Prism Circuits Canvas System, a modern take on the paperface modular synth

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The Canvas System is Prism Circuits’ modern take on the paperface modular synth from Serge Tcherepnin from 1973. 

The synthesizer history is broad. There is east but also west coast synthesis. The first system from the new company Prism Circuits focuses on the principles from the west side.

The Canvas System is a standalone “modular” Synthesizer with different elements like oscillators, a waveshaper, a filter, and more.

Prism Circuits Canvas System

Prism Circuits Canvas System

According to the developer, the Canvas System takes inspiration from the early days of the “west-coast synthesis” philosophy. Mainly from the building blocks of the Buchla Music Easel. However, it is not a 1 to 1 replica or clone of it. They take the circuit concepts and adapt them to the paperface design created by Serge Tcherepnin in 1973. Known under the name paper face modular system and today as Serge Modular.

Prism System Canvas System


  • 2x 1973 oscillators
  • triple waveshaper
  • 1973 VCF
  • noise source
  • 2x gate
  • dual mixer
  • 5 step programmer
  • dual processor
  • 2x envelope generator

The sections are built in a 2 panel slim wooden powered boat specially designed for this new system. It includes a power supply input as well as an audio output. Thus you can route out your audio without an extra interface module.

A beautiful instrument that also sounds very fat. However, the whole thing is not cheap at all. For those who find that too much there is also the possibility to make them in DIY. Prism Circuits is also currently working on other systems with different configurations

Serge Tcherepin Statement

It appears that Prism Circuits produces these products without a license:

“Let it be known, I do not support or approve of. Prism Circuit. Skyler King lost any chance of getting a license when he announced plans to produce modules that were not on the list we discussed. And Prism has the gall to use my name and my work without permission even after I denied his wish. What am I supposed to feel, watching a video that is nothing but a blatant sales pitch for Prism’s unlicensed manufacture?

Personally, I want nothing further to do with prism. Anyone dealing with Prism does so at his or her own risk.”

Prism Circuits Canvas System is available now for $4999 USD. Individual panels can be purchased as a DIY project as well.

More information here: Prism Circuits 

Hardware Synthesizer News 

1 Comment

  1. Glad you included Serge’s comment and didn’t use his name in the title. Wish his displeasure had been more prominent, for casual readers who might just click on the video and think it’s a Tcherepin-approved synth.

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