Oskitone Scout is an open-source synth that you can build and hack

Put this battery-powered microcontroller together in 45 minutes and manipulate its code.

San Franciso-based Oskitone has released Scout, a build-it-yourself monosynth that you can put together in 45 minutes. It’s open-source, too, and Oskitone encourages you to hack it and reprogram its code to customise the sound.

Scout is beginner-friendly, thanks to through-hole components for easy assembly and soldering. It’s powered by AAA batteries and has a built-in speaker for full standalone operation, too. And if you have a 3D printer, you can print parts for the compact, 160mm-wide synth on Mini size print beds, Scout Oskitone says that these features make Scout “a fine introductory DIY instrument for the budding electronics hobbyist.”

Oskitone created Scout with a keyboard of one and a half octaves, a volume knob, an on/off switch, speaker and headphone mini-jack line out. It produces a square wave with fixed glide and octave, but you can’t tweak the sound with any of the controls mentioned. You might wonder why there are no parameters for selecting different waveforms, altering filter cutoff, envelope shaping, and no MIDI or CV support. Oskitone states that although these features are the fundamentals of a synth, that they are unnecessary for the target demographic.

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So how can you alter the sound? If you’re keen to hack Scout, you can connect it to a computer via an FTDI Serial TTL-232 cable and update its code using the Arduino IDE software. You can find the code on Github.

If you like the sound of building Scout, you can pick up a DIY kit with prices starting at $42. Otherwise, you can purchase a pre-assembled Scout for £125. It’s available in two loud colours: Atomic Pink and yellow, perfecting for brightening up your studio.

Learn more at oskitone.com.

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