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The inspiring story of BASTL Instruments

February 9, 2021 (Syndicated From

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A couple of days ago I went down a rabbit hole. I started the deep dive into learning about Synthesizers. You know the thing that looks like a piano keyboard but makes robot noises.

My journey took me from youtube to ebay, and back again. I was scowering lists of “Top 10 best beginner synths”. Eventually I found the world of Modular Synthesizers.

These things just look cool.

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It looks like being at the helm of a spaceship.

The programmer / engineer in me lights up a like a little kid. Imagine the possibilities. Is it possible I can create a sound that nobody else ever created? Something original? Something emotional? Something rad? Turns out this is a very expensive hobby. Each Module can run well into the hundreds.

I soon started coming across one module brand over and over BASTL. Then I found this: Bastl Instruments Cuckoo Documentary 2017.

BASTL makes beautiful instruments.

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It’s a documentary of the people behind BASTL working on the company. They’re a passionate crew who get friends to help out and solder components. This heavily reminded me of the early days of Apple, just a bunch of passionate tinker-people / hackers making things for themselves and their community.

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I love this ethos. I love the combination of people working on the team. I love that they’re making a physical device, a thing, and how small and scrappy the operation is. I love how they’re good at what they do.

Software developers can learn a great deal from the people at BASTL. They’re not looking for an IPO, or investor funding, they’re trying to create great musical instruments and share them with others. There’s more here then just money.

I’d love it if we could embrace this community ethos, teach others, facilitate more hacker spaces. Build things that people can use to express themselves. Monetization is not an end goal.