Global Supply Chain Problems Kill Another Eurorack Synth Maker, Hexinverter

Global supply chain issues mean that modules like the Mindphaser can’t currently be manufactured.

Montréal-based synth maker Hexinverter Électronique has announced that it will be closing in 2023, because global supply chain issues have made it impossible for them to manufacture and sell enough modules to keep up with demand.

Here’s their announcement:

“I think we can all agree that it’s been a weird couple of years on Earth for just about everyone. There has been a great reshuffling of many people’s lives, their professions – and the resources we rely on in our modern world to get things built.

The manufacturing world has been very hard hit as a result. Small scale electronics, especially so. It has been incredibly difficult to keep up with demand for our modules, with products falling out of stock for months (and now years) at a time.

Unfortunately, the post-pandemic manufacturing climate was the final nail in the coffin for us at Hexinverter. Today we are announcing our intent to close down operations within the next year. I do not have an exact “end date” to share just yet, but I can tell you that it will probably be sometime in 2023.

We are now shipping out a number of modules that have been out of stock for ages, including the Mutant Brain! Be sure to hit up your local dealer or the direct shop if you’ve been waiting on some fresh Mutants for your rack, as these are the final runs of these products that will be built. Once they’re gone, they’re gone! We will begin the long process of closing up shop sometime in the new year once supplies are entirely diminished.

The past decade has been a wild ride for Hexinverter and everyone involved. It blows my mind when I look back at everything we’ve done! Our early days, with all of the DIY projects and later, going all in on riding the eurorack modular wave. Of course we can’t forget all of the cats and squeaky chickens.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being a patron and believing in our vision! The people we’ve met and relationships we’ve made along the way have been the best part of this entire experience, and I can’t thank you enough for being part of our journey.

I’m not sure any of us back in the day saw the eurorack industry growing into what it is today, and I could not be more proud of the little, rubber-chicken-shaped corner we have managed to carve out in its history.

It’s been a tonne of fun, and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had the privilege of being a part of, and the opportunity to contribute to the world of modular synthesis.

So long and thanks for all the chickens!

– Stacy Gaudreau
Hexinverter Électronique”

Unfortunately, this means that some of Hexinverter’s designs, like the Mindphaser, will not be put back into production. The company notes that “parts have been unobtanium for them since the first run was in progress.”

Other modules will be shipping to dealers until supplies are sold out. They say that stock is limited to double digits of their modules.

See the Hexinverter Facebook page for updates on their status.

16 thoughts on “Global Supply Chain Problems Kill Another Eurorack Synth Maker, Hexinverter

      1. Whether you are manufacturing in China or Silicon Valley, chip shortage has the same impact. It is a global problem. Standard lead times of 3 years (sic!) are normal now.

          1. I would rather have china busy making money and keeping busy peacefully building synths. otherwise it’ll be weapons to march down our streets, or Taiwans.

          2. Not sure where you get that idea. While many people think of China for offshore production, Taiwan is the world’s largest chipmaker. Microchip has factories and distribution in Thailand. Texas Instruments, onsemi and other major manufacturers have facilities in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and others. AKM is a major manufacturer of audio DACs, ADCs and CODECs. They’re Japanese. THAT Corp (maker high end audio ICs used in many interface and mixer products) owns a chip fab in Milpitas, California.

            That’s six countries off the top of my head, and I haven’t even mentioned Alfa RPAR in Latvia (maker of various Curtis and SSM chip clones), or chip manufacturing in the UK, or board fab in Poland. Etc.

      1. Moog’s diversified as well as just about anybody – they have high end stuff that uses NOS parts (that they stocked up on), they have mainstream Eurorack stuff and keyboards, they have music apps with millions of users.

        They also have the clout to raise prices and still sell gear.

        None of the companies that are biting the dust are in this position.

    1. I work for a western music tech company in my day job. We manufacture at several factories in China, and our entire supply chain has been hit with shortages, delays and price increases. The only thing China gets us is lower labor costs and much, much better component and mechanical availability because the factories are close together. It’s not like there are dozens of companies churning out affordable cases and PCBs in rural Wisconsin.

      At night, I create smaller music devices for my little company. We face the same sort of problems, but the wonder of making simpler analog gear is that we can sometimes push things into production in moderate quantities. That said, we have several designs that have been quietly parked awaiting components in quantity before we release them. It simply doesn’t make sense to manufacture 50 and then be forced to say, “Sorry, we’re out of stock for an indeterminate time. Please come back and buy from us in 2027!”

  1. I’ve seen comments suggesting that the supply chain issues are actually good, because they’ll ‘weed out’ some of the ‘weaker’ synth makers.

    What we are seeing is just the opposite. We’re losing some of the most interesting synth designers, because they actually sell a lot of synths or modules and, as a result, are hit hard by the fact that they can’t currently manufacturer anything.

    I’ll be very sorry to see Hexinverter go, as I was with Future Retro and Synthesizers.com.

    1. Which ones are you thinking of?

      WMD was pretty popular but also built gear for dozens of other companies so they were extra exposed to the downturn. I never bought any of their stuff.

      Mutable, had more to do with their personal parts than module parts. They announced that they were closing up shop at least a year or two ago.

      Hex, some interesting modules but not really much innovation. No big loss IMO.

  2. Well this sucks. Hex was one of the early euro companies. They were almost certainly making stuff in about 2010/11

    I have a few unbuilt DIY mutant drums I never got round to. I guess now would be a good time

  3. would this not be a good time for a bunch of new chip companies to start up and meet the demand? i don’t know anything about that industry though.

    and there are quite a few low run makers who make a batch, sell out and people have to wait for another batch, and the limited supply makes people froth at the mouth and go crazy lining up to press buy now whenever there’s a new run. i see this mostly in the boutique guitar pedal world but could be the same for synths. i guess it just has to make sense for individual makers.

    1. Read up on the CHIPS Act that Congress just passed. Even so it will take years to decades for US-based chip fabs to scale up and become competitive.

  4. Sad to see another company bite the dust along with Mutable Instruments, WMD, Synthesizers Dotcom, and others. I never owned any Hex Inverter modules though and they never answered any of my simple emails regarding availability or features in the past. Then there was the chicken video… once this shakedown is over I think we will see that the best brands will survive and the “me too” brands will perish. If nothing else it’s keeping Bohringer from cranking out piles of uninspired future landfill dreck for a while.

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