It’s no secret that global supply chain issues and inflationary pressure have been responsible for multiple synth launches being delayed, but the impact of these and other factors is now being felt in a much more serious manner, with several manufacturers of boutique Eurorack modules announcing that they’re no longer able to stay in business.
Last month, we heard from WMD Devices, which said in a statement: "Times are tough for everyone. The state of the world has destroyed our sales numbers while operating costs continue to rise. We have many new designs in the pipe that unfortunately cannot be made due to the global parts shortage.
"With the risk of going further in debt with no ‘end’ in sight, we have concluded that the only option is to wind down our production facility, with the plan to close by the end of 2022. We wish that we could keep things going, that we could see another path, but the stress alone has been harmful to our mental health, and our lack of incoming cash is only making it worse.”
Now, sadly, Montreal-based manufacturer Hexinverter Electronique is following suit, saying on Facebook: “I think we can all agree that it’s been a weird couple of years on Earth for just about everyone. There has been a great reshuffling of many people’s lives, their professions - and the resources we rely on in our modern world to get things built.
“The manufacturing world has been very hard hit as a result. Small scale electronics, especially so. It has been incredibly difficult to keep up with demand for our modules, with products falling out of stock for months (and now years) at a time.
“Unfortunately, the post-pandemic manufacturing climate was the final nail in the coffin for us at Hexinverter. Today we are announcing our intent to close down operations within the next year. I do not have an exact ‘end date’ to share just yet, but I can tell you that it will probably be sometime in 2023.”
Both WMD Devices and Hexinverter have said that their remaining stock will remain on sale, but it’s clear that, for many small-scale hardware companies, right now the future looks pretty bleak.
On a more positive note, having previously announced that it would be shutting its doors, synth developer Future Retro has since confirmed that it’s been bought out and will be relocating to Abingdon, Virginia with the intention of reissuing and redesigning previous products and creating new ones.