Bastl Instruments Kastle ARP, portable semi-modular melodic generator synth

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With the new Kastle ARP, Bastl Instruments expands the fabulous Kastle semi-modular synth series into the melodic lo-fi world. 

Small, portable synthesizers are very trendy. The Korg Volcas and the Pocket Operators are best sellers. They cost little, are portable, and offer a lot of fun.

Bastl Instruments also feeds this market, especially with their Kastle synth and drum. It’s more experimental and wild but with the same fun concept. Kastle Arp is the third release and the newest member of the Kastle family.

Bastl Instruments Kastle Arp

Bastl Instruments Kastle ARP

Kastle ARP expands the fabulous Kastle semi-modular synth series into the melodic world. The concept remains unchanged: small, patchable, affordable, fun synth with an impressive, versatile engine.  It can be operated like its brothers: seven tiny knobs, and patchable with small cables—the basis for long, portable patch fun.

The Kastle ARP engine comprises a quantized sine wave oscillator with a digital waveshaper. With the note knob, you can browse manually thru eight octaves. Alternatively, you can patch the note and chord inputs for generating chords up to 3 notes. The timbre control allows you to blend between noble sine waves and 8-bit chip-tune timbres. Thanks to the quantized oscillator, you are always on the safe side with the tuning.

Bastl Instruments Kastle Arp

Then, it hosts a decay envelope with a clever addition that adds variation by occasionally skipping pitches before triggering. Besides this, you get a flexible LFO taken from the original Kastl Drum with dedicated patch points.

Additionally, there is a boot mode where you can access the root note and fine-pitch tuning. The bass output plays the root pitch of the current chord, enhancing the overall sound. Further, Kastle has two I/O CV ports routable to any patch points and a main output.

Kastle ARP is powered by 3x AA batteries or via micro USB. Yes, that’s not the best decision. Why not a USB-C Bastl? It’s great that the Kastle ARP is open-source; thus, the community can modify and expand the engine.

First Impression

A beautiful new member of the Kastle family. I think the engine fits the format perfectly and sounds like a lot of fun. And it looks like you can also load the other Kastle engines on it.

Bastl Instruments Kastle ARP is available now for 128,40€ including VAT.

More information here: Bastl Instruments 

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