While we are on the subject of DIY synthesizers. Another good looking and great sounding synth building kit called Patchblocks came to the surface.
Patchblocks is a crowdfunded Kickstarter project that more than doubled its goal of £10,000. Patchblocks actually consists of only 1 generic battery powered block that you can program to be anything like an oscillator, filter or effect. Multiple programmed Patchblocks can then be combined to create your own synthesizer. This is actually a very neat way to create limitless prossibilities and endless fun.
Patchblocks has its own visual programming software that runs on Mac or PC. A Patchblock can be programmed by connecting it to your computer via USB. The software then allows you to drag different components on the screen and connect them with virtual cables to form a part of a synthesizer like an oscillator. The process sounds complex but the developer, Sebastian Heinz, promises that it is very intuitive and easy to do. You can watch this video on Patchblocks and see Sebastian Heinz demonstrating how they work. You’ll be amazed at how they actually sound. Shame they are not on the market yet as I can see this becoming a synth fan’s ultimate stocking filler. You can still opt in though on the Kickstarter project and get yourself 4 Patchblocks in February for the investment of £110 BP.
- stereo audio input
- stereo audio output
- 2 channel digital input
- 2 channel digital output
- 2 assignable knobs
- 2 assignable illuminated buttons
- tough 5mm machined acrylic enclosure panels
- USB chargeable LiPo battery
- 10bit / 20K sampling rate audio – it sounds fatter than you expect!
Once you programmed multiple Patchblocks, you can combine them by clicking them together or by patching them via a minijack cable. The Patchblocks actually sound very good and look tremendous fun to work with. Listen to some example sounds on the Patchblocks Kickstarter page.