Critter & Guitari 201, new open-source multi-engine Synthesizer on Kickstarter

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Critter & Guitari has launched the Kickstarter campaign for the 201, a new open-source multi-engine Synthesizer. 

If you want to buy a new Synthesizer, the first way is usually to a music store. There are ready-made synthesizers that you can work with immediately. In addition to these “mainstream” products, there is also a wilder open-source and DIY scene in the synth world where you can assemble dozens of instruments yourself.

Here you can find brilliant synths from indie developers who share their developments freely with the communities. These parts range from simple software codes to complete hardware designs. A project that has always fascinated me but never played with it intensively are the synths from Critter & Guitari. One of their well-known projects is the Organelle Synthesizer, which is now getting a successor.

Critter & Guitari 201

Critter & Guitari 201

201 is a new open-source Synthesizer that follows in line with some of its previous unique instruments, including the Pocket Piano, Organelle, and more. So a next-generation Organelle Synthesizer?

At its core, you can find a multi-engine with six different algorithms that run on an ARM Cortex-A7 processor at 900 MHz with 512 MB RAM

It covers various synthesis methods: analog-style filters, chiptune-style waveforms, drum samples, physical modeling, and a human-style vocal Synthesizer. They can be selected using the shift key and one of the six wooden keys along the bottom row. There are three center knobs for controlling the synth’s parameters: envelope, tone, and “surprise.” What could be the last? mmmh, let’s see.

Like its predecessors, you can play it directly on the keyboard or turn on one of the pattern generators. They offer classic arpeggiation but also more complex randomizing polyphonic patterns.

Additionally, it hosts an internal sequencer that can change the patterns and synth engine endlessly. That sounds like a lof fun.

Critter & Guitari-201

Open Source

The exciting here is that the 201 is built entirely with open-source software. It uses a combination of Pure Data and Faust musical programming environments. So you can also develop your own algorithms, i.e, engines for it. This is where the big fun begins.

Connection side, you get MIDI in/out on mini-jack, a USB-C port for data transfer, a microSD card slot, an a USB-A port for USB-MIDI

According to the developers, it is made of a sturdy, anodized aluminum enclosure and maple wood buttons for a nice, tactile feel. It will be assembled and tested by hand in Brooklyn, NY,

That looks to me like a successor to the Organelle etc. I don’t know what the big differences from the others are. I think the device is more of a hardware than a synthesizer upgrade. Since it’s open-source you can customize the engine in any way you like. It’s very welcome that the project is being continued.

Critter & Guitari 201 is available to backers starting at $295 USD. Good, the product of the 201 is already being funded 100% via the Kickstarter project. Shipping starts in April 2023.

More information here: Critter & Guitari 

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