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.
* 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 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!
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.
Radikal Technologies releases radical Eurorack-compatible oscillator module with a DSP-driven difference
MÜNCHEN, GERMANY: having turned heads, opened ears, and blown musical minds with a successful showcase at The 2017 NAMM Show, January 19-22 in Anaheim, California, high-quality synthesizer developer Radikal Technologies is proud to announce availability of its RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR — an advanced DSP-driven Eurorack-compatible oscillator module that, as implied by name, goes far beyond the realms of standard oscillator fare, firstly thanks to two oscillators that can both build swarms of (up to eight) oscillator ‘clones’ capable of being pitched in musical intervals, chords, clusters, or fat detunes, dutifully backed by having all parameter settings saveable as interpolatable snapshots, enabling even more radical results — as of March 28…
A dictionary definition of swarm typically reads: a large number of things… or oscillators, in the case of Radikal Technologies’ radical RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR, which, when switched to its highest SWARM setting, sees a maximum of 16 oscillator ‘clones’ running simultaneously. Something that stands out from the sound of the (ever-expanding Eurorack modular) crowd — to (partially) paraphrase the early-Eighties British breakthrough hit from synth-pop pioneers The Human League (themselves no strangers to the small-format modular system popularised by fellow German developers Doepfer Musikelektronik) — and surely something to behold? But building swarms of oscillator clones using both (OSCILLATOR 1 andOSCILLATOR 2) banks’ specialised set of TUNE, OCTAVES, DENSITY, SPREAD, and DETUNE controls to create pitched musical intervals, chords, clusters, or fat detunes does not necessarily mean that all 16 of those clones have to sound simultaneously.
Switched into (its default startup) Manual-Mode of operation, the RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR can function much like any other Eurorack-compatible all-analogue oscillator out there with OSCILLATOR 1 and OSCILLATOR 2 respectively appearing at the two (OUT 1 and OUT 2) outputs as sound sources for further manipulation elsewhere — using Radikal Technologies’ own RT-451 DUAL MULTIMODE FILTER module, for instance. In this scenario, the sound of the RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR module matches exactly what would be expected from the potentiometer-controlled parameter positions on its 32 HP (Horizontal Pitch) sized front panel; putting yet more controls at adventurous users’ fingertips, both banks of oscillators feature WAVE controls for smooth transitions between waveforms and TLM (Timelinearity Modulation), a variation of pulse-width modulation — known from Radikal Technologies’ SPECTRALIS 2 ANALOG SYNTHESIZER/ BEATMATRIX/FILTERBANK desktop hybrid — that can be applied to all waveforms, while exponential FM (Frequency Modulation) and linear FM modulation or PM (Phase Modulation) are also available alongside oscillator synchronisation. Pitch is, of course, controlled by the (calibrated) 1V/OCT input (which can be quantised so that only pitches of a certain tone sequence or scale are output).
Other operational modes make more radical results really shine through, though. Switching Snapshot-Mode into play permits the RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR to store up to eight memory setups, each with eight snapshots, saving all oscillator settings and memorising them even after whatever Eurorack small-format modular synth system is playing host to the module has been powered down! Such snapshots are assigned to one of eight positions accessible via the ‘big knob’ dominating the RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR’s front panel. Put it into Interpolator-Mode and everything (literally) revolves around the cyclic traversal of those snapshots, smoothly crossfading from one to the next with transitions taken care of via voltage control, an internal LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator), or the big knob itself — either way, the surrounding eight LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) illuminate accordingly in user-chosen colours, helpfully highlighting which snapshot is playing at any given time.
To make room for an RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR in any Eurorack small-format modular system means making more sound colours available to the sophisticated synthesist… Radikal by name, radical by nature, now a swarm of oscillators need not take up too much valuable rack space, so why not add one (or more) modules to your setup today to start puttingRadikal Technologies’ latest DSP-driven design through its unique-sounding paces?
Now shipping, the RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR is available for purchase from Radikal Technologies stockists at an MSRP of €598.00 EUR (in Europe) and $659.00 USD (in the US).
Soulsby Oscitron is listed as a 8 bit oscillator, but I think that is underselling what this thing really is.
The truth is this is a Vocoder, oscillator, wave shaper, phaser, bit crusher, and much more all in one module that can be freely hacked and updated. The wood ends are the first sign that this is a module unlike any other. you can use those wood end checks to hold new faceplate cover templates in place as they are released essentially updating the whole faceplate as you go. This is a truly novel approach to the idea of a multi function eurorack module. The menu system is easy to navigate while having quite an impressive depth of features. For that reason I have decided to handle demo videos of this module in parts. enjoy the first part in this series below! for more info check out Soulsby Synths. price is roughly $299 at USA dealers
8-bit wavetable module
Unique wavetable PWM Synthesis audio engine.
Quick and intuitive controls, no complex menu systems
White aluminium faceplate with walnut side panels
Nearly all parameters controllable by CV
16 preset sounds that can be overwritten with your own patches
This is a digital effect module that can take a sine wave and turn it into a wavetable, it can also be used as a complex distortion module. available now from most Eurorack Module dealers it retails around $289, get it direct from Audio Damage .
Shapes includes 16 smoothly interpolated wavetables as well as 9 lookup table algorithms
It is a true stereo module as well.
» The WAVE/ALGO knob and CV input control which wave or algorithm is active. In LOOKUP mode, the knob controls which of sixteen tables the input will scan. In ALGO mode, the knob controls which of nine algorithms will affect the input.
» The PARAM 1 knob is a variable function knob. In LOOKUP mode, it controls the width of the table scan, from about 15% of the table (at full anti-clockwise) to the entire table (at full clockwise.) In ALGO mode, its function varies, but it is usually Drive or Amount. (Basically “more.”)
» The PARAM 2 knob, in LOOKUP mode, controls the start position of the table. It can effectively be thought of as a phase control. In ALGO mode, its function varies, and it is not used in every algorithm.
» The MIX knob controls an equal power wet/dry mix. At full anti-clockwise, you only hear the input, and at full clockwise you only hear the effect.
» The MODE switch controls whether the module acts as a wavetable scanner or a waveshaper. In LOOKUP mode, the wavetables are active, while in ALGO mode, the algorithms are active.
» Shapes is true stereo; the left and right signals do not intermingle internally; thus you can, for instance, run a kick in the left channel and a snare in the right, and vary the effect by attenuating either channel before it enters the module.
» 48kHz 24 bit audio path with a high-quality Cirrus-Logic AD/DA convertor. 10Vpp CV control over all parameters.
» USB port (on the PCB board) for easy firmware updates.
» High-quality 100% Made In The USA construction, including panel-bolted 100,000-cycle BI potentiometers and custom stamped Rogan knobs.
» Power draw is 40ma from the +12V rail and 9ma from the -12V rail. This module has an on-board regulator and does not require +5V. Module depth is 25mm.
» Shapes, like all Audio Damage hardware products, includes our lifetime unconditional warranty.