Superbooth 24: Synthux Academy Touch 2, open-source tactile synth with swappable firmware

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Superbooth 24: Synthux Academy Touch 2 is a new open-source Daisy Seed-powered tactile Synthesizer with swappable firmware.

There are various options for learning how to design or build synthesizers, such as in school, through books, videos, etc. The Dutch non-profit organization Synthux Academy offers various workshops where you can learn programming and engineering skills with actual hardware output.

So, it is not only theoretical but also practical.  For Superbooth 24, Roey from Synthux Academy introduced Touch2, its first ready-to-use instrument. 

Synthux Academy Touch 2

Synthux Academy Touch 2

Touch 2 is a new open-source tactile Synthesizer designed for tactile interaction and hands-on control. It is powered by a Daisy Seed microcontroller (96kHz / 24-bit audio, ARM Cortex-M7 MCU, running at 480MHz, and has 64MB of SDRAM for up to 10-minute audio buffers).

According to Synthux Academy, it also works with Teensy/Arduino. Thanks to its open-source nature, Touch 2 can be anything from an analog-style multi-voice subtractive synth, a drum machine, a looper, an effects processor, and more.

This is where Synthux Academy’s educational mission comes in again. They invite users to develop their codes and share them with the community. That’s not all. Besides the ability to upload new firmware, they also offer swappable faceplates for customizing your synth visuals. It ships with four faceplates. 

The hardware is simple, hands-on, and divided into two sections. The top section is where you can tweak your sounds and where the Daisy is located. It has six trim knobs, two faders, and two switches. Here, you also get a stereo input and output.

The second part consists of 12 touch pads that form a tactile interface with different notes. An arpeggiator is also available.
 Synthux Academy Touch 2

Swappable Firmware

A strength of the Touch 2 is the ability to create and upload new firmware. A quick upload via the USB port can transform the instrument into something new—the Touch 2 ships with four factory firmware. 

  • Touch String: a physical modeling/resonator Synthesizer based on the Mutable Instruments Rings open-source code. It creates organic sounds with added distortion and modulation.
  • Touch Bass – Synthesizer with AM and a built-in generative melody maker for thick basses, leads, and pads.

Further, the Touch Looper firmware turns your synth into a sampler/looper. Plug a signal into the stereo input to sample, loop, stretch, and manipulate your recordings in real time. Next is a stereo effects processor engine (Touch FX) with a wobbly delay, chorus, reverb, and various distortions.

First Impression

A lovely project that is interesting for musicians as well as developers. I’m curious to see what firmware versions will be available for it in the future.

Synthux Academy Touch 2 is available now in an assembled version for 179€ (ex VAT) or as an DIY kit for 119€ (ex VAT).

More information here: Synthux Academy

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1 Comment

  1. I will buy one or two of the Touch2 Kits. Absolutely love the flexibility and possibilities for more firmware features in many ways like generative bass and fx device. Thanks, Synthux👍

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