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Modular M²Synth

 

Overview

The M²Synth was successfully launched through a Kickstarter campaign at the end of 2021. We shipped complete systems in June 2022 to backers in the UK, EU and the USA including three massive System 80's. However, it was not our intention to offer the M²Synth in kit form but we under estimated interest in kits especially as the MFOS and YuSynth ranges are now legacy products with no on-going development. We are therefore proud to announce the M²Synth in kit form especially for those who enjoy the challenge of building their own synth.  

Promo Video (score produced on the M²Synth)

Unlike the MFOS and YuSynth synths, the M²Synth was not designed with the diy'er in mind but as a commercial product. This has benefits and disadvantages to the builder:

Benefits: 

  • Well proven design already in commercial production
  • Put the right components in the right place, decent soldering and it will work first time
  • Designed for fast assembly - no panel wiring
  • Purpose made enclosure including an integral power supply available
  • Kits are based on mostly through hole components although there is always the chance of the odd SMT chip being used

Disadvantages:

  • Being of a low-profile design, component density is higher than MFOS and YuSynth PCBs
  • PCB pad sizes and trace widths are smaller than MFOS and YuSynth so easier to damage the PCB if your construction skills are lacking or having to re-work the board due to insertion errors
  • All PCBs have a ground plane top and bottom so a very good high-powered soldering iron is essential otherwise you will not get a decent joint or may damage the PCB / component from excess heat from long tip touch times
  • We are not going to teach you about how it works unlike the excellent MFOS module descriptions. You will get a schematic, PCB layout, BOM and a calibration description. This level of documentation is more than sufficient for the seasoned hackers amongst you
  • Kits will include PCBs and all components, option to exclude panel, knobs and sockets for those wishing to migrate our modules to a different format such as MU available

If you are new to electronics / soldering then the M²Synth is not the place to start. If you have the correct tools and test gear, know your way around assembling PCBs and how to solder then you have come to the right place.

How does building a M²Synth module compare to MFOS / YuSynth Modules?

Naturally there are many similarities as the outcome of a 5U module build remains identical. The fundamental difference is the focus on eliminating panel wiring which is the cause of many issues with DIY modules. These photos are of similar panning mixers, starting with the YuSynth.

YuSynth modules wiring

 

 

With the M²Synth, switches, pots and sockets are all PCB mounted leaving just a header cable to link the PCBs together. 

Gone is the need for deep cabinets thanks to the low profile design of the M²Synth and gone is that panel wiring. Even the VU meters and their illumination is PCB mounted. PCBs are securely mounted to to the aluminium back panel using M4 screws for a robust mount making it resistant to damage from shock in transit. Especially nice if taking your synth to gigs or modular meets.

Are there any differences between the kit versions and the ready assembled versions?

Ready assembled modules from Soundtronics use a purple coloured PCB, kits will use a blue PCB. This is to differentiate between modules made by the diy'er and by Soundtronics. This could be an important consideration to resale value of modules and systems on the second-hand market.

The fundamental designs between the assembled and kit versions will be aligned and developed together. The assembled version will migrate to SMT overtime whereas the kit version will remain as through hole unless scarcity of semiconductors require just selected chips to be SMT.

I already have a MFOS / YuSynth system, will the M²Synth work with these? 

MFOS yes, YuSynth also yes but be aware that the M²Synth runs on +/-12V just like the MFOS modules but many YuSynth builders operate their modules on +/-15V. This means you cannot run a M²Synth module on +/-15V direct without an in-line voltage converter to drop it down to +/-12V. Other than that, the actual signals used are all compatible with each other so no worries over patching modules between any of the three 'brands'.

The panels we supply for MFOS, YuSynth and now the M²Synth are all based on what is commonly referred to as MOTM. This means all panels are 5U high and come in multiple widths of 1U. This should not be confused with 5U panels that come in multiples of 1MU.

Where do I find out more about the M²Synth?

We are not going to duplicate the entire content of the M²Synth's dedicated website here so visit m2synth.com to find out more or to purchase ready assembled modules and complete systems.

How do I get started?

At the time of writing (July 2022), obtaining all of the components required for these modules is challenging to say the least. With these supply chain constraints we are not able to fill the store room with kits ready to fly off the shelves. We shall be producing a limited number of kits of each module which will be available to pre-order. In time, we shall be stocking all kits for immediate dispatch but that is unlikely to be before early to mid-2023. 

For now, if you simply want a specific module(s) to supplement your existing modular or are starting a fresh new build, then when pre-orders become available place your order into the queue. If demand exceeds supply then the lead time may become longer.

What tech support will I get?

You should not need any support if you have heeded the above warnings. If it should be necessary then post on our support forum on the modwiggler site here.

M²Synth Module Kits

All modules are grouped into categories along with power supplies and cabinets.

***Under Construction ***