Future Sound Systems Portland Modular Percussion Synthesizer

Future Sound Systems has introduced the Portland modular percussion synthesizer, described as a “sandbox” for percussion and drum synthesis.

The system offers several different analog sound generation and shaping elements in a patchable unit. The elements are normal led together on the patchbay, allowing for minimal patching to arrive at a kit of drum sounds, but this can be overridden for more complex drum sound synthesis.


  • Bass Drum semi-linear resonator
  • 2x Twin-T resonators
  • “Ring” generator, formed from 6 XOR’d oscillators
  • Noise generator
  • Dynamic hi-hat shaping circuit
  • 2x decay envelope generators
  • 2x discrete audio VCAs
  • Four channel audio mixer with Baxandall tone circuit
  • Portland is compatible with modular synthesizers and standalone sequencers.

Audio Demos:

Note: Portland can be powered from two PP3 9V batteries. The forthcoming FSS Battery Simulator will allow Portland to be powered from DC or Eurorack power supplies. A Eurorack panel for Portland will be available soon.

Pricing and Availability

Limited quantities of assembled units are available to purchase for £330.00 (incl. 20% VAT) + shipping from FSS. Full kits of the Portland percussion synthesizer will be available from Thonk in May 2019.

10 thoughts on “Future Sound Systems Portland Modular Percussion Synthesizer

  1. I could pour a beer into this thing and then rinse it off in the kitchen sink and it would be fine, as long as it wasn’t powered the whole time. Makes perfect sense.

  2. If you want/need a case 3D printing one would be exceedingly simple. Learn Sketchup or Fusion360 (only need the most basic of skills to make a case) or wait for one to pop up on Thingiverse. Send the file to a 3D printing outsourcing company (of which there are plenty) or find a local hackerspace/mate and get them to make it for you. Or even simpler, get a drill, a hand saw and some glue and knock one up out of plywood. For every problem there is a solution. Personally I reckon this is a rad looking piece of kit, interested to see how many shekels the DIY will cost.

  3. i do want to like this but every kick sounded like *mush* to me….id still like more demos and to explore the options further on this one


    They put ZERO thought into this ZERO!!!

  5. A case is coming, don’t worry people 🙂
    Like Brunswick, we wanted to make this as affordable as possible for users to build initially. A case typically costs at-least-half the kit price again, so makes the project cost rocket skyward if you were to buy the full kit. We’ll be providing a case option over the next few months (just like we’re doing for Brunswick) and a Eurorack panel will be arriving even sooner.

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