Designer Ren Kitchener has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of a new analog synth, Chicago.
The Chicago Boutique RIFF & BASS Analogue Synthesizer is designed to provide a ‘basic, but useful’ synth voice, with four variable phase and pulse width oscillators + 1 sub/square/saw oscillator and a Sallen & Key 24dB/Octave Low pass filter.
What’s ‘basic, but useful’ sound like?
Here are the official audio demos:
Kitchener has deliberately kept the features limited, in order to keep both the complexity and price of the synth ($325) down. Here’s what he has to say about the design:
The idea behind Chicago is to restrict the features and focus on ‘house’ type bass sounds.
The Chicago does not have MIDI parameter adjustability, Velocity/After-touch key control, glide, pitch-bend, modulation (LFOs), delay, reverb, keyboard tracking, white/pink noise, CV inputs or outputs and it’s mono and monophonic (single notes only, as per many classic analogue synthesizers).
This is not a programmable ‘machine’ – it is just a static-pitch sound source for bass and riff type hooks. It’s not meant to compete with the feature-rich Moog, Korg or Roland Synthesizer, or to emulate them.
But it does have a usable, concise sound portfolio with a fair degree of adjustability that can be very subtle at times – none the less, I do hope that you agree it’s a good sounding synth with it’s own character – as you can hear.
- Analogue signal path from the oscillator to the output
- 1 x Saw or Square wave (selectable)
- 1 x Synced Square Sub (-1 Octave) – it also divides the Saw frequency by 2
- 4 x independent Pulse waves with automatic or manual adjustment of the phase, and manual adjustment of the pulse width
- Tune (0 to +60 cents), 3rd, 5th or 7th
- MIDI In, MIDI Thru, channel selection 1 to 16
- Classic Gate mode or Gate and ‘Trigger on every note’ mode
- 6 channel mixer
- Amplifier ADSR
- Sallen & Key 24dB/Octave Low pass filter with Attack, Peak, Decay, Sustain and
- Resonance control
- Set to sine (low frequency filter) switch
- Filter decay mode switch
Pricing and Availability
The Chicago Analogue Synthesizer is being produced via a Kickstarter project. It is available to backers for about US $325.