Developer Robert Jordan let us know about the Yowler, a new DIY synth, being developed as a Kickstarter project, that will have some featured determined by backers.
The Yowler is designed to be a versatile noise/drone synth, but it also has some features that are unusual for small noise synths:
- External trigger + decay: trigger the Yowler from external gear, use it as a drum synth
- Built in speaker + mono/stereo output: means you can use it with mono gear like guitar pedals or a modular synth, or stereo gear like mixers, headphones etc…
- Pitch knobs + light dependent pitch control: get crazy sounds from the three oscillators by shining light on them
At its heart the Yowler is three square wave oscillators with pitch control, which goes from very low to ‘uncomfortably’ high.
The pitch is controlled by knobs with switchable light dependent resistors. The oscillator mixing happens through two XOR gates, creating rich harmonics, screaming highs and throbbing lows. The third oscillator can be switched off. A diode VCA (voltage controlled amplifier) can be switched on to allow external triggering of the synth, turning its voice off and on. The diode VCA can also be controlled with CV (control voltage) to create primitive volume changes. A switchable decay capacitor creates drum sounds.
The Yowler can be battery powered or powered from a DC wall wart and it has an independant volume control knob.
If the project exceeds its funding goals, additional options will be available for backers to vote on, including:
- Choose between upgrading the buttons and jacks and a thicker PCB
- Choose between the project becoming open source and a case for the synth.
- Choose between the synth being Eurorack compatible/Eurorack mountable and an extra oscillator.
Pricing and Availability
The Yowler is available to project backers in a variety of formats, starting with AU $20 for a PCB and AU $55 for a PCB with parts.