Motor Synth II Electro-Mechanical Synthesizer Now Available For $3,299

Gamechanger Audio has announced that the new Motor Synth II, an updated version of the company’s unique electro-mechanical synthesizer, is now available.

The Motor Synth II offers expanded capabilities, including separate multi-mode analog filters, redesigned modulation section, an additional digital voice equipped with a separate envelope, portamento section, and digital multimode filter.


  • The MOTOR Synth offers two separate MOTOR Voices, with 4 Electromotor oscillators each – both voices can operate in mono, unison or in four-note polyphonic mode.
  • Both Motor voices are equipped with a separate analogue multimode filter section with adjustable DRIVE, CUTOFF, RESONANCE, ENVELOPE SHAPE & AMOUNT and FILTER TYPE.
  • There are four analogue filter types – 24 dB LP, 12 dB BP, 12 dB HP, 12 dB AP (All-Pass). The new analog filter circuits have increased headroom, improved envelope response speed and a very precise analog Keytrack mode with adjustable depth, direction and filter “glide”.
  • The MOTOR Synth MK II features an additional third voice – a digital engine that can be used either independently, or to augment the raw sound of the MOTOR Voices. The Digital engine (DCO) can be used to produce various classic waveforms (with waveshaping), or as a noise generator.
  • The DCO is also equipped with a separate, fully controllable AMP ENVELOPE, PORTAMENTO section, and its own Digital multimode Filter designed to reproduce the 4 analog filter modes.
  • The MOTOR Synth has a single output jack that can be configured either as mono, or as a stereo output – thus routing the synth’s two motor voices into separate channels. The digital voice can also be routed to the V1 or V2 outputs, or to both.
  • Dedicated center indent potentiometer for creating amplitude cross-modulation with either Voice 1 or Voice 2. The Detune / Drift knob gives you two kinds of oscillator detune effects.
  • Powerful modulation section that includes 3 individual LFOs with adjustable positive and negative depth controls. Each LFO can be easily assigned to almost any knob or encoder value on two independent modulation slots A and B.
  • Five independent modulation waveforms available for each LFO – each with a detailed waveshaping engine.
  • Powerful arpeggiator engine offers detailed control over a large variety of parameters, including note accent, pattern shift, note repeat and more.
  • Multiple independent motion Record lanes assignable to all sound parameters.
  • A built-in monophonic sequencer engine with controls for micro-timing, probability, ratchets, pattern length, pattern saving and chaining and much more.
  • Non-velocity sensitive 8 key keyboard with 4 pitch shift encoders – this is a small but powerful note input system with a lot of performance tricks up its sleeve. Alternatively, the MOTOR Synth is fully MIDI and CV compatible and can be used with all of your favorite keyboards (incl. poly-aftertouch), controllers and sequencers.

Pricing and Availability

The Motor Synth II is available now, in limited quantities, for $3,299.00.

26 thoughts on “Motor Synth II Electro-Mechanical Synthesizer Now Available For $3,299

  1. Just what the world needs now, an analog synth that does a pretty good job of emulating a cheap digital synth. All they need to do to make this even more analog is to ship it with miniature squirrels (or rats) to spin the “motors”. Seriously, if I saw this anywhere near April 1, I would have thought it was a prank (even though I realize it’s been around a while).

      1. Seriously, I can’t believe that you are directing that as a response toward me. I’m not completely sure, but I don’t think I’ve championed an analog polysynth in this blog yet. Out of the 12 synths in my studio currently, only one of them is an analog synth (Prophet 6 Desktop). About me being old, you’re probably right on that. With age comes experience, and I started with synthesizers in 1972. Over the last half century, I think I’ve become pretty adept at determining when a new synth sounds like crap (at least to my ears). This is, in my not so humble opinion, one of them!

        1. John

          A poor craftsman blames his tools.

          I can appreciate your complaint about the Motor Synth on one level – the sound demos do not immediately make you think “Wow, I’ve never heard a sound like that before”.

          Honestly, it’s been ages since I’ve felt that way about a new synth, though.

          There are now lots of well-established approaches to manipulating sound in interesting ways. So the big leaps forward will be in advances in how we play synths, like the Osmose; exploring variations on how we synthesize sound, like the Motor Synth and Paul Vo’s approach to Acoustic Synthesis; and new paradigms, like using AI to directly generate sound.

          Not directing this to you specifically, but it seems like most synthesists now tend to be luddites, which seems very odd to me. They discount anything new and fetishize the latest knockoff, clone or reissue of analog designs from 50 years ago.

          Meanwhile, instruments like the Continuum, the Osmose and the Hydrasynth can do things that no other synths in history can do.

  2. I do hope that they manage to do right by the buyers of their MK1 version with the new firmware update. I wouldn’t be super happy waiting for close to 2 years for a firmware update that makes my unit usable because they are busy developing the MK2 version instead of taking care of the folks who already supported them financially. It is an interesting looking and sounding synth. Certainly different.

  3. I think the original kickstarter was something like 700 dollars for the earlybird. Heard the first run was (physically) very loud – curious if that has been resolved. Overall, I think it looks super cool – just pricey

    1. I’ve been following this product on gearspace and from what I have seen, they did make an improvement to the motors by installing dampeners. However for many, if not all folks, there were game breaking problems with the firmware resulting in shutdowns, lockups, etc. I’ve read several posts saying the product has been basically unusuable for the last 1-2 years.

  4. i had a chance to use the mk1, it was extremely cool to play with, but did not make sounds that blew my mind, and it was physically very noisy. what does blow my mind is that these guys went all the way with such a wild idea much like their other products, i really admire them as a company and it’s cool to see them going all out on very original ideas, i have their Plasma Pedal and it’s awesome.

  5. I really hope they make a decentmarketing study, before producing it in large quantities. The idea is super, but the price tag is very hefty. Imagine what else you can afford with that amount.
    My price ceiling (the max I’d pay for it) would have been around 1200 EUR, perhaps 1350 with inflation correction… but this is based on my personal value I’d give to this technology, not on the cost price to develop and produce it.
    The noise I wouldn’t mind that much, as this is inherent to the technology used.

  6. The sound is perfectly good, but I can’t see dropping $3,299 on a synth version of the game Mouse Trap. I wonder about the line between “serious” synthesis and people who just have boutique bucks to spend. I’ve encountered more than one person who had a nice rig that mostly gathered dust. If you buy an OB-X8 and don’t play it a couple of hours a day, bleep you! 😛

  7. It’s a technical marvel and impressive from an engineering standpoint, but seems to fall into the “just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD” category.

    1. How, in any sense of the descriptor, is this thing a “technical marvel”? It’s creative, in a Rube Goldberg sort of way. I will grant it that. I would also argue that it’s about as impressive as putting pineapple on a pizza. Actually, now that I just typed it, I think putting pineapple on a pizza is the perfect analogy for this thing. Some people may like it but most don’t. The first person to do it tried something that was different because they had cans of stuff they were trying to find use for laying around. Its original trial generated lots of hype in calling it the “next big thing”. It’s amazing that I failed the Miller’s Analogy Test as miserably as I did 🙂

        1. What you said was never not OK with me. It’s your opinion. You don’t have to preface it with an “in my opinion” to make it one. But, I do notice that you haven’t answered my question. Generally, opinions can be explained by people that offer them. What about the idea of making sounds by spinning wheels with motors is either a technical innovation or an engineering feat?

    2. Precisely, a technical marvel that did not need solving or one that addresses any particular need…. nor one that leaves much to marvel about. Seems to be an engineering feat without real merit. It will be one of those synths where decades from now, someone will say “did you know there is a synth that was created……” and many still wondering why.

      1. Since you appear to agree that these spinning wheels are some kind of engineering feat, could you please elucidate? I’m not criticizing, I just want to know because maybe I’m overlooking something. I admit the thing is novel (like the pineapple pizza was when it was first introduced). But, like putting pineapple chunks on a pizza, I don’t see where this is much more than combining parts that have been used for a very long time to do other things in sound production.

  8. Yea right it’s going to be one of those synths that no one buys, but then aphex twin lists it on his album notes 8 years from now and then everyone on here pays 30K for one.

    BTW i own the MK1 and will be purchasing the mk2 as well. They sound great, when have you ever seen anyone do a demo that does any justice, Also Unfortunately most people do some sort of cost/sound benefit on synths and that’s why we are stuck with all synth makers trying to make a synth in the $500-1200 range.

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