The World’s Smallest Synth – Ingenious or Pointless?


Tiny Synth Featured 128x71 1The World’s Smallest Synth – Ingenious or Pointless?

Mitxela Smallest USB-C Synth

Ignoring the maxim of “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”, Tim Alex Jacobs’ quest to build the world’s smallest synth ever continues!

The World’s Smallest Synth

Mitxela Smallest USB-C Synth

Mitxela Smallest USB-C Synth

The world is full of amazing yet seemingly pointless stuff. Wasps, for example. Or <insert name of least favourite politician here>. And I am sure there are many examples in the world of music technology. However, Tim Alex Jacobs does not see this as a stop sign. No, he sees this as an opportunity to stretch his grey matter and flabbergast ours.

(Not so) hot on the heels of his last attempt at creating the world’s smallest synth comes the ‘Smallest USB-C MIDI Synth’. You see, this isn’t Tim’s first foray into the world of synthesizer miniaturisation. He’s got form in these parts. But this might just be his biggest (or smallest) success yet.

Mitxela Smallest USB-C Synth

Mitxela Smallest USB-C Synth

This tiny unit is more USB-C plug than anything else. On the other end is a teeny-tiny piezo buzzer. In between is where the magic happens. Tim has very cleverly designed a PCB that is the same diameter as the buzzer upon which sits the USB-C plug on one side and a 32-bit RISC-V controller.

A Chip, A Plug and A Buzzer

Tim has been able to code some USB-MIDI functionality onto this chip and then mount the USB-C plug directly onto it. I refer you to Tim’s excellent website for the exact details, most of which fly WAY over my head! This then attaches to the piezo buzzer and hey presto! A functional MIDI synth is born.

Now, to rein in your expectations, this is limited in its sonic capability. Tim goes out of his way to clarify this. It can produce a single, monophonic square wave voice. It serves almost no practical use whatsoever in the professional music world. Come to think of it, not in any music world. But let’s not forget that from tiny seeds grow mighty oaks. Who knows where clever development such as this could lead?

Mitxela Smallest USB-C Synth

Mitxela Smallest USB-C Synth

More Information

Looking at Tim’s website, awash as it is with utterly brilliant and similarly bonkers projects, it could lead to a great many things!

Check out Tim’s excellent video and make sure you watch it all. The finale is utterly joyful and equally silly.

Bravo Tim!

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