Kastle is a mini modular synthesizer with a headphone output, 2 in/out ports for interfacing other gear and it runs on just 3 AA batteries. It is DIY friendly and ideal for beginners in modular synthesis, but it will add some quite unique functionality to any modular synthesizer system. It delivers the fun of modular synthesis at a low cost and fits into your pocket so you can play it everywhere!
It has a unique digital lo-fi sound and it can be melodic as well as very noisy and drony, soft or harsh. It is designed to be fun on its own but it is most powerful when combined with other modular gear.
Kastle is an open source DIY project which runs on two Attiny 85 chips that can be reprogrammed with an Arduino (google: “programming Attiny 85 with Arduino”). One chip is dedicated to sound generation while the other one handles modulation. Several firmwares for the Attiny chips are available thru gitHub.
The v1.5 version combines a complex oscillator and LFO with stepped waveform generator.
The oscillator section has 3 sound parameters: PITCH, TIMBRE and WAVESHAPE – all under voltage control and with 6 different synthesis modes. It has a main output and a secondary waveform output. Both can be used independently or in combination. The 3 synthesis modes available thru the main output are: phase modulation, noise mode and track & hold modulation. There are 3 more modes on the secondary OSC output: phase distortion, tonal noise mode and formant synthesis. Each mode utilizes one or two oscillators. The PITCH parameter controls the main oscillator, the TIMBRE sets the PITCH of the modulating oscillator and the WAVESHAPE depends on the synthesis mode.
The voltage controllable LFO has a triangle and square output and a reset input. The stepped waveform generator is inspired by the Rungler circuit by Rob Hordijk. It can produce 8 different voltages either in random order or in 8 or 16 step looping patterns depending on how the BIT IN is patched.
3 synthesis modes on the main output: phase modulation, noise mode, track & hold modulation
3 more modes on the secondary OSC output: phase distortion, tonal noise mode, formant synthesis
PITCH control with offset and CV input with attenuator
TIMBRE control with offset and CV input with attenuator
WAVESHAPE control with offset and CV input
voltage controllable LFO with triangle and square outputs and reset input
stepped voltage generator with random, 8 step and 16 step loop mode
2 I/O CV ports that can be routed to any patch point
the main output can drive headphones
3x AA battery operation or USB power selectable by a switch
possibility of exchanging different LFO and OSC chips
durable black & silver PCB enclosure