The Fatman synth is a classic analog synthesizer that comes in the form of a user-assembled kit. Designed by the legendary DIY-synth company PAiA Electronics, the Fatman kit provides a unique opportunity for synth enthusiasts to build their own synth from scratch. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the Fatman kit and see how it performs in terms of the assembly process, design, and overall value.
It’s quite affordable in terms of analog synths, with total cost coming in under $250.
Starting with the assembly process, the Fatman kit comes with all the components needed to build the synth, including a PCB, discrete components, and a detailed instruction manual. The assembly process requires some basic electronics knowledge and soldering skills, but the manual provides clear and detailed instructions that make the process straightforward and accessible to most users.
Once assembled, the Fatman delivers the classic analog warmth and character that is synonymous with vintage-design analog synthesizers. The synth features two oscillators. The oscillators can be mixed and blended using the oscillator mixer, and can be further shaped using the resonant low-pass filter and envelope generator. The filter can be modulated using the VCA or VCF allowing for a wide range of filter effects and timbres, using the standard ADSR filters.
The Fatman also features a range of connectivity options, including MIDI input and output, a headphone jack, and line-level outputs. The synth can be controlled using any standard MIDI controller, making it easy to integrate into modern music production workflows.
Overall, the Fatman kit is a powerful (if not terribly versatile) analog synth that offers a lot of value for its price point. The sound is warm and full, with plenty of character and personality. The user-assembled kit adds an extra level of satisfaction and personalization to the experience, and the range of features and connectivity options make it a great choice for both beginner and experienced synthesists alike. The MIDI compatibility makes it easy to integrate the Fatman into a larger music production setup.
The only potential downside to the Fatman kit is that it may not be suitable for users who are not comfortable with electronics assembly or soldering. However, for those who are up for the challenge, the Fatman kit offers an excellent balance of sound quality, features, and value, making it a solid choice for anyone looking for a classic analog synth that they can build with their own hands.
As far as sound, well – it’s a monophonic analog synth you can build in a few days. Don’t expect to wring tones from this synth that sound like a Juno or Prophet…or even a Korg Monologue, for that matter.
This is not a synth you buy for the incredible sound (there is pretty much one “sound” that comes from this synth). This is a synth you buy to understand analog circuit design and truly learn synthesis from the ground up.