Polytik is a new handheld modular synth system that is designed to be touched, explored, hacked and generally just ‘played’ with. It’s just landed on Kickstarter and has just short of one month to reach its £20,000 target.
Its creators, John Richards and Jack Featherstone, have collaborated with on a project that has a DIY ethos and takes its cues from the maker community. The hardware is open-source, and users are encouraged to come up with new modules and hacks.
It comprises four separate, colour-coded, battery-powered modules. Every Polytik system needs a Core module and at least one sound module; a maximum of three sound modules that can be connected at any one time.
The sound modules connect to the core with ribbon cables. These carry audio and control data to connect the system together, giving you a single audio output for all modules.
Core is a sequencer, programmer and mixer module. This is the base unit and is required before you connect any others. With Core you can then add any or all of the other modules to expand your experience.
The Combi module features voltage-controlled feedback, a voltage-controlled oscillator and filtering.
The red one is called VCO. Unsurprisingly enough, this features a voltage-controlled oscillator and also includes a voltage-controlled filter.
Last up is the bright yellow Noise module. It features a noise generator, patchable feedback networks and voltage-controlled filter.
Each module includes various tactile controls such as rotaries and contact points on the board itself. Without any descriptions of what each control does, the planned user experience is one of exploration and discovery.
Backers on can pledge as little as £1 to get their name in the Polytik manual, with other pledges including t-shirts and screen prints also available.
Prices for the modules themselves start at £120 for an early bird starter pack, consisting of the Core and Combi modules, rising all the way up to £325 for all four and £600 for a reseller pack of 10 modules.
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