|Erica Synths Opens Pre-Ordering for SYNTRX analog synthesizerCollaboration between Erica Synths and engineers from Riga Technical University results in a new kind of user interface that inspires users to explore the sonic universeRiga, Latvia, February 20, 2020 — Erica Synths announces that it has opened pre-ordering for its new SYNTRX all analog synthesizer. SYNTRX, which features three highly accurate VCOs and a inspiring new digitally controlled analog patch/mixer matrix, will begin shipping to customers in April on a first-come, first served basis. Since the very beginning of the company, Erica Synths has promoted experimental electronic music, developing instruments that enable musicians to unleash their creativity. When it comes to standalone instruments, one of most encouraging instruments in experimental music was the Synthi AKS. In the spirit of innovative collaboration, Erica Synths teamed up with engineers from Riga Technical University to develop a synthesizer with a user interface that challenges conventional wisdom in a sound design. The result is an instrument that will inspire users to explore the sonic universe and travel to previously undiscovered audible realms. SYNTRX is an all analog synthesizer developed from scratch. Following are features and specifications: 3 highly accurate VCOs that track great over 8 octavesOctave switch for the VCO1Sync option for the VCO2Noise generator with “color” filterResonant VCFRing modulatorSpring reverbASR/AD looping envelope generatorJoystick controllerInput amplifier with adjustable gain3 VCAsSample & Hold circuit with an individual clockOutput signal filterMechanical CV/audio signal level indicatorMIDI In and MIDI ThruBuilt in speakersDimensions: 309mm x 457mm x 115mm (with the joystick in centre position)Weight: 4.05 kg|
Erica Synths will make a user manual available on April 25th. To learn more about pre-orders on SYNTRX, which is priced at € 2,500.00, please visit the Erica Synths product page.
ABOUT ERICA SYNTHS
Erica Synths team of visionaries, engineers and musicians have been working hard to bring you modules and instruments that will set your modular system apart from mass in terms of how it sounds, looks and functions
Brad from Isla Instruments had a live stream today detailing how the filters in the new sp2400 sampler will work.
check the video below.
- Sp2400 will have a stereo version of the original fixed analog Input filter.
- the input filter can also be accessed during “resampling” mode allowing you to send samples from the SD card back through the input stage to apply this analog filtered sound to your preexisting sound library.
- the output filters follow the layout of the original sp1200 machine in that there are 4 fixed output (non-sweepable) analog filters.
- the “tip/ring” filter trick is handled via onboard analog logic circuit that allows you to get this sound without having to actually “half plug” the jack to access that sound.
- there are 2 Dynamic SSI Analog filters.
- in addition to the analog filters there are also digital filters per output that are fully dynamic.
- there is support for future daughter board add ons that allow for 8 additional fully controllable filter.
- daughter board add ons in the future : there are plans for SSI filter , Curtis filters, as well as open sourcing of the schematics so that 3rd party can release additional filter styles.
- the daughter board add ons do not need to be limited to just analog filters, they could be digital or hybrid filter boards (this would be up to the 3rd part.).
The Sp2400 is available for preorder direct from Isla Instruments https://www.islainstruments.com/product/sp-2400/
ADDAC System 805 Eurorack Module Offers Four-Quadrant Mixing
Inspired by its renowned 701 VCO waveform mixing section, the 805 VC Signal Router employs three X-faders for advanced morphing and sweeping of signals
Lisbon, Portugal, December 20, 2019 — ADDAC System has announced availability of its new 805 VC Signal Router. While taking up just 8hp of space and priced at €160, the VC Signal Router is an economical way to add significant dimension and new signal flow options to just about any modular set up.
Inspired by ADDAC System’s 701 VCO waveform mixing section, the new VC Signal Router also updates the company’s legacy X-Fade/Panner to a stereo configuration that also allows four quadrant mixing. This feature is achieved by using the stereo Master knob as an X-fader between the left and right channels. By plugging in the four audio sources and sweep/crossfade between any of them using the three combined X-faders, users can plug any four sources (for instance, four waveforms of a VCO, four LFOs, four envelopes) — then sweep, morph or mix them to their heart’s content.
“Our VC Signal Router builds on some basic mixing principles derived from our 701 VCO waveform mixing section, while bringing in a new dimension of sound placement possibilities,” said André Gonçalves, founder of ADDAC System. “Even though the 805 requires a relatively small investment. four quadrant mixing can add a glacial effect to just about any soundscape.”
A peculiar signal flow meant to inspire
The VC Signal Router features two dedicated X-faders and a stereo VCA that can also be used as a third X-Fader. All controls have their own CV inputs and dedicated Attenuverters for precision control. Left and Right X-fader channels can also be routed through the Master stereo VCA or sent directly to the outputs. Further, a stereo Direct input can also be routed through the Master VCA or sent straight to the outputs.
The Mono Sum output always mixes Left and Right outputs together, allowing users with the possibility of using the module as a peculiar six channel mono mixer. It can be used for both Audio or CV Signals.
- 6 mono inputs
- 2 dedicated X-faders with Control knob + CV Input and Attenuverter Each X-fader can be routed through the Master mix or straight into the outputs.
- Master channel can be used as a stereo VCA or an X-fader Stereo direct inputs can be routed through the Master mix or straight into the outputs.
- Fully analog audio path with high quality/low noise VCAs.
To learn more about the ADDAC System 805 Eurorack module, please visit the ADDAC System website.
About ADDAC System
ADDAC System develops advanced instruments for sonic expression. The company began in 2009 with an ambition to explore the potential crossover between analog synthesizers and computers. Today, ADDAC System’s product line is focused on a new breed of hybrid synths that utilize the best of both the digital and analog worlds. We’ve grown to be able to reach thousands of enthusiastic clients, friends and collaborators. ADDAC System’s solutions — which are used in many musical genres — can be found in many personal studio throughout the world and routinely used by musicians in several planes of stardom.
Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers showcase completely different, organic analog synthesizer at SUPERBOOTH19
PITTSBURGH, PA, USA: musician- and sonic architect-attentive electronic instruments-maker Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers is proud to debut Voltage Research Laboratory — a completely different, organic analog synthesizer, functionally influenced by the behaviours and systems of the natural world, with which adventurous users can explore the natural systems and lesser-known fringes of analog synthesis as a wildly experimental and extremely deep sonic playground — at SUPERBOOTH19 in Berlin, May 9-11…
As Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers’ most ambitious and experimental synthesizer offering to date, Voltage Research Laboratory comprises three separate modules that are 100% compatible with the ever-popular Eurorack small-format modular system, housed together in a purpose-built, handmade Eurorack case. Collectively they are so much more than an assemblage of tools and functions, rather representing a unique modular synthesizer seriously designed to reward deep experimentation, encouraging the creation of unique sonic systems.
Central to Voltage Research Laboratory’s unique sound palette is its lifeforms voltage lab module. Musically or otherwise, it originates with a complex oscillator pair — primary oscillator and secondary oscillator — that utilise a wide range of shaping and manipulation options to move away from basic geometric shapes to more harmonically rich tones. There is also a custom wave folder with enhanced waveform warping, linear FM, amplitude modulation, ring modulation, waveform cycling, hard sync, and more besides — all available for serious sonic research.
More manipulation comes courtesy of a set of multi-function generators — function generator a and function generator b, which work as interactive voltage processing systems to create and modify complex control voltages. Acting as voltage-controllable envelopes, LFOs, slew generators, and more, these function generators give life to evolving control signals.
Thereafter, twin dynamics controllers — dynamics controller a and dynamics controller b — bring everything together. After all, as a unique circuit expanding on the classic low pass gate, the dynamics controller with variable response adds an organic depth to the lifeforms voltage lab module by simulating the natural behaviour of sound. Saying that, the multi-mode signal processor features a 12dB resonant filter, VCA, and percussive low pass gate modes.
Meanwhile, back in the natural world, sound interacts with its surroundings, so the lifeforms voltage lab module makes use of an analog delay to simulate this interaction and create an artificial sense of time and space. Sonic manipulation of delay time and feedback add depth and warmth through chorus-, Doppler-, echo-, flanger-, reverb-, and slapback-type effects.
Chaos can be found everywhere. Electronically, random gates and control voltages spark uncontrolled reactions, disrupt systems, and generate ideas. It is for that very reason that the lifeforms voltage lab module includes noise, stepped random CV, a pseudo-random sequence generator, pitched random CV, pitched random sequences, and random gates to add multiple levels of unpredictability to any patch.
Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers’ Voltage Research Laboratory itself includes the lifeforms touch controller module. Intuitive and inspiring, it effectively overcomes the creative restrictions of a traditional chromatic keyboard with a set of fully-configurable, multi-dimensional touch pads as a duophonic touch controller. By bringing into play two sets of five touch pads, it offers a flexible and interactive performance surface, so performances can be interpreted with a unique combination of monophonic and duophonic responses. The lifeforms touch controller module’s channel animator also allows speedy generation of complex sequences or glitchy chaos — all in all, then, the perfect launchpad for any experimental journey, be it musical or otherwise.
As a Voltage Research Laboratory exclusive, the lifeforms utility module features a unity gain signal mixer/splitter along with stereo headphone and line outputs, rounding out the functionality of this completely different, organic analog synthesizer.
The three Voltage Research Laboratory modules are housed in a beautiful 96hp Eurorack enclosure, shaped with the warmth of walnut and the strength of steel. Suitably named, the Lifeforms Research Console case perfectly pairs classic desktop synthesizer ergonomics with a modern Eurorack form factor and a clean, reliable power supply.
Showcasing Voltage Research Laboratory for all to see and hear for the time first time on booth (O226) at SUPERBOOTH19 — Europe’s first and largest trade fair for electronic musical instruments — in Berlin, May 9-11, Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers has launched its funding campaign on Kickstarter.
The SRP (Suggested Retail Price) for Voltage Research Laboratory is $1,599.00 USD — discount available to Kickstarter supporters; explore and support the Kickstarter campaign for Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers’ Voltage Research Laboratory project here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pittsburghmodular/voltage-research-laboratory-organic-modular-synthe
Note that Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers will also be selling the lifeforms voltage lab and lifeforms touch controller Eurorack modules and Lifeforms Research Console case separately with SRPs of $899.00 USD, $399.00 USD, and $349.00 USD, respectively — discounts available to Kickstarter supporters, while the lifeforms voltage lab module will also be available as the Voltage Lab Blackbox standalone synthesizer with an SRP of $999.00 USD — discount available to Kickstarter supporters.
Watch Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers’ intriguing introductory video for Voltage Research Laboratory here:https://youtu.be/fk2D0SAVtYU
Gamechanger | Audio unveils revolutionary electro-mechanical Motor Synth at SUPERBOOTH19
RIGA, LATVIA: having presented an initial proof-of-concept prototype product at The 2019 NAMM Show in Southern California, January 24-27, uncharted music electronics territories explorer Gamechanger | Audio is proud to unveil the revolutionary Motor Synth — a digitally-controlled analogue electro-mechanical synthesizer that uses a system of electromotors (to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy) as its main sound source — in its finished desktop design at SUPERBOOTH19 in Berlin, May 9-11…
Motor Synth really represents a new method of analogue audio signal synthesis since digitally-controlled electromotors have never been used as the principal sound source for a commercial musical instrument — indeed, nothing like it has ever been built before! But actions always speak louder than words. So how, exactly, does the revolutionary Motor Synth work?
Well, simply speaking, Motor Synth produces sounds by accelerating and decelerating eight electromotors to precise rpm (revolutions per minute) that correspond with specific musical notes. Needless to say, the instrument in question’s eight-electromotor configuration means that it is a four- note true polyphonic synth with two voices per key played.
Digging deeper, Motor Synth takes a two-pronged approach to producing its core sound, starting with magnetic pickups placed on each of its eight electromotors; those electromotors’ spinning coils result in a very industrial-sounding, ridiculously over-the-top analogue tone — think eight harmonious revving engines pumping out an intimidating noise! Next, specially-designed reflective optical disks have been attached to the shafts of each electromotor. Each disk contains a graphical representation of some standard audio wave-shapes. As the electromotors spin, the disks are set into circular motion, and each wave-shape is read by a dedicated set of UV (ultraviolet) sensors, then converted into an audio signal. So the wave-shapes on the reflective optical disks become precise musical notes, corresponding to the speed of the electromotors.
Elsewhere, Motor Synth still features familiar analogue audio processing circuits — filters, envelopes, et al — alongside arpeggiation, cross- modulation sequencing, and multiple polyphonic mode facilities, as well as an innovative looping system that allows adventurous users to layer rhythm and melodies, just like when using a loop station.
Manifestly, Motor Synth is a desktop design — unlike its initial proof-of-concept prototype predecessor, but it can still be played out of the box via eight built-in control keys and four floating tuning pots. Performers and composers can, of course, connect any standard MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) controller, like a keyboard or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), while Motor Synth is also capable of tracking a monophonic audio signal, such as guitar or bass, via its 1/4-inch mono input. Interestingly, Motor Synth can be configured to act as a harmonizer for electric guitars or other melodic instruments, recognising the pitch of a musical tone and instantly generating a complimentary tone by operating an electromotor at a matching frequency. Furthermore, users can create intervals and chords based on the frequency of the incoming signal with no need (necessarily) for a MIDI controller or inputting preprogrammed musical information.
Whatever way anyone chooses to play Motor Synth, a stunning visual experience is guaranteed. Get this: Motor Synth’s see-through protective glass cover above its core sound system of eight electromotors enables users to receive visual feedback from the instrument itself by being able to see those spinning electromotors in action. But better still, the visual experience is enhanced still further by the also-visible set of reflective optical disks attached to the electromotors’ shafts being coupled to a set of eight mini strobe lights, so those spinning disks themselves turn into a hypnotic light show, courtesy of the strobe effect!
As an instrument that uses electromotors as its main sound source, Motor Synth inherently possesses many unique sound traits that will surely appeal to many musicians that favour analogue electronic instruments and synthesizers in particular. Put it this way: with its unusual tonal and timbral qualities, unlimited microtonal pitch adjustment and modulation abilities, and note attack and decay properties influenced by the acceleration and deceleration curves of electromotors, Motor Synth works well across a wide range of musical styles.
Showcasing its third revolutionary product, Gamechanger | Audio will be proudly unveiling Motor Synth on booth (H320) at SUPERBOOTH19 — Europe’s first and largest trade fair for electronic musical instruments — in Berlin, May 9-11. Thereafter, it will be following in the super-successful crowdfunding footsteps of Gamechanger | Audio’s PLASMA Pedal, perfectly realising a revolutionary approach within the realm of overdrive and distortion by transforming the connected instrument’s live signal into a series of continuous high-voltage discharges within a xenon-filled tube, thanks to achieving 921% funding on Indiegogo in April 2018 (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/plasma-pedal-high-voltage-distortion-unit–3#/). No doubt the equally- revolutionary electro-mechanical Motor Synth will follow suit, successfully realising a new method of analogue audio signal synthesis.
Explore and support the Indiegogo campaign for Gamechanger | Audio’s Motor Synth project here:https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/motor-synth/coming_soon
Watch Gamechanger | Audio’s automotive-assisted video for Motor Synth here: https://youtu.be/AaIhBu4adZ8
For more in-depth info, please visit the dedicated Motor Synth webpage here: https://www.gamechangeraudio.com/motor-synth/
IK Multimedia unveils UNO Drum analog/PCM drum machine
Ultra-portable, easily programmable drum machine expands the UNO line
May 8, 2019 – IK Multimedia unveils UNO® Drum, the newest member of its UNO series. Designed in collaboration with Italian analog specialist Soundmachines – the same team behind IK’s acclaimed UNO® Synth – UNO Drum offers a wide sonic palette combining fat, punchy analog sounds with digital flexibility and convenience. A robust selection of programming and live performance features and controls makes it easy for musicians, producers and DJs to add massive drum grooves to their music. UNO Drum’s compact form, battery power and affordable price make it ideal for on-the-go music creation and performance.
True analog tone and PCM flexibility
Six warm, rich, true analog drum sounds – two different kick drums plus snares, claps, and hi-hats – form the essential core kit for creating fat analog beats. Additional PCM elements (with 54 samples to choose from) provide deeper sonic flavors. They include toms, rims, cowbells, rides and crash cymbals for creating complex, unique and full rhythm tracks. Up to 12 elements can be used in total between analog and digital sounds, with 11-voice polyphony available. The analog and digital elements can be freely swapped, for sonic possibilities that go beyond the pre-set combinations. Together, these analog and PCM sounds suit the widest genres of music and musicians, and a variety of live scenarios.
A wide range of drum elements is organized in UNO Drum’s 100 pre-programmed and fully editable drum kit presets, a first in its class. This makes it easier and faster for users to find an inspiring kit they can experiment with or tweak to create the perfect groove. All sounds can be stored and recalled on the fly.
Top panel editing controls allow for adjustment of key parameters of each sound element. Users can tweak the Tuning of their kicks for sub-shaking hip-hop, adjust the Snap for punchy EDM drums, push the Decay for thundering industrial sounds, and much more. UNO Drum’s in-depth controls encourage experimentation to take drum tracks far beyond the norm.
Analog audio effects with character
For added punch and sound character that stands out in a mix, UNO Drum also offers two analog master audio effects: Drive and Compressor. Increasing the drive will make grooves hit harder, with an aggressive edge. Adding compression will result in tracks that are tighter, fatter, and more powerful. User settings can be saved along with drum kits for instant recall.
Easy to play and program
UNO Drum offers 12 touch-sensitive pads with two velocity zones, for more expressive live playing and easier programming. They can be used to play entire beats live with a pad-style feel, or to easily add live flare on top of pre-programmed rhythms.
These pads are also used to select individual drum pattern elements. Each element’s pad can be used to edit parameters for that specific drum sound, in real-time, as patterns play. This enables users to evolve tracks, build tension towards a drop, go lo-fi for a break, and more. For added performance convenience, a dedicated Tap Tempo pad is also included.
Flexible programming options
UNO Drum offers easy programming options to suit any style. The 64-step sequencer allows users to program in patterns one step at a time, using the 16 buttons across the bottom of the panel, or record a pattern in real-time. Up to eight parameters can be automated per step, to add even more variation and feel to their grooves. The Song mode lets users chain up to 64 patterns together to create extended grooves. Any of the stored sequences can be triggered live on the fly, in any order desired.
Additionally, for quick inspiration out of the box, UNO Drum also comes pre-loaded with 100 drum patterns (in addition to the 100 drum kits). Users can quickly scroll through choices and find a pattern that adds the perfect flavor to their genre, or experiment with new styles. Sounds can be swapped out or adjusted, and patterns can be instantly saved and revisited at a later time.
Head-turning performance effects
For even more performance impact, UNO Drum offers a generous set of five performance effects on the programmed patterns: Stutter (from subtle repetitions to DJ style loops), Roll, Humanize (slight randomization of velocity, timing and volume to emulate a live drummer), Swing (timing and accent adjustments) and Random (brand new pattern creations).
Integrate into any live, studio, or mobile set-up
For use at home, in the studio, in a DJ booth, and beyond, UNO Drum can perfectly integrate into regular live set-ups, computer DAW-based studios, or mobile rigs centered around an iOS device. It offers USB and traditional MIDI via 2.5mm jacks (cables included) for use with Mac/PC, iOS devices or traditional outboard MIDI gear, for a perfect pairing in any rig. UNO Drum also offers an audio input to daisy chain directly with IK’s UNO Synth or any other gear, routed through its internal compressor, with no need for an additional mixer.
On-the-go music made easy
Weighing only 400g, UNO Drum is super lightweight and small enough to fit in a backpack, yet sturdy enough to hit the road for gigging. It can also be used as a portable sketchpad to create grooves and songs that can be saved and recalled whenever and wherever they’re needed. UNO Drum can be powered by 4 AA batteries or via the USB port, either from a computer or a battery pack.
Pricing and availability
UNO Drum is available for pre-order from the IK Multimedia online store with free shipping* and for pre-order from IK authorized dealers worldwide, for the affordable price of only $/€249.99**.
UNO Drum is proudly made in IK’s own Italian manufacturing facility using a combination of state-of-the-art, automated mounting machines and test systems, and fine, renowned Italian craftsmanship. Shipping is scheduled for June 2019.
* Free shipping valid for pre-orders from the IK Multimedia online store only
** All prices excluding taxes
For more information about UNO Drum, please visit: www.unodrum.com
To see UNO Drum in action or watch the tutorial series: www.unodrum.com/video
Analogue Solutions ships compact true stereo analogue monosynth/sonic realiser as perfectly-packaged desktop device
KINGSWINFORD, UK: British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions is proud to announce availability of Impulse Command — creatively crafting a true stereo, semi-modular analogue monosynth/sonic realiser, replete with fanciful features likeDUAL DYNAMIC ANALOGUE OSCILLATORS; DUAL ANALOGUE FILTERS; stereo digital EFFECTS; 16-step MIDI LOOP SEQUENCER and STEP SEQ (with radical REORDER!function); and more, meaning it can conceivably sound like several simultaneously-playing synthesizers as a perfectly-packaged desktop device — as of April 2…
As is, indeed, the case with all Analogue Solutions’ innovative instruments,Impulse Command is a ‘real’ analogue affair… as in its audio signal path — post effects apart — and all modulation routings really are analogue through and through. The chosen company name gives the genuine game away. After all,Analogue Solutions’ circuitry capitalises on superlative-sounding designs dating back to the Seventies, so no quantisation for CPU (Central Processing Unit) reading required. The VCOs (Voltage Controlled Oscillators), VCFs (Voltage Controlled Filters), EGs (Envelope Generators), and LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) are all truly analogue in the Seventies sense of the word, with transistors, op-amps, and resistors. Reality dictates, therefore, that — apart from the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) conversion, sequencer control, and digital delay/reverb essential elements — Impulse Command is reallyanalogue. As such, sound benefits become apparent as soon as anyone feasts their ears on the remarkable result. Is it any wonder, then, that there is so much favourable commentary about how good Analogue Solutions’ synthesizers sound!
So potential purchasers can clearly take it as ‘red’ — pun intended, given its eye-catching colour scheme! — that Impulse Command sounds as good as analogue gets. Given that Impulse Command is designed by Analogue Solutions founderTom Carpenter, this surely shouldn’t come as as surprise. As a fervent fan of electronic music and also an active electronic musician himself, he naturally knows a thing or two about programming synthesizers. So his current creation clearly wasn’t the result of engineering design decisions driven by a steering committee of men (or women) in suits, compulsorily constrained to maximise profit for faceless shareholders. Far from it, in fact. Fortunately for all, the fanciful features available and resultant range of tones they can capably produce have all been carefully thought through to impart Impulse Commandwith what’s required to speedily bring about a wide range of sounds that true analogue admirers could conceivably call for — from huge basses, synth leads, percussion, and effects through to modular system-like stylings.
So what makes this superlative-sounding, Seventies-inspired innovative instrument truly tick? The subtractive synthesis signal path in Impulse Command creatively gets going with two VCOs, producing the raw audio sound source for later processing. Providing a wealth of features and modulation choices in and of themselves, VCO1 boasts a white noise generator alongside sawtooth and triangle waveforms, while VCO2 DETUNE does just that — detuning VCO2 to thicken up the resulting synth sound. Thereafter, things start to take a turn towards the fanciful with AMOUNT applying the amount of MIDIVEL (velocity) or EG2 signal that will be applied to modulate VCO2’s volume, selected via a toggle switch, while I.L. manually sets the initial level of VCO2volume, and allows that level to be dynamically controlled when set to zero; speaking of oscillators, the VELOCITY control sets the amount of MIDI velocity that will be applied to the square wave-equipped SUB (sub-oscillator) volume, while I.L. manually sets the initial level of SUB volume, so also allows that level to be dynamically controlled when set to zero — hence the DUAL DYNAMIC ANALOGUE OSCILLATORS wording boldly blazoned across Impulse Command’s easy-to-follow front panel!
Pitch modulation, meanwhile, such as vibrato or a pitch sweep, can be obtained by patching with cables using the mini-jack sockets sited along the top of the front panel. Put it this way: while Impulse Command is mostly pre-patched, it has such a wide range of modulation routing possibilities that it is almost as versatile as a full modular system and is capable of producing the same types of sounds — albeit without the mess and confusion of cables. It does, however, have a sizeable selection of patch sockets that allow adventurous users to re-patch it or connect it to an external modular system.
So what about that DUAL ANALOGUE FILTERING wording? Well, as implied,Impulse Command comes complete with two CEM chip-style filters — the same type as those used in classic synths such as the Elka Synthex, Fairlight CMI, Oberheim OB8, and Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, to name but a notable few. Despite sharing the same core circuitry as those vintage classics, Impulse Command is imbued with its own sonic character, rather than simply sounding like them. Many of the controls are duplicated for each of those 24dB/octave filters. The upper VCF is called VCF-L (left) and the signal — following its own dedicated VCA — is routed to the left output jack. It stands to reason, then, that the lower VCF is called VCF-R (right) and the signal — following its own dedicated VCA — is routed to the right output jack. Commonly, CUTOFF sets the master frequency cutoff for both filters, while PEAK sets the resonance/feedback level of both filters. Further left field, perhaps, VCF-R DETUNE offsets the second filter’s frequency cutoff, while VELOCITY sets the amount of MIDI velocity that will modulate the cutoff of both filters, andAGGRO adds cross modulation from VCO2 to the filter CUTOFF, creating a more edgy sound — increasing PEAK to higher levels emphasises this effect. Elsewhere, there are no fewer than four modulation sources — namely, EG1, EG2, LFO1, and LFO2, while LEVEL sets the level of modulation applied to the filter CUTOFF. Creatively, MOD INVERT inverts the modulation for VCF-L, which, as an example, enables pseudo-auto-pan effects. External sound sources, such as vocals, guitars, mixer sends, and samplers, etc, can be sent through the filters for further treatment by simply plugging the sound source into the rearside IN (input) socket. All in all, a flexible filtering section that belies this relatively diminutive desktop device’s space-saving (322 x 270mm) footprint.
Following on from filtering, Impulse Command’s signal path arrives at two separate analogue ADSR envelopes. EG2 is hardwired to control the VCAs that follow the VCFs, but both EGs are available for modulation of various circuits and have trigger and signal output jacks for further patching.
Processing plays a part in Impulse Command’s musical makeup. Primarily designed as a powerful analogue synthesizer, some essential effects — bit crush, delay, flanger, and reverb — have been included to give the resulting sound some ambience. The latter three effects can even be modulated to a degree by the STEP SEQ (sequencer), so they can be dynamically controlled! Control-wise, turning EFFECT selects the eight presets, while ASPECT1 and ASPECT2 are used to make some adjustments to the sound space preset selected. Sequencing is where the sounding-like-several-synthesizers-simultaneously-playing-Impulse Command can come into its own like no other, though. There are two sequencers — an analogue STEP SEQ (that produces voltages) and a MIDI LOOP SEQUENCER (that produces MIDI note loops). Both are clocked from the same signal source, selected using the SEQUENCER SYNCHRO switch, though theMIDI LOOP SEQUENCER can be independently stopped and started. As implied by name, the MIDI LOOP SEQUENCER is used to record melodic loops and will always run in time with the analogue STEP SEQ, which is primarily used for modulation. But both benefit from the radical REORDER! function that affects the sequencer stepping order — forwards, backwards, and all sorts of strange yet wonderful variations! It’s a lot like life, even.
Ending on a high note, Tom Carpenter concludes — somewhat thoughtfully — thus: “This synth is a journey of discovery. You’ll take the occasional wrong turn, but you’ll also make many exhilarating turns, and each destination will be nirvana-like. Life is all about the journey. So experience and play.”
Impulse Command is now available for purchase — priced at an RRP of £849.00 GBP (ex. VAT)/€1,179.00 EUR (inc. tax)/ $1,199.00 USD (inc. tax) — through Analogue Solutions’ growing global network of authorised dealers (http://www.analoguesolutions.com/dealers/) or order online directly from Analogue Solutions via the dedicated Impulse Command webpage (http://www.analoguesolutions.com/impulse-command), which also includes more in-depth information.
Watch Analogue Solutions’ introductory Impulse Command video here:https://youtu.be/3vW6NXIwOy0
Doepfer dives deeper into industry-standard Eurorack small-format modular system with quirky quintet of polyphonic modules
GRAEFELFING, GERMANY: having made musical waves during a show-stopping showcase of prototypes closer to home at SUPERBOOTH18 in Berlin, Germany, esteemed electronic musical device designer Doepfer is proud to globally announce availability of its A-111-4 Quad VCO, A-105-4 Quad Poly SSI VCF, A-132-8 Octal Poly VCA, A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR, and A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface — a quirky quintet of polyphonic modules that sees the trailblazing company diving deeper into the now-industry-standard Eurorack small-format modular system standard that it initiated and popularised with its ever-expanding A-100 ANALOG MODULAR SYSTEM — as of March 1…
Who better to throw light on the thinking behind this quirky quintet than company CEO Dieter Doepfer himself. “Modular synthesizers are almost exclusively monophonic structures since true polyphonic patches require a lot of modules — at least four VCOs, four VCFs, four VCAs, and eight ADSRs for a ‘classic’ four-voice patch,” he begins. “But even then it’s difficult to control filter resonance or modulation depth of all the filters, for example, or the attack and decay time of all the envelope generators simultaneously. So now it’s possible to integrate these functions into the modular synth world with our polyphonic modules, though the idea is not just to recreate a standard polyphonic synth within the modular system but rather realise new polyphonic structures that go far beyond a standard polyphonic synth and also far beyond the typical monophonic structures of a modular system since they still offer access to all parameters via CV or gate.”
Getting going, then,
the A-111-4 Quad VCO module features four precision CEM3340-based — triangle core — VCOs (Voltage Controlled Oscillators), each with its own separate internal +/- power supply (to ensure stability and prevent unwanted VCO synchronisation). Each VCO has the same individual controls, and inputs/outputs, as follows: 1V/Octave CV In (Control Voltage input); +1 / 0 / -1 Octave switch; Tune control, with ~ 2 semitones / ~ 1 octave / ~ 4 octaves range selectable via internal jumpers; Mod. (modulation) CV In (Control Voltage input); Modulation Destination — upper position equals exponential frequency modulation (XM) and lower position equals linear frequency modulation (LM) or pulse-width modulation of the rectangle waveform (PM), selectable via internal jumper; frequency modulation (FM) or pulse- width modulation (PWM) of the rectangle waveform; Mod. Level (modulation intensity); triangle waveform output; sawtooth waveform output; rectangle waveform output — about 50% without external pulse-width modulation; SYC (sync) input — (CEM3340-type) hard or soft sync selectable via internal jumper; and minimum 10 octaves range (with appropriate external control voltage). Continuing further down its familiar (silver-grey) front panel, a Master section for all four VCOs includes the following controls and inputs/outputs: 1V/Octave CV In (Control Voltage input); +1 / 0 / -1 Octave switch; Tune control, with ~ 2 semitones / ~ 1 octave / ~ 4 octaves range selectable via internal jumpers; exponential frequency modulation (XM) CV In (Control Voltage input); triangle waveform sum output; sawtooth waveform sum output; and rectangle waveform sum output. Typical applications include: fat-sounding monophonic VCO with the ability to adjust any intervals; paraphonic patches — when working in combination with the A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface and all four VCOs being processed by one VCF/VCA section; fully polyphonic patches — when working in combination with the A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface and four complete VCF/VCA sections; complex VCO patches with up to four VCOs by means of the — exponential and linear — frequency modulation features and sync functions.
Following in (traditional subtractive synthesis) sequence, the A-105-4 Quad Poly SSI VCF module is Doepfer’s first polyphonic filter, featuring four identical 24dB lowpass (SSM2044-type) filters. The module itself includes the following controls and inputs/outputs: F (frequency); FM (frequency modulation) intensity; Q (resonance); audio input L (level); CVF (control voltage frequency) attenuator; CVFM (control voltage frequency modulation) attenuator; CVQ (control voltage resonance) attenuator; CVL (control voltage level) attenuator; CVF (control voltage frequency) socket; CVFM (control voltage frequency modulation) socket; CVQ (control voltage resonance) socket; CVL (control voltage level) socket; FM (frequency modulation) 1 – 4 sockets; audio In (input) 1 – 4 sockets; and audio Out (output) 1 – 4 sockets, so each filter features a separate FM input as well as an audio input and output. The FM input is typically connected to the output of the associated envelope generator, such as Doepfer’s A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR, while the envelope amount for all four filters is controlled by the FM knob and the CVFM input by four built-in VCAs, which are also controlled by the FM control and CVFM input to also allow voltage control of the envelope amounts. Additionally, it is also possible to apply frequency modulation to all four filters — for example, using an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) patched into the CVF socket and using the associated (CVF) attenuator. The range of the audio input level (L) control also allows clipping/ distortion with typical A-100 ANALOG MODULAR SYSTEM audio levels — from, for example, the A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR module — at the filter inputs. This parameter is also voltage controllable, as is the resonance (Q). Applications include polyphonic patches requiring four VCFs with the same parameters.
Perfectly named, the A-132-8 Octal Poly VCA module is an octal VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier), primarily primed for polyphonic applications. As such, it includes four pairs of VCAs — each pair including two daisy-chained VCAs, with one VCA having a linear control scale and the other a linear or exponential control scale, selectable via internal jumpers. Two VCAs are provided for each voice since one VCA is usually required for the loudness envelope and another for velocity (or other functions like individual voltage-controlled loudness of each voice, amplitude modulation, and so on). All VCAs are DC coupled and can be used in specialised applications and also for processing control voltages. The module features two Default Gain controls — GL and GX — that enable opening of the first four VCAs (L) and/or second four VCAs (X), with GL and GX generating two internal (0 – +10V) control voltages which are connected to the switching contacts of the 1L – 4L sockets (controlling GL) and 1X – 4X sockets (controlling GX). If no patch cable is inserted into the socket in question then the internal default (GL or GX) control voltage is used to control the corresponding VCA. This is necessary when the VCA in question is not in use — when no external control voltage is available, for instance, otherwise the VCA would close and there would be no output signal even if the other VCA in the chain is open. On the other hand, as soon as a patch cable is inserted into one of the CV Inputs then the corresponding internal default control voltage — CL or CX knob — is no longer used to control the VCA in question; rather an external control voltage patched to the CV Inputs now controls the level of the VCA in question. The GL and GX controls are also useful for testing polyphonic patches — tuning VCOs, for example.
Again, as implied by name,
the A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR module is a quad voltage-controlled envelope generator — again, primarily primed for polyphonic applications. As such, it features four ADSR-type voltage-controlled envelope generators with exponential curve shapes (charge/discharge curves of a capacitor). Common manual controls and CVA, CVD, CVS, and CVR inputs with corresponding polarizers are available for the attack (A), decay (D), sustain (S), and release (R) parameters. All four envelope generators have a gate input (G1 – G4), a control LED, and an envelope output (Out1 – Out4). Applications include polyphonic patches, such as four envelope generators with the same envelope parameters to control four VCFs, VCAs, or other modules.
Last, but by no means least, by providing four voices with a 1V/octave-standard CV Note (pitch control voltage) to control VCOs and a Gate output (to control envelope generators), alongside two additional (CV2 and CV3) control voltages, the appropriately-named
A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface module does what it says on the tin. Those two additional control voltage outputs can be controlled by MIDI velocity, volume, modulation, pitch bend, aftertouch, or freely-assignable MIDI controllers. Multiple — four-voice monophonic (to control four monophonic voices by four successive MIDI channels); four-voice polyphonic (to control four monophonic voices by one MIDI channel) with several (rotating/non-rotating) sub-modes; two-voice polyphonic (to control two monophonic voices by one MIDI channel); and unison — modes are selected by switches with the result shown in the LCD. In play mode, for example, the LEDs of the first four switches display the gate states, while certain parameters of each mode can be edited.
Ending on a high note, Dieter Doepfer deduces, “Modular synthesizers will still be predominantly used for monophonic sounds, as I’m well aware, but at least one polyphonic sound appears in many pieces of music and now it’s possible to integrate this into the modular synth world with our polyphonic modules.”
Within Germany, the A-111-4 Quad VCO, A-105-4 Quad Poly SSI VCF, A-132-8 Octal Poly VCA, A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR, and A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface modules can be ordered online from Doepfer directly (http://www.doepfer.de/form_e.htm) or via one of its German dealers (https://docs.doepfer.eu/en/dealer-germany/) for €400.00 EUR, €200.00 EUR, €160.00 EUR, €160.00 EUR, and €300.00 EUR, respectively.
Outside of Germany, the A-111-4 Quad VCO, A-105-4 Quad Poly SSI VCF, A-132-8 Octal Poly VCA, A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR, and A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface modules can only be ordered from Doepfer dealers in the territories listed here: https://docs.doepfer.eu/en/ (Note that residents in countries without representation can, however, order from Doepfer directly.)
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated A-111-4 Quad VCO webpage here: http://www.doepfer.de/A1114.htm
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated A-105-4 Quad Poly SSI VCF webpage here: http://www.doepfer.de/a1054.htm
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated A-132-8 Octal Poly VCA webpage here: http://www.doepfer.de/a1328.htm
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR webpage here: http://www.doepfer.de/a1414.htm
For more in-depth info, please visit the dedicated A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface webpage here: http://www.doepfer.de/a1905.htm