Rockit 8-Bit Synth Kit (Kickstarter Project)

Self-professed ‘big nerd’ Matt Heins has gotten off to a good start with his Kickstarter fundraising project to develop a new DIY synth kit, the Rockit synthesizer.

In the first week, he’s got over $1,200 pledged towards the project’s $10,000 fundraising goal.

Here’s what Heins has to say about the progress:

I’m feeling pretty good about things. I was a little worried in the beginning pushing my baby out onto the world, but the reception has been pretty good with a lot of people providing positive feedback.

Some people aren’t interested in the 8 bit rawness, but like all synths, it’s just not for everybody. To all of you who’ve taken the plunge though, I thank you.

Here’s Heins’ background on the Rockit synthesizer project:

My goal in designing the Rockit 8 Bit Synth is to make an inexpensive open-source synth kit. For musicians, Rockit will be a source of gnarly full-blown synth sounds and, for hackers and electronics enthusiasts, Rockit will be an engaging electronics project and a platform for synth exploration.

I’m near the end and I’m glad to report that Rockit rocks on both counts. The synth makes deep fat bass, chip noise leads, sci-fi robot weirdness and eveything in between. The hardware is well-documented and the code is written in easy to follow C with ample comments, so the average electronics geek will find a project with enough depth to keep them busy for a good while.

More details below. 

Specifications:

  • Fully Open Source Hardware and Well-Commented C Software Design
  • Digital Analog Hybrid Circuitry
  • 2 Digital Oscillators with 16 waveshapes, updateable to more
  • 2 Low Frequency Modulation Oscillators with 10 destinations
  • Innovative Digitally-Controlled Analog Filter with Low-Pass, Band-Pass, and High-Pass with Envelope Control and External Audio Input
  • Analog Voltage-Controlled Amplifier with Envelope Control
  • Drone/Loop Mode for Playing by Itself
  • 19 Knobs to Twiddle and 8 Switches
  • Full MIDI Input and Output
  • Sound Patch Save and Recall

What’s in the Kit

The Rockit kit Includes the circuit board and all the electronic components necessary to build the synth, along with a wall wart power supply. The kit does require soldering, but it will also be available in fully built form. Neither form presently comes with a case.

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