About

Our History

We were founded in 2013 as KVgear, making accessories for Korg Volcas. Our first products were wooden skiffs to hold multiple Volcas, including versions with integrated power distribution and an audio jack panel. We followed this with daisy chain cables and power supplies for Volcas.

Next, we created separate lines of multi-tier desktop synth stands optimized for Volcas, Elektrons, Roland Boutiques and the Roland Aira line. Later, we redesigned our stands for general purpose use and added metal shelves for holding small gear.

In 2017 we developed the KVgear Vixen mixer for Volcas and other small electronic music gear. Because of the small size of our company and our primary focus on synth stands, we discontinued the Vixen mixer in 2018.

Since 2019 we've added adjustability and expandability features to most of our stands. This has included telescoping tubes, movable gear hooks, add-on tiers, and mounting points for accessories.

We took things much further with our Adapt modular stand system, announced in May 2024 and shipping at the end of June 2024. The Adapt system offers the highest degree of adjustability and expandability of any desktop synth stand. Coinciding with the Adapt system reveal, we rebranded from KVgear to SynthRISE. We love our new name and hope you like it too!

See below for a timeline of how our products have evolved over the years.

2013 KVgear is founded and launches with Volca power supplies and wood cases
2014

New products launched:  Key Dog, Volca daisy chain cable, Volca case with integrated power and audio jack panel.

KVgear Key Dog keyboard weight.

2015

New products launched:  Lobe V3 and V4 stands, Model A stand and shelf.KVgear Lobe stand for Volcas.

2016
New products launched:  Utility M1/L1/L2/XL1, Volc 45 -2/3/4, Ramp Rack short/medium/long, Expansion Shelf Medium/Large, Stiletto Angled/Flat, Boo-1/2/3Original KVgear Boo-1 stand launched in 2016
2017

New products launched:  Vixen mixer, Utilility M2/M3/Mx0x, Volca Eurorack Mounting Kit

KVgear Utility M2 two tier desktop synth stand.

2018

Both production batches of our Vixen mixer sell out.

KVgear Vixen mixer.

2019

New products launched:  Captive B2/B3/B4/EK2/EK3/V2/V3/V4, Adapt L1/L2, Adapt Wings, Stand Risers

KVgear Adapt L1 adaptable and expandable desktop synth stand.

2020
New products launched: Gear Rail, SubPiggy, EDS-1K/2/3 stands, EDS-UX add-on tier, Stand Risers.
Upgraded all stands to use extendable telescoping connectors.
KVgear Boo-1 desktop synth stand is extendable and stable.
2021-2023

Sales of existing stands remain strong.

KVgear two tier desktop synth stand with shelf for effects pedals.

Manufacturing and Distribution

From 2013 through mid 2024 all of our stands and all of our non-electrical accessories have been manufactured entirely in the USA.  Beginning in mid 2024, all of our stands are assembled in the USA of components that are a majority from the USA and a minority from China. 

Our tiny team of synth fanatics assembles and ships worldwide from our Chicago workshop.  Distribution in the UK and EU is through SME Music.  Distribution in Australia will soon be through Sounds Easy

Copying and Patents

In our early years, we made a conscious decision to not seek patent protection for our unique products. As a tiny company exploring the needs of the synth community, we churned out a large number of new products until we eventually developed ones which were both useful and economical to manufacture.  We could not afford to patent all of our designs along the way, and we didn't have the ability to predetermine which designs would stand the test of time. 

As expected, this left a door open for competitors to copy our designs. While this is disappointing, we accept it. But what we don't accept is the poor product performance and false marketing claims of the most recent copycat, Analog Cases. Analog Cases XTS stands are copies of KVgear Utility M1 and Utility L1 stands, with design tweaks that result in multiple sources of instability. To make matters worse, Analog Cases falsely states that their knockoffs are innovative, game changing, the most versatile, and unique. We are concerned that poorly-performing knockoffs which closely resemble our stands will detract from the reputation which we've carefully cultivated since 2013. For this reason, we will continue to highlight the problems with Analog Cases XTS stands and the false marketing claims by Analog Cases.

Our new Adapt system is a major step forward for SynthRISE and we have chosen to invest in patent protection for it. We expect to receive anywhere from 1 to 3 patents for the system and its components. Likewise, our updated Gear Rail system to be launched in July will also be patent-pending. 

Environmental Responsibility

We have enthusiastically run this business according to our environmental ethics since day one. We've adjusted our product designs to minimize scrap during production and to use the least amount of packaging possible. We reuse and refurbish materials as often as possible. From mid 2024 onward, we will use biodegradable paper-based packaging whenever possible.

Our Founder

SynthRISE was founded by Mike Rafferty, a mechanical engineer with 30+ years experience. Starting in the aerospace industry, he learned structural analysis and techniques for designing high strength, lightweight structures. This was followed by jobs designing medical equipment and electric motor components. Since the late 90s and continuing through the present, he has worked as a consultant to develop products for clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to startups. Areas of focus have been complex injection molded plastics, integration of electronics into wearable devices, refinement of designs for high volume production, locking mechanisms, and medical products. Mike currently holds 10 patents with 3 others in the pipeline.

For More Information

SynthRISE YouTube channel 

SynthRISE on Instagram

SynthRISE on Facebook