PWM Mantis, Chris Huggett’s last hybrid Synthesizer is shipping now (London Synth & Pedal Expo 24 Update)

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PWM Mantis, Chris Huggett’s last hybrid Synthesizer with digital oscillators and analog filters, is shipping now, says Paul Whittington. 

Good news from Paul Whittington of PWM. The new Mantis, the last synth from legendary synth designer Chris Huggett is shipping now from the factory. At the London Synth Pedal Expo 2024 event, Paul said to Sonicstate that the device had now reached firmware 1.0 and was shipping.

They are just shipping it from the factory. This means the first devices will be available in stores in May. So, Superbooth timing.  He also briefly explains the Quad Mode of the Mantis based on two complete paraphonic voices.

PWM Mantis is available now for pre-order for $1349/ 1599€. 

Available for pre-order here


Perfect Circuit  


Article Update From January 26, 2024

At Superbooth 23, Paul Whittington from PWM introduced the Mantis, a new paraphonic hybrid Synthesizer. Better known as Chris Huggett’s last Synthesizer design. The development has continued in the last few months, and the synth is almost finished. 

At NAMM 2024, Paul showed the production-ready version of the Mantis. Now, they are working on the final features, and then production starts. It should go into production after the Chinese New Year holidays. This means the synth is almost there, so probably before Superbooth 24. Looking forward on the first full demos of it. 


Article From May 17th, 2023  (Superbooth 23)

The synth developer and pioneer Chris Huggett passed away in 2020. He was responsible for novel designs like the WASP, OSCar, and many modern Novation synths like the Bass Station, Peak, and more. He was a developer who stood for modern in his synth designs.

At the end of his life, he worked on another hardware Synthesizer that was only presented at Superbooth 23. This was the new PWM Mantis Synthesizer.

PWM Mantis Superbooth 23

PWM Mantis

Mantis is a new duophonic hybrid (digital/analog) Synthesizer developed in collaboration with Chris Huggett. According to PWM, it is based on the concept of the WASP but taken to the modern age.

At its core is a duophonic engine with two analog signal paths consisting of newly developed mathematically generated oscillators. You get:

  • two oscillators (sine/triangle/saw/pulse and additional wave types) plus a sub-oscillator per voice
  • shape options with PWM
  • pitch mod
  • oscillator drift: creates random pitch variations between oscillators.

Then, the digital oscillators drive into a mixer with three mixing options: the first mix consists of oscillators 1 and 2, the second oscillators + noise, and the third oscillators + noise and a ring modulator.

From here, it goes into two analog multimode state variable VCA filters with overdrive, one per signal path:

  • lowpass/bandpass/highpass in 12dB and 24dB configurations
  • additional WBAND (series) and WSTOP (parallel) types
  • controls: cutoff, cutoff mod, resonance, filter width, filter width mod, and key track.

It also has a VCA section made of multi-stage VCAs ensuring the amplification remains analog.

PWM Mantis Superbooth 23

Modulation, FX & More

Modulation side, you get two sync-able LFOs with four waveshapes per oscillator and fade in/fade-out functionality. There are also two independent ADSR envelopes where the first is normalized to the amp while the second can be routed freely. Each envelope also offers a repeat function and a unique sustain fall parameter for shaping during key-down. They also have velocity positive and negative control.

The modulation manages a tiny modulation matrix called “modulation routes” here, choosing six modulators, six sources, and scales.

To refine your sounds, it hosts a multi-effects section consisting of a reverb (time, level, high- and lowpass filter) and a chorus (level, type). I hope they will expand this over time with a delay or other effects.

And it also offers the following:

  • glide with auto-glide mode
  • arpeggiator with six types, sync rates, tap tempo, swing, six-octave range…
  • multi-function joy stick control (pitch bend, performable vibrato, latching hold mode)
  • duophonic mode control: duo mode, duo mode with a simple filter, and pan control for duophonic voicing
  • patch memory for 200 patches (100 factory presets)
  • 37-full-size semi-weighted-velocity-sensitive and aftertouch keybed

On the back, you can stereo 1/4” line outs: l/r, headphone socket, pedal input, MIDI in/out/thru, USB-C, DC-9V input, and a master power switch.

First Look

First Impression

At first glance, an intriguing hybrid synth that carries Chris Huggett’s DNA. The British developer was known for synths with a special sound. I’m curious how the final version will sound and perform. It’s hard to say something definitively on this because it was an engineering sample and not a “final” release.

PWM Mantis will be available around late Summer/Q3 2023 for $1499 or 1599€/£1349 incl. VAT.

More information here: PWM 

Superbooth 23 News

Hardware Synthesizer News

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