Sound Semiconductor Brings Back Classic Synth Chips, Plans New Integrated Circuits For Audio

At the 2018 NAMM Show, Sound Semiconductor made the NAMM debut of its new integrated circuits (ICs) for synthesizers and other electronic music gear.

Their initial ICs are updated versions of classic SSM chips, but the company also plans new designs.

We talked with President Dan Parks, who gave us an overview of their company, a demo of their current chips and a preview of their plans for the future.

You can find out more about their ICs at the Sound Semiconductor site.

5 thoughts on “Sound Semiconductor Brings Back Classic Synth Chips, Plans New Integrated Circuits For Audio

  1. This is fantastic news for boutique synth makers.

    Since Analog Devices discontinued the SSM2164 quad VCA, the only source has been Behringer’s Cool Audio subsidiary (who cloned it as the V2164 and require a minimum purchase of $2000 USD). The SSI chips are improved versions of the originals, created by the original designers.

    Both the 2164 vca and the 2144 filter are extremely well priced (under $2 in quantity) and it won’t be long before they’re in dozens of new instruments.

    1. Parks seems like a great guy – I hope that he and his company can make a go of it.

      I heard it through the grapevine that several big Euro companies had meeting at this booth, so don’t be surprised if some interesting modules come out based on these chips.

  2. This is definitely good news. Modern analog synth chips, fantastic!! It’s also nice to see some competition in this space.

    With modern silicon technology there’s really no technical reason why someone couldn’t design and build massive, reconfigurable synths-on-a-chip!!

    Consider how many components fit on a 1970s chip (thousands) versus a 2018 chip (billions.) There’s enough silicon area not just for hundreds of full-analog signal paths, but also for digital control and signal processing.

    Moreover, a synth chip wouldn’t even have to use the latest silicon technology – it could use the cheapest, proven, non-cutting edge ASIC silicon process that works, and the result would be something that would likely still be very capable while also being reliable, compact, and high-yield.

  3. the v2164 doesnt require a miniumum $2000 order, its available from many online stores in the EU and North America in single quantities at a low price. im glad they improved the spec on this version, otherwise why make another clone when theres one already available at a good price. the only negative is its not available in DIP format, while the Cool Audio version comes in surface mount and thru hole versions

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