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Bullfrog synthesizer powered by a Raspberry Pi

The music industry has just been introduced to a new synthesizer that’s capturing the attention of musicians and educators alike. The Bullfrog synthesizer, a collaborative creation by Erica Synths and techno pioneer Richie Hawtin, is a sophisticated instrument that’s making waves with its innovative features and educational potential. This synthesizer is not just another piece of equipment; it’s a comprehensive tool that offers a hands-on approach to learning and creating music.

At the heart of the Bullfrog synthesizer is the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller, which powers its ability to manage MIDI and function as a Sampler/Looper voice card. This is a significant feature for those who are serious about music production or eager to dive into the world of sound synthesis. The Bullfrog is designed to be user-friendly, with an analog structure that’s easy to understand and manipulate. It includes essential components such as a Voltage-Controlled Oscillator, Voltage-Controlled Filter, and Voltage-Controlled Amplifier with Delay, all of which are the building blocks for generating a wide array of sounds.

The synthesizer’s design allows for extensive experimentation with sound, thanks to additional elements like envelope generators and a Sample&Hold section. For those who want to expand their setup, the Bullfrog is Eurorack compatible, meaning it can be connected with other modules to create a more complex system. It comes with three specialized voice cards—each with a different function like acid bassline, sampler-looper, and sequencer—as well as three blank cards for users to customize their patches.

Raspberry Pi Bullfrog synthesizer

“If you follow the techno, dance, or DJ scenes, then you almost certainly know Richie Hawtin, the legendary DJ and producer whose enduring influence has shaped countless dimensions of the modern electronic music space. What you might not know, however, is Richie’s dedication to education and bringing music creation to the masses, and he found the perfect partner in Latvian sound hounds Erica Synths. Founder Girts Ozolins stopped by Sweetwater for a detailed dive into the delightfully distinct Bullfrog semi-modular analog synthesizer, which boasts a characteristic sonic palette that novices and professionals alike will adore, supplemented by a slew of tools perfectly suited for educating burgeoning producers and synthesists. “


Connectivity is a strong suit for the Bullfrog, which boasts a variety of ports for CV and MIDI, audio outputs, power sockets, and configuration buttons. This level of control and flexibility is a boon for musicians who want to fine-tune their sound or integrate the synthesizer into larger setups. The Bullfrog is designed for portability and convenience, allowing users to make music on the go, whether they’re using the built-in speaker or headphones.

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To help users get the most out of their synthesizer, a detailed 77-page manual is included with the Bullfrog. This guide covers everything from the basics of sound generation to more advanced synthesis techniques, making it a valuable resource for both novices and seasoned professionals. The Bullfrog’s capacity for expansion is another highlight, with the option to connect CV keyboards or additional Raspberry Pi units, ensuring that the synthesizer can grow with the user’s developing skills.

XL version

Beyond its capabilities as a musical instrument, the Bullfrog serves an important role in education. An XL version of the synthesizer is used in workshops to teach the principles of sound synthesis, demonstrating its value as a learning tool. This educational aspect is a testament to the synthesizer’s versatility and the vision of its creators to not only produce music but also to impart knowledge.

The Bullfrog synthesizer is robustly constructed, with an 8-octave VCO range, Pulse Width Modulation, and multiple input/output ports, all indicative of its high-quality craftsmanship. The partnership between Erica Synths and Richie Hawtin has resulted in a synthesizer that stands out in the crowded field of electronic music instruments. It’s a testament to their commitment to quality and innovation, and it’s sure to be a hit with anyone who’s passionate about music creation and sound design.

This new tool is poised to become a staple in the studios of musicians and the classrooms of educators, offering a unique blend of practicality, versatility, and educational value. Whether you’re a budding musician looking to explore the world of sound synthesis or an experienced producer seeking a new instrument to add to your arsenal, the Bullfrog synthesizer is worth considering. Its combination of intuitive design, educational benefits, and expansion possibilities make it a noteworthy addition to the music technology landscape.  For a full review of the Bullfrog synthesizer jump over to the official Raspberry Pi magazine website. The Bullfrog synthesizer is now available to purchase priced at $609

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lisa nichols

My lisa Nichols is an accomplished article writer with a flair for crafting engaging and informative content. With a deep curiosity for various subjects and a dedication to thorough research, lisa Nichols brings a unique blend of creativity and accuracy to every piece

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