -- pulses, bends, squeaks, taps, and so on)
Joystick - whheeeeeeee!  Note: this can control two inputs simultaneously!
Joystick - whheeeeeeee! Note: this can control two inputs simultaneously!
MIDI-Input
MIDI-Input

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    MOLECULE CHEER - Donate $5 or more to have your name immortalized on our website Sound Laboratory as a backer of the project. "Go, MOLECULE, Go!!"

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    MOLECULE LAB BOOK - choose one of five cover designs for a 3"X5" 32pp dot grid paper notebook perfect for sketching or remembering new ideas for Molecule Synth designs!! See Update#8 for pictures of available designs.

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    4 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    MOLECULE CATALYST - Help the us grow and get an awesome T-Shirt! Also, your name will be immortalized on our website Sound Laboratory as a backer of the project. We have American Apparel shirts available in two designs -- please designate Design#1 or Design#2, size, and M/F style. See FAQ for information on International Shipping.

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    14 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    MOLECULE SCIENTIST - Feeling powerful Elective Affinities with the style and science of the MOLECULE SYNTH? We certainly hope so! Pledge $75 or more and you receive two of our Limited Edition T-Shirts -- choose Designs #1 or #2, and sizes and styles with your order. Also, your name will included in the Sound Laboratory Scientists' list of backers.

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    9 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    ISOMER MOLECULE SYNTH - This eight-piece set ships with an Owner's Guide to Molecular Synthesis and a pack of Sugru, all in an attractively designed box that protects and doubles as a table-top surface. See FAQs for International Shipping.

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    14 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    POLYMER MOLECULE SYNTH SET. This nine-piece set includes the complete ISOMER MOLECULE SYNTH SET plus a MIDI-Input. Please note: Arduino Uno is not included. See FAQs for more technical details concerning Arduino, and for information about International Shipping.

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    86 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,100 or more About $1,100

    MOLECULE BUNDLE - four complete POLYMER MOLECULE SETS.

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    1 backer
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Funding period

- (30 days)