Soundmachines NS1nanosynth Modular Synthesizer Coming In October For $219


Soundmachines designer Davide Mancini let us know the details on his new portable modular analog synthesizer design, the NS1nanaosynth.

Mancini describes the NS1nanosynth as ‘A powerful, deep and hacker-­friendly blend of a real analog modular synthesizer and an Arduino platform’.

Here’s a diagram of the NS1nanosynth’s architecture:


The NS1nanosynth offers the core features of a modular synth:

  • a saw core thermally stabilized v/oct VCO,
  • a 12db lowpass and bandpass VCF,
  • two LFOs,
  • one loopable ADSR envelope,
  • a standard VCA,
  • two twistable attenuators,
  • two pot controllers, and
  • more than a dozen “micro” modules, like mixers, [email protected], sample and hold, sum/sub blocks, inverters, logic or, and, nand, analog dividers, clock dividers, fixed voltage generators and several ‘sensor blocks’.

In addition to the analog elements, the NS1nanosynth features an Arduino Leonardo – a standard processor with native USB connectivity, which gives the tiny modular USB MIDI support and more.

Here’s a preview of the NS1nanosynth in action, sequenced via USB MIDI:

The NS1nanosynth is expected to be available by the end of October, 2015, for US $219 and 180€+VAT. Additional accessories, including a metal case and experimenter kit, are also planned.

16 thoughts on “Soundmachines NS1nanosynth Modular Synthesizer Coming In October For $219

  1. Amazing!

    But, and I apologize, I would still recommend always putting two oscillators even inside of affordable synthesizers.

    Ofcourse, at these prices I could buy two of them just for detuning them, but it would be so much more convenient if it had them from the start.

    And if it had two oscillators, I would buy 4 of them for poly.

    1. Synths should never have two oscillators, always one or three.

      When you use two oscillators in a typical patch, one is detuned, which pulls your perceived pitch sharp or flat.

      Use three oscillators, with one detuned flat and one sharp, and your patch will be perceived as in tune.

      1. What? Two oscillators is very common. If you’re bothered by one of them being detuned, pull one osc a couple cents flat and the other a couple cents sharp.

        1. Then you’ve got nothing that’s actually on pitch, which is a terrible idea, especially for bass sounds.

          There’s a reason Bob Moog gave the Minimoog three oscillators – you can create complex sounds and always have your patch be on pitch.

    2. Hi guys! The standard firmware (publicly available in source code) that resides on the Arduino Leonardo will also include a MOZZI implementation of a simple oscillator (saw). Obviously is a ‘digital’ one but if you want to have an instant fat it’s not bad!

  2. At that price, and with those features, those will fly off the shelf.

    I could imagine schools and students into synth music will HAVE to have one of these, since it provides a relatively high-functioning entry level into modulars.

    Clever to hybridize the arduino & analog functions.

  3. I find the Volca, which was dissed by them GURU his majesty legowelt to be a shit synthesizer, to sound great! A modular with 1 VCO is not a valid modular.

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