Dedicated hardware for hybrid VST and VSTi development.

Analog bits are integrated with digital ones to get vintage sound and new combinations.

It is polyphonic and velocity sensitive.

Complex envelopes can be drawn on screen to control hardware and software.

New VST and VSTi can use this gear.

Sound is generated through your sound card. You don't have to pay two times for A/D and D/A converters.

Analog box is controlled by 14-bit midi (smooth sweeps).

New modules can be added to hardware:

  • Tube stage

  • State variable filters

Assembling the "Tube" version. From left to right:
  • Control/interface module
  • Analog unit
  • Tube unit

Control/Signal paths go through existing audio/midi board

New software is developed for RealThing series.

"RealFilter" is a small and simple step sequencer.

It synchronizes to host and controls hardware filters.

  • Hardware external analog box

  • Connected to two audio board inputs, one output and midi in/out

  • Two oscillators: analog waveforms, digital waveforms, additive

  • Two filters: analog 24dB LP with resonance, digital multimode

  • Frequency modulation

  • Amplitude modulation

  • Amplitude, pitch, filter envelopes

  • Overdrive with pre and post-eq, "shape" control

  • Chorus/Flanger

  • Modulation matrix

  • Hardware pre-filter and post-filter insert paths

  • Easy interface

RealThing includes hardware designs by

ELBY Designs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: "What does <not hardware with a VSTi interface> mean?"

A: - Let's say that you have an analog synth and a midi-CV controller. If somebody writes a VSTi that sends commands to your midi-CV controller, you have "hardware with a vsti controller". Your analog synth behaves exactly like from a panel but with a remote control on your monitor. This is NOT this case!

- Here you have analog sub-systems (the important ones, like osc and filter) and a control system that controls them in a strange way, to get what it needs. Then you have a VSTi. It makes that controlling, uses these data, generates the optional digital part, combines both and generates polyphonic, velocity sensitive, hybrid sounds. If you want more analog parts, you can add them. I.e.: tube drive unit is on the way.


Q: "Why didn't you do it with USB?"

A: Because it would have been a lot more expensive. RealThing has been designed to be low-budget, while using best components and solutions.


Q: " Why design an audio-midi card and put it inside the box?"

A: You can buy very good converters (if you want) and use them for everything else, too! And you won't have compatibility problems.


Q: "How much does it cost?"

A: About 350, depending on the configuration. New VSTs and VSTis will be free.


Q: "Can it be expanded?"

A: Yes. The next modules will be "Tube drive unit" and "State variable filters". "Real tonewheels" unit is at a more experimental stage. More: there are pre-filter and post-filter insert paths, for hardware.


Q: "Can you show me how <xyz> sounds? (i.e. envelopes, pulse width mod, etc.)"

A: I'm trying to get "extreme" sounds in the audio demos that you find here. If you want to hear something special (or compare it with another synth), please record a midi file and send it, I'll upload the resulting audio file.


Q: "Which platform do you support?"

A: It is for Windows.

Audio demo

No external effects added


A fast monophonic sequence. There is a hardware guitar overdrive stompbox in pre-filter insert where the demo starts to scream. Hardware and software components play together in this demo:

1) Monophonic. Overdriven and filtered (2.92MB)


Enveloped hardware filter is smooth (12 bit control voltage). A slow envelope to show that there are not audible "steps":

2) Polyphonic. Slow filter envelope is smooth (290kB)


Filter sounds analog because it is analog. No emulation here, one oscillator:

3) Monophonic. Fast filter envelope and changing settings, resonant bass (1.22MB)


Two analog oscillators play together while changing pulsewidth on the first one:

4) Monophonic. I like pulse width (163kB)


Slow envelope controls hardware, two oscillators:

5) Polyphonic. Slow attack on filter (138kB)