The Modal Electronics CRAFTsynth is yours for £79 and can be built in 10 minutes

Modal Electronics has produced some big and expensive analogue synths, but its latest project is a small and affordable digital one. Or should we say your project, for the CRAFTsynth is something that you need to build yourself.

This is a monophonic eight-knob instrument that we're told can be put together without the need to solder in less than 10 minutes. There are two oscillators per voice, though the unison/spread mode enables you to split each oscillator into four separate detunable sub oscillators, effectively giving you eight (got that?).

There's also an LFO with six destinations, a resonant low-pass filter and delay and distortion effects. The instrument can be played from a five-note touch panel, though the CRAFTsynth can also send and receive MIDI over USB. There's a CRAFTapp app in the offing, too, which will enable you to change the state of the filter and get "in-depth" with your synthesis.

The CRAFTsynth can be powered by USB or batteries and sports headphone and line outputs. It's available exclusively from Gear4music and can be pre-ordered now for £79, with delivery expected to be on 14 December.

  • Monophonic DSP based self assembly synthesiser, requires no soldering or electronics skills, tools or knowledge
  • 2 oscillators per voice
  • Mixer stage for osc levels
  • Unison / spread mode that splits the oscillators into four separate sub oscillators per oscillator giving you a total of eight oscillators, de-tunable for a huge sound
  • LFO with six destinations (VCA amplitude, filter cutoff, FM amount, OSC mix, PWM amount, pitch/frequency
  • Four LFO wave forms (each invertible)
  • LFO auto syncs to MIDI clock if present
  • Resonant low pass filter (if using the CRAFTapp, state variable BP & LP also possible)
  • 16 recallable EG presets for ease of use
  • 16 patch storage locations
  • Playable touch panel interface with five note keys plus controls for scale and glide time
  • Delay and distortion (wavehsaping overdrive, not bitcrushing) effects
  • Class compliant MIDI provided over USB connection to host computer or tablet
  • Headphone and line output
  • Power by USB or optional AA battery pack (Adafruit 727, 3 x AAA pack)
Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.