Critter & Guitari has introduced a new synthesizer, the 201, that follows in line with some of its previous instruments, including the Pocket Piano, Organelle, Bolsa Bass and Kaleidoloop.
At the heart of the 201 are six sound engines. There is a little bit of everything: chiptune style waveforms, analog style filters, drum samples, realistic physical instrument models, and even a human vocal synthesizer.
Pressing the ‘Shift’ key and one of the six wooden keys along the bottom row selects the synth engine. The three knobs in the center control aspects of a synth: envelope, tone, and ‘surprise’.
You can play directly on the keyboard or turn on one of the pattern generators, which range from simple octave arpeggiation to randomizing polyphonic patterns.
The 201 synthesizer also features an internal sequencer. When the sequence is playing, you can endlessly change the pattern and synth engine. When you get it just right, hit the save button.
With MIDI in and out you can control other synthesizers with the 201, or the other way around. A USB-C connector lets you easily move files on and off the instrument. It also features a microSD card slot, USB-A port (for USB-MIDI), and mini-jack MIDI In/Out.
Critter & Guitari is committed to making musical electronics that are open platforms. Like their Organelle and EYESY instruments, the 201 is built entirely with Open Source software. Inside, the 201 uses a combination of Pure Data and Faust musical programming environments.
Users are invited to modify or create new sound engines.
The 201 is built to last. It features a sturdy anodized aluminum enclosure and maple wood buttons for a nice, tactile feel. It will be assembled and tested by hand in Brooklyn, NY.
Pricing and Availability
Production of the 201 is being funded via a Kickstarter project. It is available to backers starting at $295 USD.
Note: Crowdfunded projects can involve risk. See the project site for details.