A Retro DIY Synth That Sounds Like It's Possessed

The new NTH Music Synthesizer uses simple circuitry packaged in an intuitive interface to produce evil tones that would sound perfect in an old arcade game. The second you see this thing in action, you're going to want get your hands on it.

More than video games, really, this new synth's fuzzy polyphony reminds me of old Bach organ compositions chopped and twisted in a blender. Or the theme from Blade Runner. In fact, it turns out this groaning synth can sound like almost anything in a low register.

The NTH Music Synthesizer by Kevin Holland and John Staskevich is designed to be simple enough that even a beginner can dial in a simple loop of crazy space sounds. It has streamlined controls for modifying the timbre of the output: a knob that allows you to select one of 16 waveforms, a knob to apply one of 16 envelopes, and various little tweaks to scramble your sound. There's also an integrated step sequencer with faders so you can create a loop with your sounds. The synth is great for DIY enthusiasts who aren't beginners, too. It's designed to be hackable, so that you can integrate it with other gear in your setup or install new components.

Holland and Staskevich put their creation on Kickstarter a few weeks ago, and they've already met the $15,000 funding goal with 20 days to go. The time has come and gone for some of the deals offered to early supporters of the project, but you can still get a fully-assembled NTH Music Synthesizer for $400. [Nth Synth and Kickstarter via Make]