Friday, 4 August 2017

DIY Synth Kit : Mutable Instruments Anushri

Here we are.  At last.  I built my first synthesizer on November 2013 (was it 4 years ago ?).
I chose an Anushri kit from Mutable Instruments.

The first part of the kit.
Hairy !!

The kit was perfect.  Very easy to solder, even with the high number of parts (100 ?  200 ?).
Metallised holes, complete kit, detailed and incremental assembly instructions, even a victory candy.  A very professional product.

As everything went smooth from unpacking to final assembly, I do not have a lot to tell.  The important thing I learned was to pace myself : not planning everything in one sitting, building small portions at a time, being very focused, carefully following the instructions.  It took a bit of time.  I think it was the key to achieve the assembly without an itch.

Resistors went first.

Finally, the only problem I have is that I'm not able to correctly tune it on more than two octaves.  I have to rely on the embedded automatic tuner.  It's fine but it means I can not use the CV in and out to integrate the synth in a modular system.  I have to rely on MIDI then.

The two boards ...  finished


The Victory Candy in the last bag of parts.

Anushri ... alive.

 If you want to know how it sounds, here is a short (30 seconds) demo I made :

All sounds from the Anushri (including the drums).
Use of the built-in generative drum machine and arpegiator.
Yes : there are tons of effects on top of the bare sound of the synth.

By building ready to assemble kits, you learn a lot about soldering, about the different parts that compose a synthesizer.  They usually come with full schematics and tips on how to debug.  This is helpful if you want to dig into the details and understand what's inside the hood.

Unfortunately,  Mutable doesn't do DIY kits anymore.  Some of their products (namely the Shruti) can still be found at TubeOhm's, albeit under the name Phoenix due to copyright reasons :

There are a lot of other synthesizer kits out there.  For example :

Paia Fatman ( ) is one of the most renown.

PreeFM2 ( ) is a small DIY FM synthesizer, DX7 compatible.

Bastl instruments ( ), Synthrotek ( and Erica Synth ( ) have a nice collection of DIY Eurorack modules kits.

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