Remember PikoPiko Factory’s mini Prophet-5 clone, which appeared in 2020? Well, it’s now made its way onto Kickstarter under a new name, Profree-4.
The synth is the work of a two-person development team from Japan: producer Barbara Asuka and engineer Synth-senpai. It promises to model the voice circuitry of the Prophet-5 and features a mini keyboard and MIDI support. It can be powered by batteries and has a built-in speaker.
Befitting its name, Profree-4 will be released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0.International licence. This means that, once it’s complete, all technical information will be freely shared so that anyone can use it to make their own version of the synth.
On the downside, PikoPiko admits that it could fall victim to the chip shortage that is plaguing so many hardware synth manufacturers. The company says that it will attempt to purchase the required components as and when its funding target is met, but that “if we are unable to procure them, there will be changes to the circuit design and delays in delivery, in which case we will inform everyone immediately”.
You can find out more and make a pledge on the Profree-4 Kickstarter page. Prices start at ¥3,000 for a development PCB.