As Kenneth Marut describes it, he’s created “a one-handed portable synthesizer from the future.” Given its beautiful cyberpunk-esque yellow and gray design, plus 8×8 LED matrix that displays sound information, it’s hard to disagree.
Besides looking awesome, the theremin-like device is meant to be an approachable intro to the world of digital sound synthesis, featuring only for discreet buttons and a pair of analog inputs. The first button activates the two oscillators, while the second button cycles through four preset waveform banks with a corresponding animation displaying on the LED matrix. Octaves can then be shifted with the other two buttons on top, while the analog input on the bottom controls a detune function to change the output from one of the oscillators. Frequency is varied by a sensor on the front which detects how far the musician’s hand (or another object) is from it.
Moon Germs is powered by a Teensy 3.2 board, along with a corresponding audio shield. A desktop app is also available for more advanced audio adjustment, and it’s able to work with the device in real-time.
Whether you’d like to get into electronic music, or just want a cool droning gadget that looks straight out of Snow Crash, this appears to be an excellent platform. If you’d like to build your own, files are available on GitHub.