Producer Richie Hawtin has teamed up with a leading European hardware manufacturer to create an “educational” electronic music instrument.
The Bullfrog is a hardware synthesizer Hawtin created with Erica Synths. Designed to be a teaching instrument but a very real instrument nonetheless, the Bullfrog is a compact but powerful piece of gear selling for €500.
The Bullfrog is designed as a “classical subtractive synthesizer,” meaning it consists of several modules for sound generation, control and modulation. The small faceplate is tightly tuned to allow for patching via the included Eurorack patch cables to create sounds. The Bullfrog has a fully analog design, manually adjustable and voltage-controlled waveshapes, a Zener diode-based noise generator, resonant lowpass voltage controlled filter, voltage-controlled amplifier, delay effect, manual gate button, voicecard slot, built-in speaker, DIN5 MIDI input, USB connector and more. It also uses conventional language and terminology used in sound design. Unlike some modern instruments, learning how to use the Bullfrog is knowledge that is transferable to instruments other than the Bullfrog.
“The Bullfrog is a synthesizer dreamed up by Erica Synths and I to inspire and welcome a younger audience into the world of electronic music,” Hawtin says. “Although first considered for someone’s first steps into synthesis the final robust design will also fit comfortably into anyone’s studio and/or performance setup. I can’t wait to see where the Bullfrog leads a curious new generation.”
The Bullfrog retails for €500 (about $540, £430) and is shipping now as of November 2023.