The Oskitone Scout Is Like The Open Source IKEA Synthesizer

San Francisco-based DIY synth maker Oskitone has introduced the Scout, an Arduino-compatible square wave monosynth that’s like the open source IKEA synth you assemble yourself.

Features:

  • 17 keys
  • Custom PCB and 3D-printed hardware
  • Satisfying “clicky” tactile switches
  • Built-in amplifier, speaker, and output jack
  • Powered by 3 AAA batteries
  • Open-source and ready to be hacked. Re-programmable with FTDI cable (not included)

Pricing and Availability

It’s available as a full kit, fully assembled or you can go full-on [email protected], get the source and 3D print the case. A barebones kit is priced at $42 USD and the fully-assembled synth is priced at $125.

33 thoughts on “The Oskitone Scout Is Like The Open Source IKEA Synthesizer

      1. Or you could have added the multiplexer and knobs yourself to the actual design and made a proper synth with parameter control instead of a casiotone.

        Instead you rely on a user to cobble together something. If that’s the requirement, there are lots of better options.

    1. The synth in synthesiser refers to the fact that the sound is produced synthetically through electronics rather than acoustically like traditional instruments. That there are no other controls other than Pitch and Amplitude is irrelevant

  1. When I saw this and how quickly it was assembled I was sadly reminded of how I’m still waiting for the Arpeggio to ship.

    And if this is open source, you could add your own controls?

    1. I like my NTS1 – it is super useful but I wish you could save patches – even if it was just knob positioning regardless of the engine/osc type

    2. NTS-1 doesn’t have the same interface options, you can’t just add a 3 dollar multiplexer to a NTS-1 and have 16 knobs or buttons up and running. Korg provides a “reference” design for an interface panel, but they don’t sell it, you would have to print the circuit board yourself.

      NTS-1 is a different idea.

  2. What? $125 for it fully built!
    Or just buy a Korg NTS-1 for $99.99 which is an amazing, proper, synth and has fantastic effects.
    Seriously, I just don’t get this.
    Also, the video is annoyingly vague. Is the PCB already populated? It seems to be the way it’s just slammed onto the desk in the video. Even when looking at the website this is slightly unclear.
    I’m clearly not the demographic for this product.

    1. very cool aurdino board for people with a 3d printer.

      this has GPIO pins, so you can add controls yourself…
      where do I mount the controls you ask?
      it comes with a STL file, so you don’t have to design from scratch, just jump into cad and punch a couple holes into it where you want them.

      The Ikea comparison is misleading and does an injustice to this project, and please don’t call writing software for aurdino “hacking” it makes it seem like you actually have to code from scratch with out any help, when there are tons of great aurdino libraries that make it very easy for someone who knows what to expect from a synthesizer or midi device to write their own project or just tweak or simply load up an existing project.

    2. so an aurdino board with battery management built in is gonna run you around 30 bucks.
      (although thats gonna also have some form of usb for interfacing)
      that isn’t going to come with an STL that has piano keys designed for that board.
      $42 is a fair price.
      $125 fully assembled is to support people who do know what to do with the board and STL file who might give you instructions to finally do a weekend project with your fully assembled kit.

      NTS-1 doesn’t have the same interface options, you can’t just add a 3 dollar multiplexer to a NTS-1 and have 16 knobs or buttons up and running. Korg provides a “reference” design for an interface panel, but they don’t sell it, you would have to print the circuit board yourself.

    1. stylophone doesn’t have i/o pins to add.. what you would call “options”, or controls.
      nor would dubreq provide an STL file so you can print your own case to fit those options.

      1. These things would be hacks that must be added – you could hack the stylophone too.
        But the state in which this “synth” is delivered it is completely useless.

    1. so an aurdino board with battery management built in is gonna run you around 30 bucks.
      (although thats gonna also have some form of usb for interfacing)
      that isn’t going to come with an STL that has piano keys designed for that board.
      $42 is a fair price.
      $125 fully assembled is to support people who do know what to do with the board and STL file who might give you instructions to finally do a weekend project with your fully assembled kit.
      synthopia does a really bad job at presenting it this way.

      1. $125 is not a fair price though.
        The IK UNO is available for about the same. Or the Behringer TD3. Hell even a pocket operator gives you LOADS more.
        If you want a cheap keyboard buy an old Casio or Yamaha.

        1. Y’all know I don’t have a whole factory making these things, right? I’m nowhere near the economy of scale necessary to get prices anywhere close to the brands you keep mentioning (and who I’m not even really trying to compete against — Casio and Yamaha are not Open Source Hardware).

          Also, Oskitone is just one person (me), I run it out of my house, and I 100% read these comments and get bummed out by them.

          -Tommy

          1. I’m sorry if I bummed you out Mon.
            Sometimes it’s easy to forget the people behind these products.
            I still stand by some of my comments though.
            It’s just not my thing.
            I’m sure lots of people will find it their thing though.
            The Poly555 though, that is interesting.
            Hope you all the best.

      2. You’ve made about 10 posts here defending it which is a nice thing to do, but the reality is that it’s a dull sound with no useful controls, and for people who are going to modify it the case is superfluous. It’s cute to look at but the way to make an impact in the synth world is to makes interest noises. For $35 you could get a Monotron (already assembled) and have a similarly basic 1 osc synth but with a flexible filter/modulation stage that also takes external input.

        You keep talking down the NTS-1 which does indeed involve more work to modify, while ignoring the fact that it has 10 knobs, an arpeggiator, audio in, midi in, and is software-reprogrammable with a library of synthesis algorithms.If people just want something super easy to modify, they can get an arduino with audio output for like $20 or any of many other options, and just connect some other device via midi.

        I don’t hate this product, but it doesn’t hit any particular sweet spot and is so basic that it’s not clear what incentive people have to buy it beyond helping the project in hopes of something more interesting at a later date.

  3. very cool aurdino board for people with a 3d printer.

    this has GPIO pins, so you can add controls yourself…
    where do I mount the controls you ask?
    it comes with a STL file, so you don’t have to design from scratch, just jump into cad and punch a couple holes into it where you want them.

    I wish it had USB for programing.

    The Ikea comparison is misleading and does an injustice to this project, and please don’t call writing software for aurdino “hacking” it makes it seem like you actually have to code from scratch with out any help, when there are tons of great aurdino libraries that make it very easy for someone who knows what to expect from a synthesizer or midi device to write their own project or just tweak or simply load up an existing project.

      1. “potential”
        yet I’m sitting here with a bunch of physical objects I’ve created, some with help, others on my own.
        mean while, I have a bunch of friends who are tens of thousands of dollars down the modular rabbit hole, still can’t get a grasp at the fundamentals, and have yet to produce a single 2 track print of their work.
        now there is nothing wrong with collecting toys, but there is also nothing wrong with building them yourself. For half the price of a gundam set you could buy multiple funkopops, I like building gundam sets not chasing the potential of return on investment from funkopops.

  4. Boy howdy did a lot of you all completely miss the point here. LET ME SPLAIN IT FOR YA.

    _Obviously_ this is not a feature-packed sound-adjustable instrument intended for serious use by a synth fanatic. If that disappoints you, move on.

    What it is: an interesting DIY electronics project that you can easily complete in a day that makes some fun noises, whose source code is online and easily alterable if you want to hack it. And yes, you can also buy it fully assembled if that’s your preference, and of course it’s going to cost a bit that way because one person living in the USA is hand-soldering that board together (and Tommy, I hope your beer fridge is well stocked!). The DIY version is only $42, by the way. I have several of Oskitone’s products, and they’re all really enjoyable to both build and use, and it’s really cool to be able to put it together from scratch and get insight into the mechanical design from that process. The Poly555 is hilarious with its classic square-wave sound and is way fun to play, and I have no doubt that the Scout is also great.

    Is it for everyone? Clearly not, and no big deal if it’s not your thing. But until you’ve gone through the process of designing and manufacturing and open-sourcing a product by yourself with no external funding, maybe STFU about price.

    1. Yeah, no.

      If you want “an interesting DIY electronics project that you can easily complete in a day that makes some fun noises” there lots of other better, and cheaper options.
      If your a beginner you could try an Atari punk console.
      If you want something more complex and programmable you could get an Arduino. There’s so much info online and community support that you can easily make something.
      If you want something in between you can just hack a Korg Monotron or something similar.

      Sorry, but I just don’t get this.
      Like I said originally “I’m clearly not the demographic for this product”.
      It would seem a lot of other people in these comments agree.
      It just doesn’t inspire or excite me.

      The Poly555 on the other hand does intrigue me.

      1. dongleboob,
        “If you want something more complex and programmable you could get an Arduino.”
        THIS IS AN ARDUINO!
        with 16 buttons, line-out, and batteries taken care of.
        plus it has a cad design for printable keys for those buttons.
        so sure, no one is gonna use this for a mock up of a potential product, but if you wanted to one off a hand held of a arduino sketch that already exists, this is a great kit.

    2. C, great job articulating what it is. I think at the core of this, most people don’t even turn out a 2 track print from their synth gear, be it a Moog One or their NTS-1, let alone share it with anyone these days. So when they find out people are successfully creating physical objects and having fun with it, even guided physical objects with a minor amount of customization, they get upset and confrontational about their failed investments. They chased this sound design path down to avoid musical theory, and now are confronted with electronics theory and regret the path they thought was a short cut.

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