MATRIXSYNTH: Polytik Synths Now On Kickstarter

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Polytik Synths Now On Kickstarter

Published on Jan 31, 2017 Polytik Synths

You might remember the previous posts on Polytik here and here. This is a project from Dirty Electronics/Mute Synth & Jack Featherstone. Below are some additional details captured for the archives, via the Kickstarter campaign here.

"Polytik is a collection of beautifully designed hand-held synth modules. Born out of a DIY ethos and the maker community, they have been crafted into something very different – a series of beautifully designed objects in their own right. We have used open-source hardware and software and encourage users to make new modules and hacks."

Polytik Synths
Polytik designers Jack Featherstone and John Richards in conversation
Polytik Synths x Jas Shaw

"The brainchild of John Richards and Jack Featherstone in collaboration with Artists & Engineers, these hybrid analogue/digital devices can produce a palette of sounds ranging from angular rhythmic sequences to abstract noise, pads and drones. The synths are designed to be tactile, to be held and touched when playing.

Polytik comprises four separate, colour-coded, battery powered modules. Every Polytik system needs a Core module and at least one sound module. The sound modules connect to the core with ribbon cables, these carry audio and control data to connect the system together giving you a single audio output for all modules. You can have up to three sound modules connected at one time.

The Starter Pack comprises a Core module and a Combi module, which we think is a really good way to start using Polytik.


Core (Blue) - A sequencer, programmer and mixer. YOU NEED TO HAVE THIS MODULE TO START, you can then add any or all of the other modules to expand your experience.

Combi (Black) Voltage-controlled feedback, voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and filtering

VCO (Red) Voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and voltage-controlled filter (VCF)

Noise (Yellow) Noise generator, patchable feedback networks and voltage-controlled filter (VCF)

The Core module comes loaded with 30 pre-programmed sequences; this module plus one of the others is required to start making music. Further modules can be added at a later date to expand the experience.

The Golden Chip special-edition starter pack consists of two modules, Core and Combi, together with an individually signed and numbered chip containing an additional 20 pre-programmed sequences from Polytik makers and a curated set of 10 sequences, comments and interviews from leading electronic musicians and artists including: Jas Shaw (Simian Mobile Disco), Mark Fell, James Ginzburg (emptyset), Nik Colk Void and Gabe Gurnsey (Factory Floor) and Frieder Nake.


Each module looks like a work of art, but Polytik's unique design is more than purely aesthetic. The key to the Polytik experience is the ability to work directly with the boards and components, rather than through the once-removed medium of swiping or tapping a screen.

Touching parts of the circuit boards and the visual design details enable you to physically interact with Polytik to produce different sounds and sequences.

Deliberately designed without any instructive markings, the intention is to encourage the user to explore the synths’ capabilities through intuitive play.


Play + Explore:

Customisable desktop modular synth
Sound and design through intuitive play
Battery powered and portable
Artwork + Synth:

Limited-edition artwork
Touch sensitive control
Collectible modules
Analogue Sound + Digital Control

Stored patterns
Make your own loops step-by-step
Guest artists’ sequences
Expand + Connect:

Open-source hardware and hackable
CV control with your computer or other music gear
Headphones or line out with 3.5 jack
Download the USER GUIDE here.


Polytik is open source hardware - all software, hardware design files, schematics, layouts and bills of materials are free for you to download, modify and use. This makes it possible for you to hack/bend the modules, create new presets, develop new modules, and share your projects with the community.

Hardware and software will be published on Github under a BSD license at the end of the campaign."

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