Magus Modular Synthesizer – Hardware Meets Open-Source Algorithms

When talking about modular Synthesizers these days, users often say Eurorack or software products. These have often one thing in common: they are limited in the number of modules. If you want a certain function and it doesn’t exist in this format, you have to wait for someone to bring it to the market.

Martin Klang from Rebel Technologies tries to eliminate this limitations with his new project: Magus Modular Synthesizer Toolkit. Magus is a new hardware Synthesizer that features not a fixed sound engine but one that can be customised. For this, the developer provides newly developed hardware devices on which you can load your own algorithms. These can be made with Cycling 74 MAX GEN,  Pure Data, FAUST or C++.  

With this idea, professional developers or musicians can design their own Synthesizer instruments or effect processor according to their wishes. From additive, FM, granular, spectral to novel forms of synthesis, near everything is possible here. In my opinion, an exciting project that will delight especially users known modular platforms such as Max. So they can now install their patches in a hardware device and take on stage without using a computer.

The developer plan to release three different versions, each suitable for another budget.

Magus Synthesizer Toolkit

The Magnus features

  • 20 bidirectional patch points
  • 2 patch outputs
  • 2 patch inputs
  • 16 RGB LED’s
  • OLED Display
  • USB MIDI Host
  • USB MIDI Device
  • Stereo Line In & Out

The Magus has 20 unique bidirectional, analogue patch points. These can be configured by the patch program as either inputs or outputs. Sixteen of them also have RGB LEDs which indicate the level and the direction: purple-blue-cyan for inputs, orange-red-pink for outputs. All output parameters have an ‘>’ at the end of the name making them easy to identify on the display, too, and changing the value will set the gain for the output. The patch points are fully Eurorack compatible, with -10V to +10V signal levels.

Wizard Minisynth

The Magus’ little brother is the Wizard. It runs the same patches and is also patchable as well as programmable. This means that you can change the signal flow on the fly and connect it to other kit. It is incredibly compact but still sports five assignable control knobs and four buttons, and a total of six patch points. 

Like the Magus it has both USB MIDI device and host connections so that you can plug your favourite controller straight in – be it keyboard, drum pads, sequencer, grid, or multidimensional controller. It makes an excellent stand-alone synth or effects unit and has huge integration capabilities.

Alchemist Microsynth

The Alchemist is the baby of the family, but it packs a powerful punch.

With four knobs, two trigger buttons, one mode button and trigger and CV inputs it amazingly still fits in your hand.

Patch Library

The Magus, Wizard and Alchemist are all built on the Rebel Technology OpenWare firmware and can run the same patch programs as two of our existing products: the OWL Pedal and OWL Modular. This means that our entire library of more than 200 patch programs is ready to use right now! For Cycling ’74 Max users it is even easier: there is an OWL package available from the Download Manager that lets you compile and load Gen patches straight onto the device. Pretty cool, huh!

Technical Specifications
  • 48kHz 24-bit stereo audio
  • 32-bit floating point DSP
  • Powerful ARM Cortex M4 processor
  • 8 Megabyte RAM
  • Latency down to less than 1 millisecond
  • 3.5mm stereo headphone / line level output
  • 3.5mm stereo line level input
  • 20x 12-bit bidirectional CV patch points (Magus only)
  • 128×64 OLED display (Magus)
  • Dual mono audio inputs and outputs (Magus)
  • 2x CV in and 2x CV out, 12-bit (Wizard)
  • 1x trigger input, 1x trigger output (Wizard)
  • 1x trigger input, 1x CV input (Alchemist)
  • USB MIDI Host interface (Magus and Wizard)
  • USB MIDI Device interface
  • 16x RGB LEDs (Magus)
  • 1x RGB LED (Wizard and Alchemist)
  • DC Power Jack, 2.1mm centre positive

The Magus Modular Synthesizer Toolkit is now available for pre-order from Kickstarter with an estimated delivery in June 2018. The Alchemist Microsynth cost £90, Wizard Minisynth £160 and Magus £420 during the Kickstarter campaign.

More information here: Magus Synthesizer 

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