Hyve Touch Synth Blows Past Kickstarter Goals, Goes Open Source

The Kickstarter project to fund production of the Hyve Touch Synthesizer has blown past its goals, raising close to three times its goal, with three weeks left. 

Developer Skot Wiedmann has added a stretch goal for the project, a Neoprene case for the Hyve Premium. Additional stretch goals are planned. 

In addition, Wiedmann has announced that he is open-sourcing the design:

In celebration of an awesome week with 266 amazing people who hit 267%, Hyve Synth is going Open Source. Thank you for believing in this project and giving me the opportunity to share it with you. Let’s take a look at a preliminary schematic!

Documentation is available via the project site.

Pricing and Availability

The Hyve is available to project backers, starting at US $79 for an advanced DIY version (requires surface mount soldering), $149 for a barebones version or $299 for ready-to-play version.

11 thoughts on “Hyve Touch Synth Blows Past Kickstarter Goals, Goes Open Source

  1. The trigger / counter combo in the schematics is no suprise. I wonder how touch switches on the PCB are made – without PCB design it not so open :/ But anyway, it is a great and fun synth idea.

  2. I sincerely hope that one of Skot’s ‘stretch goals’ is to bring down the ridiculous price of those PCB’s. And agree with Jack, it’s hardly ‘open source’ if there is no access to PCB design. The price for a Hyve makes the new iPad look like a bargain, especially when there are so many hyve ’emulators’ that’ll do so much more including offering MIDI.

    1. He open sourced the circuit design, so if there’s anyone that wants to sell their own version for less, they can.

      People aren’t exactly lining up to work for free, though. You got to warehouse them, like Behringer does at their factory.

  3. I love this project, but how the $49 price for the pcb and the components in the workshop became $79 for just a single pcb is perplexing. I can’t possibly pay $149 for the assembled one, so building it without any knowledge of surface mount soldering is my only choice.

  4. It’s all about the PCB. The PCB actually IS the whole thing. The schematic is sooooo simple, it’s just a bunch of triggers. It’s the layout of the PCB that really makes it work. But still, $79 for a PCB is ridiculous. And it’s definitely not open source if you don’t give out the PCB layout but only the schematic on this thing. You can’t really make it yourself without that major design element. But if they did that they wouldn’t make any money off the DIYers (although they probably wouldn’t anyway). For DIYers, you could actually just make your own PCB to hold the chips and supporting circuitry using through hole instead of SMT, and just connect the “keyboard PCB” via connectors or such.

  5. You guys are nuts, thats a large and expensive pcb, could easily cost 40 or 50 bucks to have manufactured, maybe not if he making thousands but certainly if hes only making hundreds. Let him make some money so he can work on the next thing, this looks great and there is nothing else like it out there. Panning pernote based on position? So cool.

    1. Yeah, that is very true. Also he says he is making them in the US, and that costs a bit more. There’s not much routing on the top possible since it’s all performance surface so the prototype was likely a 4 layer board. For production to pass FCC requirements it might need to be a 6 layer board. On the other hand since the entire instrument is analog and uses only audio frequencies he actually might not need certification. (Those who might say the counter makes it digital fail to realize their role in the circuit, it’s being used as divide down circuit and is being directly applied to the analog oscillator outputs.)

      The PCB also has a highly custom color scheme which most fabs won’t do, so he went to a high end place that could accommodate this.

      Also want to note that the instrument is somewhat microtonal, from the schematic one can see you can tune the individual 12 notes each to any pitch you like by ear. You’re limited to tuning 12 notes, perfect octave repeating is hard wired into the design. Still a cool minimalist design though.

  6. I don’t get the hype. A $50 Android phone can do more than that including more than just one annoying fart sound patch, effects, alternative faces/layouts, network MIDI, recording, …

    It’s like a shit 2011 piano app hardcoded onto a plate.

    1. Show me a $50 Android phone that doesn’t have horrible latency issues, for touch recognition and translating digital to analog, and then you won’t sound like you’re just talking out your rear.

      iOS devices offer sub 10ms latency, while cheap Android devices can be 400ms plus, which makes them useless for performance-oriented music apps.

      Real world latency facts are easy to find:


      1. Well I use iOS but I’ve used some really nice China phones in the past and I doubt that today’s $50 phones have half a second of delay, that would mean you couldn’t even have a proper phone call; I think it’s you who makes stuff up.

        Anyway, that wasn’t even my argument, make it $100 and you get more than this little pocket game.

        Also, I couldn’t care less about it being “analoge” if you need to carry 3 effect pedals just to make it sound somewhat enjoyable. If analoge sounds like shit, I don’t need analoge lol. The touch recognition didn’t impress me too much either because nothing showed in the demos remotely sounded like something I would want to play – I can see how some people would enjoy sliding around on a key, but that’s why there are MIDI controllers and apps who do just that

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