Bastl Instruments are a small company from the Czech Republic that have been producing some outstanding products for Eurorack and other hand-made electronic instruments since around 2011(they started out as Standuino then became Bastl in 2013).
The word Bastl in English roughly translates as ‘tinkering’ which is one thing I like to do with electronics and they have kindly sent me a Kastle synth to review.
The Kastle is a little modular synth that you can can either buy fully built or in D.I.Y. form and I recommend that if you are thinking of taking your first steps into a ‘modular’ synth/noise box world you can’t really go wrong with this ‘tiny’ box of tricks.
The Kastle D.I.Y kit comes with all the components you need to build it, case, mini patch cables, and small but informative manual and even some lovely stickers(we all love stickers don’t we??).
Building instructions aren’t included however they do have all the assembly guides online here http://www.bastl-instruments.com/kastle-assembly/
The PCB is of a good quality, and the design and although at first glance you think ‘wow this is small and fiddly’ it really isn’t that difficult at all to get all those components soldered in place.
There really isn’t much that can go wrong when putting this together. Only two values of resistor(clearly marked on the PCB), one type of capacitor, and a small number of diodes are the main ‘small’ components used.
The rest of the kit components comprise of header sockets, audio sockets/switch/LED/potentiometers and most importantly the two preprogrammed attiny 85 chips, one for the VCO and the other the LFO.
Once all the components are on(including the battery holder) it’s time to put the case on.
Again, this is simple and just four sides that slot around the PCB nicely and a panel to go on top to hold it all together. All held in place with the switch nut and one screw.
And once done you have a fantastic little digital modular device that sits I the palm of your hand.
So overall this is a great little kit to build, and very versatile little noise machine it is too. Use it on its own with its supplied ‘mini’ patch cables to produce its often quirky noises or connect it up to run your modular setup and vice versa.
Here’s a small demo of the Kastle’s LFO controlling a Techwillsaveus Synth kit.
And here is the product demo from Bastl themselves
Pretty cool piece of kit that fits in your hands. 😀
For more details you can visit the Bastl website Here