Dark Energy III from Doepfer announced

Doepfer harnesses dark energy for third time with effectively enhanced monophonic analogue standalone synth namesake
GRAEFELFING, GERMANY: having wowed North American audiences with a preproduction prototype at The 2018 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA, then turned heads and opened European ears with a must-see showstopper closer to home at SUPERBOOTH18 in Berlin, Germany, esteemed electronic musical device designers Doepfer Musikelektronik is proud to announce availability of the Dark Energy III Analog Synthesizer — a worthy successor to its critically-acclaimed desktop Dark Energy II monophonic analogue standalone synthesizer with wide- reaching CV (Control Voltage)/Gate, MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), and USB (Universal Serial Bus) connectivity that it effectively enhances — as of July 4…
Like its Dark Energy II predecessor, released to widespread critical acclaim back in 2012, Dark Energy III is a desktop monophonic analogue standalone synthesizer with wide-reaching CV/Gate, MIDI, and USB connectivity. Continuing that intriguingly-named lineage, likewise, Dark Energy III’s sound generation and all modulation sources are 100% analogue, with only its inbuilt MIDI/USB components entering the digital arena (as is obviously necessary, naturally). Needless to say, everything is built into a rugged black metal case with wooden side plates, while high-quality potentiometers with metal shafts are used; ultimately, each potentiometer is mounted firmly to the chassis, so no wobbly shafts and knobs — unlike some cheaply-constructed competing (non-Doepfer) designs. Dark Energy III is, indeed, essentially an enhanced version of Doepfer’s desktop standalone synthesizer so central to the company’s product line for so long, but boasts several notable differences.
Notably — not least audibly, although also apparent from the front panel’s waveform Shape switch labelling, a triangle Shape waveform is now central to the VCO (Voltage-Controlled Oscillator) core, which now no longer requires a warmup period for optimal operation over a 10-octave frequency range (with 1V/Oct tracking over at least eight octaves).
On top of that, there are now separate Reset LFO1 and Reset LFO 2 Inputs for the two resettable LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators). These sockets synchronise both LFOs to external gate signals, so when a gate signal of +5V (or higher) is applied at a socket then its positive ramp sets the corresponding LFO wave shape to zero and the LFO restarts with a rising ramp.
All analogue synthesizers use a VCA (Voltage-Controlled Amplifier) to dynamically control loudness (or volume); Doepfer’s Dark Energy III design differs from its predecessor — and also many other analogue synthesizers — by virtue of its VCA having a linear control scale, so lends itself to scaling control voltages.
Several signal routings and functions are additionally available to any adventurous ‘Doepfer DIY’er’ willing and able to modify Dark Energy III’s front panel sockets by removing jumpers and rewiring the pin-headers for the VCO PW, Reset LFO1, Reset LFO2, and VCA Inputs. For example, the VCO PW input can be converted into a linear FM input, or LFO/ADSR signals can be used as outputs instead of one of the resettable LFO inputs. Indeed, (almost) anything is possible, including various VCO outputs (triangle, sawtooth, rectangle); VCO hard sync input; VCO soft sync input; various VCF outputs (lowpass, highpass, bandpass); various LFO outputs (triangle, rectangle); ADSR output; and two inverters with input/output (to invert any signal, such as ADSR or LFO).
Effective enhancements notwithstanding, the favoured filter found in Dark Energy II remains unchanged in Dark Energy III. Indeed, its sound- defining VCF (Voltage-Controlled Filter) is centred around a 12dB multimode filter with lowpass, notch, highpass, and bandpass settings, together with a filter Mode control for continuous transition from lowpass via notch and highpass around to bandpass; its XFM (Exponential Frequency Modulation) control also has a polarization function, whereby the modulation source (LFO2 or ADSR) selected by the Source switch can affect the filter frequency with a positive or negative behaviour (by rotating rightwards or leftwards, respectively).
Meanwhile, mounting of two or more Dark Energy — original, II, and III — units is possible, with or without wooden side plates between them. Though there is still not sufficient space to accommodate a dedicated MIDI output socket on the Dark Energy III rear panel, it is still possible for those adventurous ‘Doepfer DIY’ers’ to link two or more Dark Energy — original, II, and III — units via MIDI out/MIDI in using the two pin-headers available at the supply/interface board mounted at the rear panel. (Fortunately for them, Doepfer has helpfully posted a downloadable document with additional technical information here: http://www.doepfer.de/pdf/Dark_Energy_III_technical_information.pdf.)
Put it this way: with Dark Energy III, Doepfer delivers another effective enhancement of a highly-capable monophonic analogue standalone synthesizer, continuing to make its musical mark with a compact desktop design dating back to 2010 (when wowing audiences around the world with its original Dark Energy entry).
Ending on a high note, who better to tender tasty food for thought, then, than Doepfer Musikelektronik CEO Dieter Doepfer, the esteemed electronic musical devices designer who lends his notable name to the renowned company and has been known to look beyond our world for inspiration: “Dark Energy III is not a tool for space research, neither is it suitable for studies in astrophysics. Yet, we find these topics as fascinating as music technology — reason enough to celebrate ‘Hubble & Co.’s amazing discoveries a bit and call our brand-new synthesizer Dark Energy III.”
In Germany, Dark Energy III can be ordered online from Doepfer Musikelektronic GmbH (http://www.doepfer.de/form_e.htm) or via one of its German dealers (https://docs.doepfer.eu/en/dealer-germany/) for €479.00 EUR. (An optional user-installable Glide control kit — containing a prewired potentiometer with two nuts and a Dark Energy-style rotary knob — is available for €10.00 EUR.)
Outside Germany, Dark Energy III can only be ordered from Doepfer dealers in territories listed here: https://docs.doepfer.eu/en/ (That said, residents in countries without representation can order directly from Doepfer Musikelektronic GmbH.)
For more in-depth info, please visit the dedicated Dark Energy III webpage here: http://www.doepfer.de/Dark_Energy_III_e.htm

Arturia announces minibrute 2 and more

ARTURIA MINIBRUTE 2 SEMI-MODULARn ANALOG SYNTHESIZER ANNOUNCED

Arturia are thrilled to announce the imminent release of a new synthesizer, one of three new products which will all be available at stores from late february 2018.

MiniBrute 2 is a 25-key analog monosynth with semi-modular architecture, bridging the gap between the traditional synthesizer instruments and the exciting world of modular. MiniBrute 2 shares many of the same iconic features that made its predecessor such a success, including mixable oscillators, the acidic Steiner-Parker filter, and the chaotic Brute Factor. While keeping many of its signature elements, the tone-shaping potential of MiniBrute 2 has been almost exponentially increased.

The reimagined MiniBrute now features semi-modular architecture, adding a comprehensive CV/Gate patch matrix that allows users to both rework its internal signal routing, but also expand into the blossoming world of modular. It also features the same high quality, aftertouch-enabled keybed found in their flagship MatrixBrute synth, making it a joy to play. Truly an instrument designed for musicians by musicians.

Arturia’s latest small-but-mighty monosynth is the successor to their debut analog instrument, the MiniBrute. The first incarnation was released in 2012, and turned the industry on its head, offering a unique, affordable analog synth experience with attitude.

MiniBrute 2 also features exciting new features that greatly expand its potential, both as the focal point of a creative studio, and as a road-ready performance platform. One of these features includes the new Arturia Link, an exciting innovation that will help unify and democratize your creative environment.

More information on the Link system and how it integrates with other devices will be released shortly. Stay tuned for more Arturia product announcements, and all of your questions shall be answered.

To get a good look at MiniBrute 2 in action, and to hear how it sounds, check out the official Arturia MiniBrute 2 announcement video, featuring London-based trip-hop act The Salvador Darlings.

To get hands on with all 3 of the new products, find Arturia at NAMM 2018. They’ll be at booth #11910.
Discover the MiniBrute 2 introduction movie shot in London to hear it in action!

It is not over! Tomorrow we will announce another product. Make sure to check the Arturia website to be part of the first to know!
https://www.arturia.com/minibrute-2-landing

Lab Lounging with the Vermona uniCYCLE VCO

 

The Vermona uniCycle is the new VCO from synth masterminds Vermona. Sharing its core with the ’14 synthesizer the uniCycle adds some tricks for the modular system.

From the vermona site 

Oscillator-circuits are used in our VERMONA synthesizers, we know how to design them. But instead of copy and paste, we reworked many aspects when adapting our circuits for modular purpose. What is great for closed systems might not always be perfect for modular systems.

All that development work resulted in uniCYCLE: compact, high-performant and stable.

Simple interface and quality without compromises

Continue reading

New eurorack oscillator from VERMONA the UniCycle

VERMONA is proud to announce availability of the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator — a six-waveform VCO (Voltage-Controlled Oscillator) module for the popular Eurorack small-format modular system with an outstanding feature set that is all set to help it stand out from the sound of the crowd (to partially paraphrase the early-Eighties British breakthrough hit from synth-pop pioneers The Human League, no strangers to Eurorack today themselves) — as of August 25…

Audio-oscillators are probably the most widespread modules found in Eurorack small-format modular systems today — hardly surprising since they are fundamental for generating synthetic sounds, both tonal as well as percussive. Oscillators, of course, are at the musical heart of VERMONA’s sought-after synthesizers, such as the flagship ’14 ANALOG SYNTHESIZER, so the company clearly knows how to design them. That said, instead of applying a ‘copy and paste’ procedure, it reworked many aspects, adapting its oscillator circuits to Eurorack small-format modular system usage. After all, what works well for closed systems might not necessarily be perfectly suited to modular systems. Such ‘due diligence’ displayed during research and development resulted in the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator, a compact (10 HP-wide), high-performance, and stable oscillator offering all the common features that the discerning Eurorack small-format modular system user might easily expect… and, arguably, much more besides.

Besides classic sawtooth, triangle and square offerings, the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator generates sine, even, and a special sawtooth with doubled frequency for a total of six waveform OUTPUTS. PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) is not only available for that square wave, but also even — a shape that only has even-numbered harmonics — can be transformed into a sine-like wave, while the doubled saw turns into half-pitched triangles. There are also six OUTPUTS, including LIN FM (Linear Frequency Modulation) and EXP FM (Exponential Frequency Modulation) as well as H – SYNC – S (hard and soft sync).

Saving space, one knob allows access to the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator’s frequencies in three different modes. TUNE either controls the low frequency or audio range, respectively adding or subtracting exactly one octave. In this calibrated mode it provides a ‘dead-zone’ around its centre position, making it easy to access all three octaves without needing a centre-click.

Care was taken to make the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator suitable for use in a musical context when VERMONA made its design decisions. Delivering superlative sound quality with rock-solid, stable tuning, the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator obviously fulfils those all-important criteria, handling huge tuning ranges with the greatest of ease while strictly following the 1-volt-per-octave convention.

Clearly, then, the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator makes a strong case for anyone to embrace Eurorack… and at least one such module should be in every Eurorack small-format modular casing!

 

Shipping now, the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator is available to purchase through VERMONA’s growing global network ors (http://www.vermona.com/en/dealer/) with an RRP of €289.00 EUR (Europe) and $339.00 USD (USA).

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator webpage here: http://www.vermona.com/en/products/modules/product/unicycle/

VERMONA ups Eurorack attenuation ante with flexible four-channel quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator

VOGTLAND, GERMANY: electronic sound tools creator VERMONA is proud to announce availability of the quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator — a four-channel polarizer module for the popular Eurorack small-format modular system, capable of attenuating any incoming signal, in-phase or out of phase, plus providing additional functionality for further flexibility — as of August 25…

Eurorack has been nicknamed ‘Eurocrack’… and for good reason. It’s certainly addictive! As any enlightened Eurorack small-format modular system user would surely say: you can never have enough modules that influence levels, be that for audio signals or control voltages. VERMONA’s quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator helps fill that void — or, indeed, any empty Eurorack rack-space (assuming that potential purchasers have 10 HP to spare in their system) — as a four-channel polarizer module, capable of attenuating any incoming signal, in-phase or out of phase. Putting it ahead of the Eurorack pack, the way that each of those four channels work is one of its most distinguishing features. Fortunately, instead of only having one dedicated zero-point, it has a ‘dead-zone’ where the input signal will be completely suppressed, so users can easily locate the off position — even without a centre-click — while simultaneously being able to create extremely sensitive level increases.

Further flexibility abounds as the quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator realises a number of other outstanding features. Firstly, any channel’s OUTPUT signal is optionally forwarded to the next one, allowing the quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator to be used as a mixer module, as implied by its full appellation; as such, users can sum up to four signals. Secondly, the quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator can also be controlled via control voltages, with each channel boasting a CV IN alongside its INPUT; so, setting the level manually apart, users can also use each channel as a VCA (Voltage-Controlled Amplifier)… and — Eurorack being ‘Eurocrack’ — you can never have enough VCAs in a modular system, now, can you? Yet more functionality comes courtesy of the fact that the quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator has one four-quadrant multiplier per channel, allowing the module to also act as a ring modulator without any compromises — in fact, four ring modulators!

Mind the (10 HP-wide) gap. As flexible as it is functional, then, owners of any Eurorack small-format modular system should surely consider adding a quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator to their setup. After all, once you’ve got your hands on one, it’s hard to live without it. Indeed, once you’ve got your hands on one, you might need to satisfy your addiction with another!

 

Shipping now, the quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator is available to purchase through VERMONA’s growing global network of dealers (http://www.vermona.com/en/dealer/) with an RRP of €269.00 EUR (Europe) and $309.00 USD (USA).

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator webpage here: http://www.vermona.com/en/products/modules/product/quadropol/

Zeta Ohm Fluxus 1 (FLXS1) sequencer goes live on Kickstarter!

The Fluxus one Sequencer from Zeta Ohm


* Breaking news, ZetaOhm have ALREADY reached the goal and are not even halfway through the campaign!*

Recently at Knobcon 2016 I was very lucky to meet an enterprising young man by the name Tenkai. Not only did he save the day (I had a catastrophic computer failure) but he debuted an amazing new eurorack modular sequencer he was working on. Continue reading