Synthesizers are an absolutely indispensable tool in modern music making, and are really instruments in their own right. The vast majority of today’s Top 40 hits use synthesizers to create at least some of the music. If you want to start using a synthesizer in your own music, this Kickstarter for the Magus Modular Synthesizer Toolkit looks like a great option.
Most synthesizers are designed to produce a handful of predetermined sounds, such as a scale of square waves. Magus is different, because it allows you to load and use any set of sound algorithms that you choose. There is, of course, a substantial library of algorithms to choose from, but you can also write your own in Max Gen, Pure data, FAUST, or C++ if you want something truly unique.
Once your algorithms have been loaded, you can set any of 20 bi-directional CV patch points to use the algorithms as inputs or outputs. After you’ve got your algorithms set up, you can use the control knobs and patch cables to layer your sounds. Whenever you’re ready to change your algorithms again, you just plug Magus into your computer via USB and download some new ones.
The campaign is already completely funded, but Kickstarter backers can still get Magus for about $600 until May 2nd. There are also smaller models available that are backed by the same technology: the Wizard and the Alchemist. Orders should ship by July.