KORG and LittleBits Unveil Snap-Together Analog Synth Kit
By James Grahame
Korg and NYC electronics kit startup LittleBits have teamed up to create a $159 snap-together analog synthesizer kit. It includes 12 modules including a pair of oscillators, classic 1970s-style filter, envelope generator, mini switch keyboard and essentials such as a power regulator and speaker.
LittleBits modules feature magnetic snap-together connectors that make it easy to quickly rearrange electronic modules in countless different ways. The system is expandable, so you can borrow a couple of modules from a friend and easily create a multi-oscillator monster synthesizer.
LittleBits founder Ayah Bdeir has worked tirelessly in recent years to pull together a framework for licensing open source hardware that anyone is free to modify, make and use. While we don't yet know the details, I strongly hope that she continues that trend with this product by making schematics and design files available for everyone to study and use.
- 9V DC power regulator
- Two tunable square/sawtooth oscillators
- Voltage controlled filter with cutoff and resonance
- Attack/Decay envelope generator
- Digital delay
- Tact switch keyboard
- Micro sequencer
- amplified speaker
The instruction manual includes 10 example projects including Percussion Party, Keytar, Spooky Sounds and Synthesizer With The Works (the first one I'll build!). For users who aren't afraid to modify their modules, LittleBits and Korg include instructions for creating sound-altering circuit designs such as pitch sweeps, white noise, key player, sequencer control, frequency modulation, random voltage, filtering noise and echo and delay.
This kit looks like a great frustration-free way to introduce youngsters to the wonders of analog synthesis and I'm pretty sure these modules will be hacked and mangled by the grown-up DIY crowd in a matter of days.
The LittleBits Korg Synth Kit will be available the first week of December for $159.