Wormed Voice DIY touch-speech synthesizer and workshop


Wormed Voice is a totally touch-based instrument for wormed, post-human speech synthesis within a DIY and workshop construction context. It features sixteen digital voice/excitation modes (based on historic and esoteric glottal sources) with touch-pitch control, fixed white noise generation and seven analogue bandpass or formant filters (in parallel and routed by touch).

No pre-built units or kits are available. PCBs can be ordered here. Wormed Voice is open hardware and free software and can thus be expanded and customised easily



Build your own unique touch-based speech synthesizer and explore the theory and technique of animal and human voice synthesis.

Wormed Voice is a two day practical workshop exploring the physical, electronic and software simulated creation of non-human voices and vocalisations. The history of speech synthesis stresses the mundane, the military and the spectacular, commencing with Van Kempelen’s 18th century rubber squeaking or speaking machine. The basic principle of simulating the vocal tract through electronic and physical means was submitted to the military demands of compression and encryption, segmenting out parts of the speech process and reducing redundancy.

In the process communication becomes the business of circuit-bent human-worms, opening human and animal speech to the cut-up, to stammerings, stutterings and tics; to an extra-human, outer-word terrain of numbers burrowed and nibbled by the earthworms.

The workshop will feast on this electronic legacy. Participants will learn the basic principles of voice synthesis and produce a custom-designed touch-speech synthesizer which they can expand at will.

Workshop reader and presentation/history/introduction

Building, playing and design notes


Wormed Voice is based on the AI Cybernetics Model 1000 speech synthesizer and subsequent bindubba4 speech module. The analogue excitation elements have been replaced by a programmable digital source (wavetable and others), and the seven filters are designed as one stage bandpass at approx. 350, 450, 600, 700, 900, 1500, 2500 Hz and with a Q of 10 (bandwidth as f/10).

All gold touch elements were designed by Ioana Vreme Moser based on the dripping dragon blood and intertwined philosopher's globes or stones from the famous Ripley Scroll: https://www.compendiumnaturalis.net/the-ripley-scrolls/

The lowest element selects mode, and the top two (primarily left hand) asjust excitation frequency according to the selected mode.

White noise and excitation signals are routed to all of the surrounding seven pairs of inner globes. Using worm or finger these signals can be selectively routed and attenuated to each filter (input is the outer globe) in turn.

Wormed Voice uses two 9v batteries. It is designed using KiCad free software and programmed using any AVR programmer and the avrdude software.

Sounds like


Building resources

Design files

The circuit and PCB are designed using KiCad.



Software is written in C and can be uploaded using the accompanying Makefile:



A PCB can be ordered here:

Pricing: 40 euros with free, tracked worldwide shipping. Sold out.

Previous and forthcoming workshops

Music Hackspace in London 16-17.12.2017. With many thanks to Susanna, Tadeo and Harry!

Wormed Voice DIY post-human voice synth and workshop 23-24.02.2019 Cologne. With many thanks to Dirk Specht!


Images and Ripley circuit board blood and orbs designed by Ioana Vreme Moser.

Author: root

Created: 2019-11-15 Fri 16:28

Emacs 25.1.1 (Org mode 8.2.10)