Home Bake Instruments CHAOS, a chaotic semi-modular drone Synthesizer from Japan

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Home Bake Instruments CHAOS is a new portable semi-modular drone Synthesizer from Japan that takes users on a wild, chaotic sonic journey. 

Japan is calling. Not Korg, Yamaha, or Roland, for once. But Home Bake Instruments. At the beginning of January, I reported on the Drum Mint 83, an 80s-inspired drum machine in a cookie jar.

In addition to this Mini Rhythm device, he has a new drone synthesizer in his portfolio called CHAOS.

Home Bake Instruments CHOS

Home Bake Instruments CHAOS

CHAOS is a new portable drone synthesizer. HBI describes its new instrument as a chaotic modular Synthesizer. I’m not happy with the term modular here; it’s semi-modular since you don’t have any modules you can exchange.

The synth consists of two oscillators and a filter, which are taken on a wild, unpredictable sonic journey with a chaos generator. The latter utilizes shift registers to create a chaotic signal by using the first oscillator as the clock and the second as the input signal.

CHAOS has a good range of parameters, especially for the size, including controls over both pitches, chaos (sets the strength), cutoff, resonance, and filter FM. On the top, you have also a patch matrix with various inputs and outputs:

  • two oscillator outputs: square and triangular 
  • chaos generator output 
  • cutoff CV input 
  • mod controls the cutoff
  • pitch input controls the pitch of each oscillator. Probably 1v/oct, but not sure

The wild character of the synth comes through if you feed the chaotic signal back to an oscillator or apply it to the filter. You can achieve with this technique a wide range of super weird, random, mysterious sounds. Thanks to the knobs on each oscillator and filter, you can route the chaotic modulator in different doses to them. 

Further, CHAOS is powered via a USB-C port (5V) and offers a mono signal path. 


First Impression

For fans of noise-making machines, an exciting release. Certainly not a release with new, groundbreaking ideas. Many of today’s semi-modular synths can do similar things with random generators, etc. But for me, it’s a nice niche Synthesizer that sounds very good in the demos. 

Home Bake Instruments CHAOS is available now for 25,800 yen (170,28€ +/-) + shipping from Japan + import fees.

More information here: HBI

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