Abstrakt Instruments VS-1 Analog Synth - Oberheim OB-X Inspired Rackmount Synth

Project Update #22:

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
Sep 8, 2020

We're back to work after a weeks vacation. Lots of parts have come in - highlights include the delivery of the I/O board, AS3080's, phone jacks, heat sinks, and the rest of the power supply enclosures:


Alfa Rpar AS3080


Phone Jacks



The phone jacks were critical as the motherboard PCB's have been sitting waiting for these parts for assembly. They went out today to the assembly house.
Outsanding Parts
Below is the short list of parts we're still waiting for:
  • Enclosure [new date October 12th! see below]
  • Microcontroller module [TBD but estimated September 28]
  • 10k trimpot (chorus board) [September 8th (should be here this week)]
  • 1nF polysytrene caps (voice card DIY kits only) [September 17th]
  • 10-pin header (voice cards DIY kits only) [September 18th]

The flash IC's for the microcontroller modules finally arrived at Embedded Artists last week and they are making them now - delivery will not be dependent on this assembly.
The big elephant is the enclosure. They are overdue and have not shipped yet - they are scheduled to ship this week. We spent an extra 7-10 days supplying the artwork last month and it delayed them a little. This became irrelevant when we realized the manufacturer made the front panels w/ the previous revision files and had to remake them again (the production files for the front panel contain countersinks for the potentiometers so the knobs are spaced perfectly with the panel). We will have a better idea on ETA when they are on the boat.
We need all the time we can get to finalize a production ready firmware. Even w/ all the delays there have been so far we would have still needed this time to work on the firmware. We will finally start demoing all the new features once we get a few production enclosures here. We haven't had a fully working unit w/sound hooked up for several weeks now. Also, we've been very cautious not to demo any features with sound until all production level parts are in place and the firmware is fully tested.
The ship dates will be determined by the firmware. We won't estimate revised dates but there's no long term delay - we're week to week. The DIY kits may start shipping while the firmware is in beta.
DIY Kits
These are a lot of busy work. For the parts kits most of the simple parts have been packed into individual kits already (resistors, capacitors etc...). We still need to pack all of the connectors, some of the IC's and all of hardware that has arrived recently. The pic below is the rest of the parts.


Diy Parts
War das Projekt nicht mal für Juni geplant? Jetzt ist schon fast November.. kommt da noch was?
Dauert alles länger als geplant. Corona anybody?

Project Update #23:
Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
Oct 8, 2020

Apologies for the gap before this update. We’re working as hard as we can and time seems to go by unbelievably fast. First off right up front we don’t have firm shipping dates yet for the VS-1 DIY kits or the complete VS-1 units. I hesitate to give firm dates if I’m not certain they will be met. However, I can confirm that we’re down to a small set of milestones remaining.

Outstanding Parts

Enclosure [revised date November 3rd see below]
Microcontroller module [50pcs shipped, balance estimated Oct 22]

That’s it. Everything else has arrived with the exception of the mainboard PCB assembly. We’re waiting as long as we can while working on the software to implement any last minutes changes.


The manufacturer missed the target date and returns from Chinese national holiday on October 9th. They’re shipping us a few sets by priority air mail to check out first. The balance of parts are ready to go on a boat once we approve.


Firmware progress is good. We’re working on code to make the OS as stable and efficient as possible. We’ve added the realtime operating system and we are implementing dynamic memory allocation and improved serial & usb midi.


We have made good progress on the documentation for the DIY builds. We will make all the build docs available on the website at the time of shipping.
Project Update #24: Microcontroller modules - first parts have arrived

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
Oct 11, 2020

The first of the modules arrived and no problems. The rest of them will arrive in 2-3 weeks.

Project Update #25: VS-1 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer by Abstrakt Instruments

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
Oct 28, 2020

The production enclosures samples finally arrived this week and they are approved. The enclosures are going on a boat today. We will be posting a video update Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
Brian Castro | Abstrakt Instruments

Project Update #27: VS-1 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer by Abstrakt Instruments

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
Dec 23, 2020

Happy Holidays. I hope you are all doing well.
We've been working on a more in-depth update with some demo's but I couldn't finish it up before the holiday break. Nonetheless a progress update is well overdue.
We still don't have a firm date for delivery for the DIY kits and retail version. Please note we are acutely aware that we have zoomed part our original estimate and we are working as fast as possible. We are targeting late February to start shipping DIY kits, with the retail VS-1 shortly thereafter.
We're down to very few tasks at this point:
  • Software development. The is the primary focus. There are no problems it's just taking long. We don't want to ship the retail VS-1 until we get close to a v1.0 candidate.
  • Production. We have staged one of our 1000 sq ft rooms for production. This is for staging of all the parts, packing of the DIY kits, and final assembly of the retail VS-1.
  • VS-1 DIY Build Docs. We've finished the build docs for the voice card and panelboard pcb assemblies. We still need to complete the voice motherboard, mainboard & chorus board pcb's and the mechanical assembly.
Brian Castro | Abstrakt Instruments
Week 47 Update
(die Community musste Brian etwas motivieren, aber nun hat er ein Update rausgerückt)

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
Mar 3, 2021

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for your patience waiting for everything to come together. It's been (10) weeks since the most recent update and I wanted to check in to let you all know everything is ok. There are no risks to report but the weeks are flying by as we work to complete the firmware and get setup for production.

We will get out some more substantial updates with firmware and audio demo's as soon as possible - and make an effort to update you more often even if there is nothing too exciting to report.

Brian Castro | Abstrakt Instruments
Project Update #30: VS-1 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer by Abstrakt Instruments

Week 54 update

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
May 7, 2021

(auf den Link klicken und das Video anschauen)

Project Update #31: VS-1 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer by Abstrakt Instruments

Week 55 update

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
May 14, 2021

This week has been productive. There are two specific objectives that were focused on.

1) Progress was made on the build docs for the DIY kits. The goal is to have them uploaded and ready to go when the DIY kits start to ship.

2) Progress was made on the firmware. The bootloader is being finalized so that it is easy for users & builders to update the firmware.

Lastly, we have been asked by a few backers about the availability of the Full Parts Kits for the DIY kits, as there are only a few kits left on our website. After receiving your feedback last year about which parts kits you would be interested in we ended up buying additional parts for 65 Full Parts Kits. By contrast there are 105 DIY Kits. The parts for these 65 Full Parts Kits have already been purchased last year and packed over the previous several months. Now that we are close to the end we may find that more of you would like to buy the Full Pats Kits around the time we start shipping. If we need to invest in more Full Parts Kits we will do so and no backers that would like one will be left without one.

Brian Castro | Abstrakt Instruments
Och, ich dachte jetzt der wurde endlich geliefert und dein Grinsen ist auf „Ultra wide spread“...
Ne, mein Grinsen ist noch normal :) Aber es gibt immer wieder kleine Sachen, die ich mir gönne, damit die Grinsmuskeln nicht aus der Übung kommen.
... Aber wenn alles da ist, wieso werden die Kisten nicht verschickt?
Update #29 ansehen. Ein Board ist noch nicht produziert und erst wenn die Firmware fertig ist und alles funktioniert, wird es beauftragt. Nur so können last Minuten changes vermieden werden.
Project Update #32: VS-1 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer by Abstrakt Instruments

Week 57 update

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
June 3, 2021

Work continues on the firmware and build manual. We're finally back to getting the VS-1 working as a unit again instead of testing individual components of the firmware. Every aspect of the software for every input & output peripheral and protocol has been reimagined and redesigned from the time of the prototype to improve workflow and performance. It has taken a very long time but is worth it. Thank you everyone for your continued patience. We will continue to keep you updated.

Brian Castro | Abstrakt Instruments
Project Update #33: VS-1 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer by Abstrakt Instruments

Week 58 update

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
June 14, 2021

It has been another reasonably productive week. As mentioned a few times already we want to have the proper build documents ready as soon as DIY kits start shipping. It takes a lot of busy work getting them done so there's been many more long days spent on these. In addition of course is the continued work on the firmware and testing fully working units with the final design. The final stages should start picking up fast shortly in regards to completion and shipping.

Brian Castro | Abstrakt Instruments
Project Update #34: VS-1 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer by Abstrakt Instruments

Week 59 update

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
June 25, 2021

There's not too much to update on this week. We spent a few days rearranging one of the big rooms again to organize all the boxed kits for shipping. It takes up quite a bit of space for dozens of boxes and we still need quick access to every box as there are still some parts that will need to be added. We also had another backer stop by and visit the office. Quite a few of you are local - but we are also very close to LAX - so every few months or so we get a visit. Very nice to meet you guys. Other than this I know it sounds like a broken record but firmware, firmware, firmware.

Have a good weekend!

Brian Castro | Abstrakt Instruments
Es gab noch Updates 35-40, zuletzt am 19.10., ich bin nicht mehr zum Posten gekommen. Man wartet auf die PCB Assemblies aus Übersee und entwickelt an der Firmware. Die Backer betteln auf Kickstarter um Updates. Seit 6 Wochen im Westen nichts Neues. Mal sehen, was so passiert. Ich poste die Updates dann noch irgendwann.
Was bin ich froh da nicht mitgemacht zu haben. Hat mein Bauchgefühl sich mal wieder bestätigt
Project Update #35: VS-1 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer by Abstrakt Instruments

Week 61 update

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
Jul 15, 2021

Hope everyone is well. We were out of the office the majority of last week so please excuse the lack of update. We have made good progress with the firmware. There were some issues w/ the endless potentiometers needing to be scanned more frequently than ideal and some value glitching. This has been correctly by modifying the implementation. Now they will take up 20x less of execution time and leave more time for time-critical function. We are also going to be doing more testing w/ the OLED display in the final configuration w/ everything else to make sure the I2C is robust enough and there isn't any audible noise. There is no problem to this point but we haven't tested the units in the final configuration w/ all functions running simultaneously. Other this this we still need to work on the final DAC routines for sending the control voltages as well as the code for the fan controller.

Brian Castro | Abstrakt Instruments
Project Update #36: VS-1 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer by Abstrakt Instruments

next update coming 8/12

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
Aug 10, 2021

Just a quick note the next update will be coming Thursday. The office has been closed since 8/4 due to unexpected circumstances. If you have submitted any support inquiries in the past 5 days we may be slow to respond. We will be back on the 12th.

Brian Castro | Abstrakt Instruments
Project Update #37: VS-1 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer by Abstrakt Instruments

Week 63 update

Posted by Abstrakt Instruments
Aug 12, 2021

Despite the missed update last week there has been progress. We finalized the mainboard and it is finally getting manufactured. We have mentioned many times that the mainboard was being held back from production until we were confident there are no more changes necessary (all of the digital/firmware peripherals reside on the mainboard). We ended up with 4 or 5 revisions in all - some shown in the pic. The production parts now have an additional off-cpu-module ROM and provisions for two types of OLED displays.


We are just as anxious to get the VS-1 kits and pre-built units out as I'm sure you are to receive them. It's been a very long but methodical road to get to this point - we hope you will be very happy with the outcome. Things are going to be moving fast over the next several weeks as we move away from designing and more towards fulfillment.

Brian Castro | Abstrakt Instruments

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