Tasty Chips Electronics ST4 Hybrid Synthesizer/Tracker

This video, via Werkstatt für Musikelektronik, is test of the latest firmware for the Tasty Chips Electronics ST4 Hybrid Synthesizer/Tracker:

The Tasty Chips Electronics ST4 is a unique device that combines a powerful hybrid analog/digital synthesizer with a 16-bit style tracker music machine.

The ST4 has digital oscillators, backed up with sampling for versatility, paired with analog VCF’s and VCA’s. While powerful, it’s also designed to be immediate and hands-on, with lots of dedicated knobs and buttons.

The ST4 is available assembled for €899.00 or as a DIY kit for €599.00.

Features:

  • 4 Stereo voices
  • Analog multi-mode VCF per channel including voltage controlled resonance.
  • 4 Stereo VCA’s
  • 2 LFO’s per channel with:
    • Saw, square, sine, noise and sample modes
    • Direct LFO modulation matrix: 4 channels x VCO, VCA, VCF
    • 0.2 Hz .. 1000 Hz, in 3 “gears”
    • Note Sync
    • LFO1->LFO2 cross modulation
    • Noise can use frequency (for S&H alike effects)
  • Looping ADSR envelope for VCO, VCA, VCF per channel
  • MIDI IN: Monophonic on ch1..4 and polyphonic on ch5
  • MIDI OUT ch1..4 (via tracker)
  • 8 bit Sampler and built-in microphone:
    • 8 samples (of 64 kB max each)
    • configurable start, loop start, and end
    • tuning
    • wav import/export
  • Digital oscillators: saw, square, sine, noise, sample
  • Built-in bitcrusher
  • 128 instruments (MIDI patches):
    • VCO, VCA, VCF env settings incl looping
    • VCF mode
    • LFO settings and mod matrix
    • oscillator mode
    • sample mapping
    • bitcrusher parameters
  • Direct control of voice pair detuning
  • 3.2? high color TFT display
  • On-board multi-channel sequencer “16 bit tracker style”, in conjunction with USB keyboard:
    • 4 channels
    • 16 steps, panning & volume definable per step
    • 1024 positions
    • powerful editor with many block functions
    • independent glide per channel
    • double speed, half speed commands
    • polyrhythm support, tap tempo, bpm display
  • Versatile casing usable as desktop or 19? rackmount.
  • Interfaces:
    • 4x 6.35mm channel outputs
    • 2x 6.35mm master outputs (stereo)
    • 1x 3.5mm line input (for sampler)
    • DIN-5 MIDI IN, OUT, THRU
    • USB A (for USB keyboard)
    • USB B Programming/debugging interface
    • SD card, for sample and song I/O
    • 3.5mm stereo headphone
    • 2.1mm DC power (9V – 18V range, external PSU included)

13 thoughts on “Tasty Chips Electronics ST4 Hybrid Synthesizer/Tracker

  1. Let’s hope 16 steps isn’t a real limit. This sounds like a step sequencer with a tracker like interface..

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  2. I like the sound of this, a little more detail on how the tracker sequencer works would be nice though?

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  3. Very interesting although I wish one didn’t need to QWERTY kb and simply go with a midi controller..

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    1. It’s a tracker though. QWERTY, good. Compare using sunvox on an ipad to sunvox on the desktop.

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  4. Sweet Ba’ Jeezy! This sounds great and looks fun to play. Lots of great functions and versatility. Oh, and the design asthetic is nice too.

    Well done Pieter. It’s a huge step up from a Gameboy!

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    1. To U.S. folks interested the kit worked out to $677 minus shipping on PayPal. Current value of $1.00= to about €0.88. I’ll let you do the math on the prebuilt.

      The kit looks similar to the MS-20 Kit in that you do the last bit of assembly not any soldering. So some good savings for those willing.

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      1. It would be great if that were the case, but no, that’s not an economically viable option for us. The soldering, which is ~80% manual labor, isn’t cheap. But the kit does contain all components and even a lot of cables. Not all DIY kits have that. JSYK

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  5. I’m sorry…but wtf is a “tracker”? I’ve heard the term and I always implied that it was so sub-professional that that’s why I am not familiar with it….

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    1. A tracker is a multi-channel sequencer, which can store and visualize entire songs. It can more-or-less do what a typical DAW sequencer does, but the unique thing is that you can have special commands embedded in the note (for instance volume, pattern break, panning, vibrato, etc).

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