Superbooth 21: Fred’s Lab ZeKit, affordable 4-voice paraphonic hybrid synth

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At Superbooth 21, Fred’s Lab will introduce ZeKit, a new DIY-friendly affordable 4-voice paraphonic hybrid Synthesizer for under 200€

The Superbooth, a paradise for Synthesizer friends. Big player and small garage-style manufacturer you can find the most diverse electronic music products here. This year Fred’s Lab will also have a booth at Superbooth 21 with its compact, lovely-sounding hybrid synthesizers.

And he will come with something new.

Superbooth 21 Freds Lab ZeKit

Fred’s Lab ZeKit

ZeKit is Fred’s Lab’s newest Synthesizer family member and is a 4-voice paraphonic hybrid synth or named microsynth. It features digital waveforms that are spiced up with an analog filter (LP/BP). The latter probably has two characteristics: one more smooth “chill”, and other more aggressive labeled “acid”.  Then, you have two ADR envelopes and a VCA. An LFO doesn’t seem to be there, but you have to see that on the booth with the developer on Superbooth 21. It also features a simple 96-step step sequencer with rec and loop functionality.

The instrument can be controlled using MIDI (notes & sync) on the backside. A cool addition is the external audio input that lets you mix sources or processed them through the VCF/VCA. So ZeKit is also a little analog filter box.

Your Synth DIY Starting Point

Fred Meslin, the maker behind Fred’s Lab, is pursuing a nice concept with this release. He wants to support the DIY community and created here a nice starting point in the synth DIY world. He says:

Being accessible to DIY beginners, ZeKit offers a lot to learn about analog and digital electronics for music gear, from building it and later playing it. A comprehensive and well illustrated, 30+ pages assembly guide (pdf) will assist you at each building step, from start to finish. This guide also includes ZeKit complete schematics and bill of materials, as well as a detailed explanation of the inner working of all circuit blocks.

Superbooth 21 Fred's Lab ZeKit

Further, Fred also provides most files of the ZeKit under the Creative Commons and Open Source licenses. So they can inspire you to modify, improve them and distribute your creations. But within the limitation of non-commercial use, so no replicas or clones.

A super exciting little synthesizer for little money. I really like the DIY and open source idea. I made an interview with Fred at Superbooth 21

Fred’s Lab ZeKit will be available in two versions. As an assembled version for 179€ (w/VAT) or in a DIY version including the PCB, component, housing, and quick start for 129€ (w/VAT). A universal power adapter is available for 12€ (w/VAT) and Battery kit + set of AAA batteries for 6€ (w/VAT). You can order starting October 1st, 2021 on the official website.

More information here: Fred’s Lab 

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