Last year, Sweden's Teenage Engineering launched a range of barebones electronic sound generators that were teeny enough to slide in a pocket. Fellow Scandinavian Jan Ostman has now managed to reduce the portable synth form factor to the size of a credit card, with an open source DIY project called the Tiny TS.
Founder of DSP Synthesizers, which sells chips to DIY synth makers, Sweden's Jan Ostman describes the Tiny TS as a very simple and fun, yet also quite capable, pocket synthesizer. The roughly credit card-sized – 100 x 65 mm (3.9 x 2.6 in) – device sports a one octave capacitive touch keyboard and six parameter dials for pitch adjustment, applying filters and amplitude attack and release control.
Sadly, as of writing, there doesn't appear to be any media available showing the device in action, but sounds generated by the Tiny TS can be sent via a built-in audio out, or if those tones prove too limiting the keyboard of the diminutive synth can also pair with external gear courtesy of controlled voltage and gate outputs.
The circuit design shows that the synth is powered by a 6 - 9 V DC input, but no further details are given. This essentially means that mobile synth wizards will have to carry some form of adapter or battery module before getting their creative groove on.
Though the circuit diagram and necessary code are being made available to the open source community, Ostman is offering the DIY synth in PCB form only for US$20, PCB plus preprogrammed chip for $30, the complete build kit for $50 or a plug and play prebuild for $60.
A very limited number of Tiny TS synthesizers are available to order now, or sonic scientists can opt to support the project's Indiegogo crowdfunding effort, where estimated delivery of February 2017 is slated pending a successful campaign.
Source: Jan Ostman