November 24

Grey-haired boffins insert synthesizer music chip into human hand


Who says you can’t do creative work once you get the wrong side of 60 years old? Certainly not Tony Keane and Dave Litten

But you don’t believe everything you read on the internet – Do You?

Of course not.

We did not read up on “How to be a Surgeon in under 7 days using razor blades” either!

But what Tony and I have done, is use our combined electronics and music expertise to create the world’s first (music) polyphonic synthesizer on a chip – the PolyMorph

That’s it above laying on top of my hand.

It connects to any MIDI controller – so no need to buy yet another keyboard.

Of course you will want to hook your PolyMorph wizardry up to a suitable panel of controls and mount them all in a suitable enclosure – and that’s the fun bit – right?

So here’s a suggested layout – looks cool huh? (and all just using regular pots, switches, sockets and LED’s)

Remember, ALL of these functions are available directly from our single chip!

Grey-haired boffins insert synthesizer music chip into human hand 1

And in case you are thinking ‘I expect it’s just a fudged paraphonic with a shared filter like all the rest’

NO, it’s FULLY Polyphonic with SIX voices each consisting of a dual voltage controlled oscillator, their own 24dB/octave low and high pass filter, and dedicated voltage controlled amplifier – plus two independent envelope generators.

In addition, check all the other cool performance features that you’ll only find with Keatten’s PolyMorph – such as:

  • External voltage follower
  • Sample and Hold for VCO and VCF with chromatic settings
  • Our amazing PolyGlide to morph complete chords into each other
  • External Mic input
  • Continuous VCO wave shape with morph, range, and pulse width
  • Low frequency oscillator with continuous morph, squeeze, and speed to independently control the VCO’s and VCF’s
  • Each Poly VCO has it’s own continuous morph and range with our unique Symphony feature
  • Red, pink, white, and violet morphed noise source
  • Comprehensive sound mixer for all sound sources
  • Tremolo Lift for the contour generators
  • Master tune control and audio output

Oh yes, and our exponential 15 octave oscillators and filters are precise and 100% drift-free, so no need for under-the-hood clunky presets and range compensation pots needing regular tweaking before, or worse, during your performance!

From the second you turn it on, our PolyMorph true polyphonic music synthesizer is locked solid, ready to rock, and performance-ready.

We figured that since there are 56 million websites on Google for the phrases, How to construct a synthesizer, with Best cheap polyphonic synth with How to build a polyphonic synthesizer adding another 5 million websites to the mix …

Then why hasn’t anyone thought of a creating a single chip on a four-inch square circuit board that does just that

And charge just 200 bucks for the privilege.

So, We Did. And it Works.

Wanna Own One?

PolyMorph Grey-haired boffin designers celebrate

Yay to Tony and me!

Aimed squarely at the home hobbyist and folks with electronic construction skills, we expect to launch in 2023 while working hard at creating the accompanying Constructors Guide, setting up a states-side manufacturing facility (we already found one), writing free open source code, and tweaking our still ‘under construction’ website –

Big shout out to the uber-talents of my smart nephew Nick Litten for the latter.

Our PolyMorph is also designed for those who prefer DIY synthesizer raspberry pi and DIY synthesizer Arduino – in fact anyone who is passionate for DIY synthesizers

Life In Spain

Don’t let anyone tell you the Spanish folks are workshy. The reason that idea got around, is that us Brits don’t understand the wonderful Spanish culture (until we get to live here). Tony by the way, lives in Rochester New York state.

Sure, Spanish workers don’t seem to wear watches or look at them – I have learned “Let’s meet up at 10 AM” probably means some time north of noon. And don’t accept quotes for work on an hourly basis – rather, ask for a fixed price.

When I pop into my local village of Pego, it is buzzing with Spanish tradesmen at 8:00 AM in the local bars – all drinking strong coffee accompanied by shots (chupito) of local brandy, smoking cigarettes while yarning to their buddies or on their smartphones.

As 9:00 AM gets closer they all skedaddle off to their work assignments – and they get straight to it – non-stop.

Come 2:00 AM they are off for their afternoon siesta with their whole family (yes, all schoolkids come home for ‘around the table’ lunch – TV dinners not allowed). Nice to see.

When 16:00 rolls around, they are back to work until it gets dark (anywhere between 6 o’clock to 9 o’clock at night)

Oh yes, and all my Spanish friends always have the time to stop and yarn.

Older folks take a chair onto the pavement outside their house and yarn with neighbours and any passers-by, I can’t imagine that from the last town I lived in England – back then, nobody seemed to have the time for others, or even knew who their neighbours were …

Probably the reason I still live in wonderful Spain after two decades.


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