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PWM Instruments PWM Instruments

PWM Instruments Mantis Duophonic 37-Key Hybrid Synthesizer Keyboard

Q&A SKU #M02893000000000
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Duophonic hybrid-analog synthesizer with dual filter, 200 patch memory and full USB-C MIDI control.

The PWM Instruments Mantis Duophonic hybrid-analog synthesizer is a collaboration between the late Chris Huggett (Gnat, WASP, OSCar) and PWM. In development over the last period of his life, Huggett threw everything he could into the Mantis. Although incomplete when he passed away, he handed his part of the project over to Paul Whittington to see what could be made of it.

The OSCs are generated at boot up using complex mathematics. They run on a DSP chip that gives ultimate stability and control without compromising the unique sound. This is what makes the synth a hybrid; however, everything after that through the mixer, gain staging and the filter is analog.

The Filter is a multi-mode state variable VCA Filter with overdrive. It’s built using the SSI2164 chip in special configuration designed by Chris Huggett. There are two filters—one for each analog signal path. They can be combined in series or parallel and used with the width control and width modulation to create that distinctive sound only heard on the OSCar.

The Mantis has two simple digital effects: Reverb and Chorus. Reverb has a time and level adjustment but also a high- and low-pass filter that can be switched in to limit unwanted lower mud and/or higher bouncy twinkles.

The Mantis has two ADSR envelopes but each has an additional Sustain Fall parameter and negative and positive velocity modulation level hardwired for convenience. Sustain Fall allows you to create a drop before release even while a key is held for greater sound design possibilities. Each envelope can also be put into repeat mode to act as a pseudo LFO if you wish.

The gain staging on Mantis is all-analog and is run through the SSI2164 VCAs. The signal is twice amplified to ensure the overdriven sound is warm and clips naturally.

The Mantis includes a power supply (9V 600mA), USB-C lead and getting started guide.


  • Mixer with Noise and Ring Modulation
  • Oscillator density and drift
  • Modulation Routes with fast configuration
  • Selectable triggering
  • USBC
  • Powered via DC PSU
  • MIDI Din IN, OUT and THRU
  • Sustain pedal input
  • Controller pedal input
  • 1/4" Stereo master outputs
  • 1/4" Stereo headphone output

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Mantis Duophonic 37-Key Hybrid Synthesizer Keyboard Specifications:

200 Patches: all patches in RAM so can be overwritten
  • Bank A: 100 Factory presets
  • Bank B: 100 User presets (all set to initial patch)
  • Compare function
  • Initialize patch function
Duophonic with 2 analog signal paths
  • Mathematically generated oscillators designed by Chris Huggett
  • Analog signal path designed by Chris Huggett
2 Oscillators plus sub-oscillator per voice
  • Sine/Triangle/Saw/Pulse, plus additional wave types
  • Shape control and shape modulation input
  • Pitch modulation control
  • Octave selects per oscillator
  • OSC 1 SUB follows oscillator 1 parameters
Oscillator Drift
  • Creates random pitch variations between oscillators
  • Multi-mode state variable VCA filters with overdrive
  • 2 Analog filters, per signal path
  • Low Pass/Band Pass/High Pass in 12dB and 24dB configurations
  • Additional WBAND (series) and WSTOP (parallel) types
  • Filter Cutoff
  • Filter Cutoff Modulation
  • Filter Resonance
  • Filter Width
  • Filter Width Modulation
  • Filter Keytrack
LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator)
  • 2 LFOs
  • 4 waveshapes per oscillator
  • Fade In/Fade Out parameter
  • SYNCable
  • Rate control
  • 2 Independent envelopes
  • ENV 1 normalized to amplitude
  • ADSR
  • Sustain Fall parameter for shaping during key-down
  • + Repeat which can be used to create looping envelopes
  • Velocity positive and negative control
Ring modulationMixer
  • First mix: OSC1 and OSC2
  • Second mix: OSCillators and noise
  • Third mix: OSCillators + noise and Ring modulator
VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier)
  • All amplification is done in the analogue domain in multi-stage VCAs
Modulation Routes
  • Control - 6 choices of modulation parameters
  • Source - 6 choices of effectors from envelopes and LFOs
  • Scale - choices of controls used to scale the effect of the modulation
  • Glide amount
  • Auto-glide mode
Indicator LEDs
  • Two LEDs for Voice
  • LED for Keyboard activity
Master tuneMaster volumeTriggering
  • ENV 1 Legato
  • ENV 2 Legato
  • LFO Keytrig
  • LFO Keytrig
  • Master power switch
  • DC 9V input
  • USBC
  • Sustain pedal input (switch)
  • Pedal input (continuous)
  • Stereo 1/4" line outs: L/Mono and R
  • Stereo 1/4" headphone out
  • Multi-function Joystick control
  • Left/right for pitch bend
  • Performable vibrato
  • Latching hold mode
  • Arpeggiator
  • 6 arpeggiator types: Up, Down, Up/Down 1, Up/Down 2, Played & Random
  • Sync rates control from 2nds to 32nds
  • Tap tempo button
  • Swing including positive and negative swing
  • Auto clock sync: Detects MIDI or USB-MIDI clock and synchronizes the arpeggiator automatically
  • Latch via joystick HOLD
  • 6 Octave range
Dedicated tempo controlDuophonic mode control
  • Duo mode
  • Duo mode with simple filter
  • Pan control for duophonic voicing
Digital Effects
  • Reverb time
  • Reverb level
  • Reverb High Pass Filter
  • Reverb Low Pass Filter
  • Chorus level
  • Chorus type
  • Keyboard Control
  • 37 full-size semi-weighted velocity-sensitive keys
  • Channel aftertouch
  • Octave shift
Weights and Dimensions (product unboxed)
  • 24.5" x 12.5" x 4.5"
  • 11.5 lb.

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