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Arduino-based modules, Theremin-style MIDI controller, a floor XYZ-kind of pad, and other gear

Arduino-based modules, Theremin-style MIDI controller, a floor XYZ-kind of pad, and other gear

Two DIY synths – a new Arduino-based unit and a Gilbert module inspired by Roland sound, Malekko Varigate 4+ gets updated introducing some CV capabilities, a Theremin-style Altura launched by Zeppelin, a Kickstarter project by Chroma Coda which is represented with a MIDI floor controller, and the Acid Simona VCF which is a limited edition of Erica Synths Black Polivoks VCF.


The ArduTouch was introduced by Mitch Altman. The DIY synth is built on the popular open source called Arduino. This computing platform is based on quite affordable and easy-to-use microcontrollers and soft. The device features a touch keyboard, knob and switch controls. Arduino comes pre-programmed. ArduTouch can be updated with new synths. The synth is available for $29.99.

DinSync Gilbert

Gilbert synth is another new DIY unit presented by Paul Barker a.k.a. DinSync who got inspired with Roland’s classics. He created TB-303 replica calling it RE-303 and Gilbert which is to remind you of such instruments as SH-101, SH-09 and MC-202 was developed to integrate with RE-303. A CV/Gate voice can operate with any sequencer. It has an oscillator, pulse width and wave options as well as an LFO, filter, VCA and a 4-stage envelope.

The details on availability are to be announced.

Malekko Varigate 4+

Malekko has updated its Varigate 4 module to the "plus" version introducing simultaneous CV and gates output. A 4-channel, 8-step sequencer includes more new features among which there are play/stop function, scales, glide per step and 4x4 preset banks. Gate/CV switch offers 3 functional ways for channels to choose from – 4 CV, 2/2 (2 for CV and 2 for gates), and 4 Gate.

Zeppelin Design Labs Altura

Zeppelin Design Labs released Altura. The instrument conveys MIDI data for further control of any MIDI (General MIDI) synthesizer just the way you would play theremin – by directing with your hands in the air. Altura is built on the Arduino platform allowing you to update the open source soft of the device or even load your own one.

With Altura you can control pitch, volume, velocity, bend, modulation, portamento and more parameters. The right and left sensors send Control Change data in an X-Y mode. The unit offers an articulation adjust, channel select, MIDI out, a 3-digit display, and can be powered by batteries or may operate as a wall wart device.

Chroma Coda Poly Expressive

The MIDI floor controller launched by Chroma Coda as a Kickstarter project which functions as a large XYZ pad (a sensor capable of reading 2D position and force). You can print any variation of a board to fit the device’s sleeve from the offered app and configure the foot controller the way you need it to function. MIDI data can be mapped to each dimension while 3 dimensions can be sent per area. The instrument can control amps, pedals, send MIDI clock, control change, program change, aftertouch, pitch bend.

Poly Expressive is built in Australia and is priced at $329.

Acid Simona VCF

Acid Simona VCF - which is actually a limited edition of Erica Synths Black Polivoks VCF – has been launched to raise money for techno opera Spazio Bar which will be broadcasted by Erica Synths Garage.

Acid Simona filter uses the original Russian ICs K140UD12 reproducing the authentic sound of the most famous Russian synthesizer. The VCF module brings more joy to the looks but the modernized features are preserved which are responsible for smooth filtering. The price for the new unit is 165 EUR.

Tags: Erica Synths, Malekko, Acid Simona VCF, Arduino, Gilbert, Varigate 4+, Chroma Coda, Poly Expressive, Polivoks, Altura, Zeppelin Design Labs, ArduTouch

Published: 16:57 23.11.2017
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