Syntaxis Micromodular Debuts Modular Synthesizer Format With ‘Ridiculously Low Price’

Syntaxis Micromodular has introduced  new system for building DIY synthesizers out of ready-made subcircuits.

The circuits are available in the form of micromodules, sharing uniform signal and control voltage standards.

The modules are open source. For now, there are basic modules in production (power, VCO, VCA, ADSR, VCF, LFO).

A key advantage of the platform, according to the developers, is the ‘ridiculously low price’. For example, the uVCO module shown above is priced at about $42 USD.

See the Micromodular site for details.

19 thoughts on “Syntaxis Micromodular Debuts Modular Synthesizer Format With ‘Ridiculously Low Price’

  1. The idea is interesting, but guys, put some more lessons on top and you can build your own circuits and boards 😉
    Aswell i would prefer the 3310 to use both of it‘s VCAs

  2. why?! this is such a UX nightmare. it’s ugly, I can’t imagine it’s fun or pleasant to use, it’s just clunky all around. What’s the appeal or point? Sure, the price is (relatively) low for hardware, but it’s still a not-insignificant sum for something that seems to deliver a truly awkward synth experience. I’m really stumped by this one.

    1. It’s for folks who have some electronics skill and want to build their own synth from scratch (or close to scratch, avoiding dealing with some SMT soldering and some circuit design.) The UI is designed by the maker.

    2. The demo videos are not very good. This is not meant to build a synth on breadboard for playing but for prototyping and then just put it on a stripboard, add a frontplate for the pots and you’ve got Eurorack-modules. They are based on CEM chip clones and should deliver a better sound than in the video.

    3. I think you and a lot of commenters are completely misunderstanding the point of these modules.

      They’re not a replacement for Eurorack – they’re a modular platform designed to make it easy to create your own synthesizer designs.

      You can take these modules and pretty easily make your own synth design – basically designing a panel and adding controls – without needing to know circuit design or the depths of synth DIY.

  3. These are actually really cool for prototyping and useful for barebones modular-esque. Let’s say you want to experiment with a clone of the CEM3340. But the chips are surface mount! So you got lots of problems right now. And if you go to adafruit or sparkfun they have a lot of protoboards of SMDs but not classic synth chips. This fills in the missing pieces for DIY synth prototypes. The boards have classic chips and the basic support circuitry needed to make the chip into a module. Now you can play.

    These are clearly protoboards. I see their primary use as prototyping and making one-off or low quantity experimental synths such as for an art exhibit.

    But they also legitimately can be marketed as a bare bones modular. And if you want them to be a little more heady it’s not too hard to wire these up to a faceplate with some jack receptacles, for the full modular experience.

    Disclaimer: Don’t own any and haven’t used them, but I reviewed their specs. I make my own protoboards and experimental and new devices so I recognize this stuff for what it is: useful for experimenters.

    1. Thanks very much for explaining. Hand-soldering with smt seems very fiddly so this looks great for those of us who enjoy a bit of breadboarding.

    2. Sorry, actually I’m not sure you’re right. The CEM clones _are_ available in DIP and in fact syntaxis are selling them too for just a few euros.

  4. I can see it would be great for a learning environment and certain uses, but…is $42 really a “ridiculously low price”, for a modular VCO with no front panel, jacks, knobs, assembly…

  5. Cool start-up. Your board looks like crap and you might fair better to make it look like $50 bucks. Still You can buy tons of gear that still works for nothing in the industry. I am a fine Arts illustrator. I also lived the life of a soloist in a few bands. I prefer to only Talk to musicans period. I liked the article because your GENUIS for pushing into the UNKOWN. That is we’re the fun is……Blinded By The Synth Rapped up like a Porsh Coup in the Middle Of The Night! ??

  6. i checked the prices, only the vco costs 38eur, other modules cost between 18eur to 28 eur. Power supply is the most expensive(68eur and you need laptop charger for it to work), but i think it would be a pretty good eurorack starter power supply, because it can supply 1A for -12V, 1A +12V, and 2A 5V. Most of the other diy and cheap power supplies can supply half of that.

  7. Or.. buy a korg volca modular and save a pile of hassle, get a tangible note entry system and something that is actually affordable. This is not when it’s actually added up.

    I think if you want a modular buy euro or a semi modular system. Anything smaller is just pointless, you end up with the usability of horse with a hole in it.

  8. Is it actually open source? I can’t find anything about that being the case. Thought there would be schematics or something available.

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