MiniTouch – Low-Cost Synth for Workshops

Creating a project with Teensy boards is cool, but you know what’s really cool? Creating a project that lets other people, who might not ordinarily be able to approach a microcontroller-based project, build something amazing.

This was Emmanuel Presselin’s goal with the Teensy 3.2-based MiniTouch low-cost synth, targeted for use in workshops with children ten and older.

The MiniTouch consists of two PCBs: one for the FastTouch-powered capacitive-touch keyboard, and one for the Teensy, pots, and mini class-D amp, which is connected to standard 10W TV speaker. The Teensy 3.2’s built-in DAC is used to provide 4-voice polyphony, a band-limited oscillator, ADSR, low-pass filter, filter envelope, LFO, reverb, and portamento effects.

Fifteen presets can be tweaked with a separate app based on Max/MSP. A laser-cut enclosure, batteries, and a handful of knobs give workshop participants something they can be proud of having built, then take home and enjoy further without any specialized tools or knowledge. While Emmanuel has no plans to release the source or build instructions, you can see a great demo of its capabilities in the video below.