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/

The SynthSummitShow episode 20: Taiho Yamada (MOK) + giveaway

The SynthSummitShow episode 20: Taiho Yamada

 

Mr Yamada has an extensive history in the synthesizer world dating back to early days of the Alesis Rompler synths such as the Quadrasynth and has been instrumental in quite a few key synthesizers of our time. From the Alesis Andromeda, Ion, and Fusion to the M-Audio Venom Taiho Yamada’s career has been steeped in synth gold. Now striking out on his own with company Media OverKill (MOK)  Taiho looks to set the bar with a new form of patent pending synthesis in WaveRazor. Join this show and learn details on how you could win a copy of both WaveForm and WaveRazor! It was a great interview filled with lots of 90’s and 2000’s synth history, very much worth a listen!

Novation Circuit Review

The Novation Circuit portable Groovebox

This Circuit review is one that I specifically requested from Novation. I was quite interested in the idea of a portable groove box that held one of my favorite synth engines in a battery controlled, forward thinking design. I was concerned about the macro control layout as I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the layout. I came away from my time with the circuit gaining a new appreciation for this different take on a portable synth. Instead of focusing on specifics like ADSR settings or complex oscillator set ups, This groove box opts to give you macros that can control 4 parameters on any given patch. While this might be a bit confusing, it also serves as the pathway to inspiration and discovery of new unexpected sounds. This is where Circuit can come into its own… The sequencer is a bit on the basic side being only 16 steps but it does allow for independent note lengths and pattern chaining. You can launch patterns in a similar way to the ableton live clip launching method. Speaking of Ableton Live, a copy is included free with Circuit and Circuit can be used as a controller for live.

The Battery power and the fact that it has a built in speaker was a large draw for me. I’m happy to say that through out this entire review I never once needed to actually plug it into the wall (though the wall adapter is included in the box). The internal speaker is quite adequate to get its sound across in a quiet setting (don’t expect it to be loud enough to get peoples attention in a noisy bus station but it will certainly turn heads if you are sitting in a starbucks.)

I found the over all build quality to be extremely good. The knobs feel VERY nice , smooth with decent resolution. the body didn’t creak or feel hollow and plasticy.  The build felt so nice I let my 2 and a half year old son bash away on it with not so much as a scratch or a worry. I have to say he quite enjoyed it as well.

I was skeptical of the layout but came away impressed with the build quality. The constant updates from novation is a very promising sign and the addition of sample import and “sample flip” is not to be over looked. the rigid 16 step sequencer resolution is probably my biggest gripe but for what this product is, its hardly a deal breaker.

If you are looking for a groove box that you can confidently take with you on the go and is truly stand alone… this might be right up your alley.

The SynthSummitShow episode 18: John Bowen synth designs

This episode I was fortunate to have John Bowen on the show. A staple in the synthesizer community for roughly 40 years, John has been instrumental in many of the legendary synths of our time. Join us as we walk through a piece of synth history and cap it off with a discussion of his amazing Solaris synthesizer.

for more info check out Johnbowen.com 

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

Hex Inverter Mutant Rim shot, ZNO, Red Dragon Eurorack modules at NAMM ’17

Hex Inverter the mind behind the Mutant Drums series of Eurorack Modules returns to NAMM 2017 with a new filter, Rim shot and wild noise source oscillator. Winston from Balcones Whiskey steps in to assist with this coverage so big thanks to Winston and the crew at Balcones whiskey.

New Synthesizer Modules from Hex inverter at Namm 2017!

Pittsburgh Modular Double Helix VCO and new Lifeforms modules NAMM ’17

 

Designed to be the nucleus of a synthesizer, the Double Helix Oscillator is a modular waveform generator like no other. A set of beefy, analog oscillators paired with voltage controlled shape contouring, deep modulation and a performance-ready voltage controlled modulation matrix create a dynamic, analog waveform playground.

At the core of the Double Helix are two, wide-range precision oscillators. The primary oscillator includes a full complement of waveforms and multiple modulation options. The secondary oscillator offers a more focused set of waves and frequency modulation. Both oscillators reach deep into LFO range and can be used as voltage-controlled modulation sources.

The contour section of the Double Helix Oscillator features a highly tuned wavefolder paired with an exclusive dynamic impulse low pass gate. The contour signal chain starts with a two-channel mixer. This allows multiple waveforms or multiple oscillators to be combined before passing though the contour section. The first half of the contour section is a voltage-controlled, 6-stage wavefolder used to add odd harmonics to the incoming waveform. The timbre and timbre CV controls set the density and amplitude of the folds. When processing a sine wave, the wavefolder creates a spectral change from zero harmonics to square, with an infinite harmonic series.

The second half of the contour section is a dynamic impulse low pass gate. The effect of the low pass gate is similar to pairing a low pass filter and VCA together. As the dynamics control is opened, the filter adds harmonics and the VCA increases the amplitude of the waveform. As the dynamics control is closed, the filter removes harmonics and the VCA decreases the amplitude of the waveform. This pairing mimics how sound behaves in the real world creating a more naturally tonal response. The impulse input adds the ability to strike or ping the low pass gate circuit creating a very organic, percussive sound. The decay time of the impulse input is set by the dynamics response control allowing the strike to be tuned to a specific musical context.

The modulation section includes an LFO offering simultaneous sine, square, and random waveforms. A noise source is also available for audio or modulation use.

A pair of voltage-controlled routers manage all the CV inputs creating a dual, voltage controlled modulation matrix perfect for complex signal paths, experimentation, and live performance. The matrix consists of two voltage-controlled amplifiers designed to control the modulation amount inputs that can be routed to any of the Double Helix CV inputs. Each of the CV inputs can be switched to channel a, bypass, or channel b and mixed with a dedicated CV input.

Features

  • Panel size: 28hp
  • Depth: 37mm
  • Power Usage: +12v 223mA, -12v 205mA
  • Does not require +5v