Heritage Modular, a Pure-Data-based 8-voice hardware polyphonic modular Synthesizer

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At SFF 2023, Frédéric of Heritage Synthesizers showcased the Heritage Modular, an 8-voice hardware polyphonic modular Synthesizer

Polyphony in modular is a challenging topic. Either you have a lot of money on your bank account and build an entire setup from individual modules. Or you go the clever but less modular way by using modules that are specially designed for it.

The developer Frédéric Ribles from Heritage Synthesizers showed at SynthFest France 2023 that polyphony can also be done differently in hardware form.

Heritage Synthesizers

Heritage Modular

It looks like an official product, but it isn’t. Don’t be fooled. Frédéric has developed the Heritage Modular project in his spare time. This wonderful synth has the look and feel of a Eurorack synth. The modules also have the Eurorack dimensions.

According to the developer, it has been designed to mimic the typical look and feel of an early 1970s modular Synthesizer, but with full polyphony and MIDI capabilities. The core is based on the modular environment Pure Data that has been optimized for the hardware connection. The developer almost exclusively used blocks from the Pure Data Library.

It features 32 VCOs (4 per voice), including classic and wavetable oscillators, 32 LFOs (4 per voice), 24 filters (3 per voice), 32 VCAs, 32 ADSRs, 16 effects, noise generator, stereo in/out, and MIDI.

Heritage Modular

The technical of this Synthesizer is particularly exciting. In the hardware synth, there is a computer, i.e. DSP, which carries the Pure Data patch. There is no audio generation in the modules. They are basically controllers for the engine that forward the knob changes to the core.

Frédéric has achieved to make the system recognize when patch cables are plugged in or not. This gives you the workflow of a Eurorack Synthesizer without actually being one. But all in 8-voice polyphony and full MIDI support.

First Impression

A fabulous project that Frédéric has created. One of my highlights from Synth Fest France 2023. For me, it’s very reminiscent of the Korg MS-20 MIDI Controller that worked the same way. You could plug in patch cables and the MS-20 software recognized this. Same here but deeper it uses different modules instead of a little patch bay.

The poly modular synth project of Frédéric of Heritage Synthesizers is not a product nor open-source. But you can check out the entire project on its website.

More information here: HS

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