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Sound Machines | NS1 Nanosynth


The NS1nanosynth is a full featured minimal size analog modular synthesizer integrated with an Arduino Leonardo (TM) platform. Out of the box the Arduino is programmed with a USB MIDI to CV firmware that you can use to control your NS1 with your PC/MAC or iPAD etc... The NS1nanosynth employs a plethora of analog modules to allow complex soundscape creation instruments analog emulation and noise/hardcore/annoying stuff.

With its full analog signal path that includes a 1V/oct multi waveforms VCO a 12dB/oct lowpass and bandpass resonant VCF and a overdrivable standard exponential response VCA the NS1 could be used alone or integrated with other instruments circuits and devices to build an articulated modular patch augmented by the potential 'virtual modules' that you can code on the Arduino. A great feature of the architecture of the NS1nanosynth is the ribbon controller with the hold function that could allow you to use the synth without any external controller making it a really ultra portable modular synth!

The entire platform, that is a complete, albeit simple, analog modular synthesizer, is the same height and a little wider than ONE standard 5U synthesizer module. One single module. But on board the soundmachines nanomodular you have a saw core thermally stabilized v/oct VCO, a 12db lowpass and bandpass VCF, two LFOs, one loopable ADSR envelope, a standard VCA, two twistable attenuators, two pot controllers and a plethora (more than a dozen!) of “micro” modules like mixers, multiples, sample and hold, sum/sub blocks, inverters, logic or, and, nand, analog dividers, clock dividers, fixed voltage generators and several ‘sensor blocks’.

The soundmachines nanomodular hosts the most famous of them all: an Arduino Leonardo compatible circuitry. Now, the Arduino Leonardo is a particular flavour of the original Arduino with the very welcome addition of a native USB connectivity. Native means that we can do SPP, we can do HID, and most importantly, through a third party library called arcore, we can do MIDI over USB! But not only this. We can also do sound generation and effect implementation using the MOZZI library!

You can, of course, get rid of everything and write whatever you want on a perfectly formed standard Arduino platform. It’s up to you to use your standard or custom libraries and do modulations, connect to wireless stuff, use the on board dual DAC and quad digital potentiometer etc…

The soundmachines NS1nanosynth is a complex and open environment to test each and every potential of contamination between the good old modular analog blocks and the modern digital approach to development and interfacing.
BrandSound Machines
ModelNS1 Nanosynth
Engine TypeAnalog
Voices (max)1
LFO2 Sample & Hold, Square, Triangle
Engine Detailed1 VCO, Pink Noise, Saw Up, Square, Sub Oscillator, Triangle, White Noise
Filter (VCF)1 12dB Slope (2-pole), Band Pass, Low Pass, Resonance
Envelope (VCA)1 Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release, Looping, Triggered
Key typeN/A
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.

Manuals, patches etc.


If you like to discuss or talk about synths in all forms (including VST and modular), you are welcome to join the Facebook group "The Hard, The Soft and The Modular".

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