Patchable Analog Synthesizer

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Portable, patchable, powerful modular-inspired synthesizer.

PHENOL is a new type of electronic instrument from Kilpatrick Audio. Inspired by modular synthesizers, PHENOL offers the creative potential, sound and hands-on experience of a modular synth, in a sleek, compact and affordable package. And best of all, PHENOL is compatible with modular systems because it uses the same voltages and banana connectors as the Kilpatrick Format and similar modular synthesizers.

Whether you already love modular synthesizers and want a smaller instrument for portability, or whether you've heard about modular synths and want to get your feet wet, PHENOL offers an amazing instrument at a great price.


  • Banana patch system with colour-coded jacks and voltages compatible with Kilpatrick Format and other modular systems.
  • Two analog VCOs - triangle, ramp and pulse outputs
  • Two analog filters - low pass and band pass (formerly labeled high pass)
  • Two analog VCAs with level control
  • Two envelope generator / LFO combos with many unique features (digital)
  • An LFO with sine and random output (digital)
  • Internal MIDI to CV converter with DIN and USB MIDI interfaces
  • Built-in MIDI sequencer / looper
  • Compact mixer with digital delay (330ms of delay time)
  • Digital pulse divider - divide MIDI clock, LFOs or audio signals into useful musical divisions
  • Buffered analog mixer / mult / inverter with level control
  • Two external audio inputs buffer and amplify line-level signals - process drum machine or other audio sources through the system
  • Rear panel connections / controls:
    • USB-B port for USB MIDI connection to a PC / Mac
    • Headphone and line outputs (1/4" jacks)
    • Power button
    • DC power input - 2.1mm coax - centre positive 24VDC
    • Ground banana jack
    • External input (1/4" jacks)
  • Power input: 24VDC @ 250mA (500mA regulated supply required)
  • Operating temperature: 15C to 30C (59F to 86F)
  • Storage temperature: -10C to 45C (14F to 113F)
  • Dimensions: 15.8"W x 8.8"L x 2.5"H (including feet and knobs)
  • Weight: 5lbs (2.27kg)
  • Universal input power supply (100-240V) included
    • units purchased from North American dealers ship with a US-style plug
    • units purchased from UK, EU and Australian dealers ship with a set of plugs for US, UK, EU and Australia
  • Designed and made in Canada using high quality parts
  • Warranty: 1 year (30 day warranty on cables)
  • Comes packaged with 10x starter banana cables. More may be ordered below.


PHENOL is based on the Kilpatrick Format modular synth released by Andrew Kilpatrick in 2012. Specs for this system designed for DIY and commercial makers to use are freely available.

The use of banana jacks makes it really easy to interface PHENOL with other gear, even your own projects. The jacks are inexpensive and easy to build into nice looking weekend DIY projects. If enough people are interested we'll dedicate a section of our site to feature interesting things you can build to add on to your PHENOL!

  • Gate / Pulse Signals - A gate or pulse signal is 0V when off and 5V when on. These are output on red banana jacks and input on white jacks. Input trigger when the voltage rises above about 1V.
  • Audio / CV Signals - Audio and CV signals range from about -5V to +5V. These signals are output on grey banana jacks and input on black jacks. Envelopes and VCAs use the full range of control from -5V to +5V. All signals are intercompatible.
  • Pitch CV Signals - Pitch signals calibrated to musical pitch are specified as 1V/octave. When disconnected (0V) oscillators should be in the centre of their range.
  • Impedances - As a general rule: CV outputs are 1K impedance (100 ohms for pitch CV) and 20K or more input. (100K for pitch CV)

Voltage Compatibility with Other Systems

Many people have asked about the compatibility between PHENOL and other modular formats. As was stated above, PHENOL uses the same voltage standards as the Kilpatrick Format modular system which will hopefully be adapted as an industry format within the coming years. It solves a number of existing problems with most modular systems both electrically and mechanically.

Specific compatibility notes:

  • All CV and audio signals range from -5V to +5V. Pitch uses the industry standard 1V/octave.
  • Pulse and gate signals use 0V = off, and +5V = on. This is pretty much the standard on most systems. PHENOL pulse/gate inputs will activate with voltages above about 1V.
  • The main difference with Kilpatrick Format / PHENOL is that envelopes and VCAs use the entire voltage range, instead of simply positive-only voltages which are often used on other systems for envelopes, VCAs and some digital modules like MIDI to CV converters. You might need to boost an external signal (with the ADDER section) or attenuate a signal leaving PHENOL (with the input control on the other module) to make them interface perfectly.
  • The use of fully bipolar voltages for all CV signals means that every output and input is compatible and you never have to wonder if the range of signal will be right. Additionally, always using bipolar voltages means that the local control such as tuning, cutoff, etc. is generally at the middle of its range and the CV input simple adds or subtracts to the existing setting. This makes logical sense and works better when patching and unpatching on the fly.
  • Conversion to/from other cable types such as minijack (1/8" or 3.5mm) or 1/4" can be easily accomplished by making a small breakout box or just making cables that have a banana plug on one end and the other type of plug on the other end. The only important concern is that you must connect the ground of your other system to the front panel ground connection on PHENOL before patching. You can use a minijack / banana cable plugged into an unused jack on your other system to ensure the ground is connected all the time. PHENOL provides a dedicated ground jack for this purpose.
More Information
Price $879.00
Vendor Item Number PHENOL
Special Order 1
Coming Qty 0
Manufacturer Kilpatrick
Stock Status In Stock
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