Koma Elektronik / Common Ground Intro Anglerfish Drone Module DIY Synth Kit

KOMA Elektronik’s open electronics workspace and synthesizer shop Common Ground today announced the immediate release of the Anglerfish, a 6-voice standalone square wave synth DIY kit, with playable touch keys, light-sensitive cross-modulation with UV LED indicators, master tilt EQ, and built-in dimmable light control.

The Anglerfish can be used to create deep drones, squeaky microsounds and haunting rhythmic explorations with the twist of a knob. The Anglerfish’s noises and drones are “highly musical & performable” but with just the right amount of chaos when you activate the light-sensitive cross modulation.

How does it work?

“The pitch of each oscillator is determined by corresponding potentiometers and the three switches between the oscillators open up light-sensitive connections between adjacent pots. This means both oscillators’ pitches will bend according to the amount of light the photocells receive (LED’s indicate strength of current flowing between the pots) The Tone pot controls a shelf EQ on the master output, with cutoff frequency at 482 HZ and the dangling LED is there for you to use to play the light-sensitive circuit. Adjust the brightness of the LED with the pot next to it. DRONE/KEYS switch chooses between either all 6 voices playing constantly or voices playing only when activated with key. Use 9V center positive PSU”

The developers describe the Anglerfish as a “perfect first DIY kit” for people starting out with soldering — with simple components, a well-labeled PCB, and build instructions in the manual. The Anglerfish is ideal for those looking for a more accessible starting point than more complex typical DIY modules. And the module is even hackable: users can create their own unique tuning, add external controls, change the sensitivity of the modulation, and so on.

Pricing and Availability. The Anglerfish DIY kit is available exclusively from KOMA Elektronik’s storefront Common Ground for 65 € including VAT. A beginners’ kit-building workshop led by the synth’s creator, Bridget Ferrill, is coming up in April and May.

For more information, or to order the Anglerfish kit, go to the KOMA Elektronik website.

6 thoughts on “Koma Elektronik / Common Ground Intro Anglerfish Drone Module DIY Synth Kit

  1. Sounds like a device used for acoustic torture by the KGB.
    I have absolutely no idea for what this could be useful other than annoying your neighbors.

  2. This thing is great! Just tested it out today – it is a must for anyone who appreciates some beautiful white noise. Super flexible and can be patched into other effects modules if you want to add anything to it. The anglerfish light antenea is really responsive as well and adds a fun element. Once you take some time with all the keys and pots, this thing can go from crunchy noise to a drone-y ocean of white noise and every variation in between. Definitely recommend!

  3. Let’s put aside how it sounds for a moment… When did we start to accept buying instruments with no case?!
    And please don’t tell me that it would have spiked the costs because it’s 2019 and we have been making plastic cases for more than half a century.

    1. Part of the reason the DIY world privileges caseless hardware is because people like to create their own cases, which has become much easier with CNC machines and 3D printers. A large part of DIY is that there’s something that you do yourself. If you get this kit, you need to solder all the components. You can then come up with your own case or put this module in something bigger. Bear in mind that these devices often work quite well without a case. In fact, you can print out your own “frontpanel” as you hack the knobs to do different things. Harder to do with a case.

      Another reason caseless kits are common in the DIY world is that the whole idea is to dig into the hardware and learn from it. With open hardware, much of the fun is in finding out how things work. Yes, it’s very geeky. Sure, many of the people who buy these devices end up spending much more time tweaking little things than making music. It’s as valid an activity as mixing, teaching, mastering, performing, publishing, researching, or manufacturing.

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