Analog Solutions announces new desktop Synth

Analogue Solutions spreads synthBlocks series wings with tiny Treadstone true analogue mono synth
KINGSWINFORD, UK: hot on the heels of its inaugural Mr Hyde and Dr Strangelove so-called synthBlocks (launched late last year to widespread critical acclaim), British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions is proud to widen the self-explanatory series’ scope with Treadstone — taking the same smart, small, and affordable desktop design-driven analogue attributes of its similarly superior-sounding signal-processing siblings and applying them to a true analogue mono synth that packs a lot of (patchable) punch into a perfectly-matched, portable package — as of January 19…
Treadstone takes its intriguing name from a fictional highly-classified, heavily-guarded secret program that features in the series of books based on a fictional spy and associated feature films; it is shut down as the thrilling plot thickens, alas. As the latest addition to Analogue Solutions’ synthBlocks series — squarely aimed at laptop and audio plug-ins-focused digital musicians wishing to apply analogue, hands-on hardware sound-sculpting creativity to their sometimes sterile-sounding computer-based creations, the tiny Treadstone true analogue mono synth is far from fictional, however; hearing is believing, but it would, without question, make for a superior-sounding, space-saving desktop addition to any discerning film composer’s creative studio space — or anyone else’s, for that matter!
More meaningfully, maybe, Treadstone treads far from carefully, but boldly goes where few analogue synthesizers dare to win… with an all-analogue audio path and modulation circuits based on superior-sounding designs dating back to the mid-Seventies, so no CPU (Central Processing Unit) stabilised and quantised circuits, no DCOs (Digitally-Controlled Oscillators), and no digital EGs (Envelope Generators), as are often found on other ‘all-analogue’ affairs. Analogue as in really analogue — aside from the MIDI-to-CV circuit (which, by its very nature, must include a digital element) — in other words.
Winning analogue attributes apart (as attested to by its immediately apparent sonic strengths), this pocket-sized powerhouse packs a lot into its 134 x 125 x 52mm diminutive dimensions — including a serious single VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) with square and sawtooth waveforms plus noise and an associated sub-oscillator, a reissue of the classic SSM2044 4-Pole VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter) chip (as used in many classic synths, such as the Korg Polysix and Monopoly, as well as E-mu’s Emulator and SP1200 sampling trailblazers), an analogue echo (REFLECT), and a unique LOOP SEQUENCER (to input, edit, and play up to 16 MIDI notes) — while weighing in at only 420g! Get this, though: Treadstone is designed, built, tested, and assembled in the UK using only high-quality components as is the Analogue Solutions way, with a full rugged steel/aluminium case combined with real ‘analogue’ wood side pieces perfectly reflecting its polished pedigree.
Put it this way: what’s within certainly counts in large amounts, albeit admittedly appearing at odds with those diminutive dimensions. Digging deeper, putting Treadstone through its musical and experimental paces can be as complex or uncomplicated an experience as deemed necessary; needless to say, Analogue Solutions has treated Treadstone to a diversity of creative controls and accompanying patch sockets, surely satisfying even the most ‘battle-hardened’ subtractive synthesists around — hardly surprising since Treadstone was designed by Analogue Solutions founder Tom Carpenter. 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 latest creation clearly wasn’t the result of engineering design decisions alone — nor driven by a steering committee of men (or woman) in suits. So what else is ‘inside’ this small but perfectly formed box of subtractive synthesis tricks, then?
Thoughtfully, Treadstone is fully compatible with the ever-popular Eurorack small-format modular system and operates on the 1v/oct standard, so, armed with a fistful of 3.5mm mini-jacks, justifiably serious synthesists can interface it with their modular system or have it act as an exceptional external voice for another analogue synthesizer — after all, Oberheim’s Synthesizer Expander Module® (SEM) started life as an add-on synthesizer module for fattening up Minimoogs before becoming a sought-after sound in its own right (with up to eight embedded in Oberheim’s groundbreaking Seventies-vintage polysynths). Reality shows that Treadstone sounds a lot fatter than it looks!
Looks, of course, can be deceiving. Demonstrating design flare and flexibility, Treadstone can capably turn its hand — well… knobs, switches, and patching — to any number of applications. Any time anyone needs analogue sound effects, fat basses, screaming leads, bleeps, blurps, zaps, and all manner of other crazy sounds associated with subtractive synthesis… try Treadstone! Then consider that Treadstone has an AUDIO IN (input) socket, so users can feed external sounds through the onboard analogue filters for analogue processing. Producing electronic percussion sounds — such as kicks, snares, hi-hats, and cymbals — is perfectly possible in the hands of skilled synthesists. Speaking of which, while Treadstone is partially pre-patched, many of these patches can be cancelled using the switches and controls. Indeed, it has such wide-ranging modulation routing possibilities that it is almost as versatile as a full modular system and can create similar sounds — and all without the mess and confusion of cables! Cables, of course, can be used to re-patch Treadstone, thanks to an abundance of carefully chosen patch sockets, or connect externally elsewhere.
Either way, Treadstone makes for a fine addition to Analogue Solutions’ synthBlocks series, and a superior-sounding, space-saving addition to any studio or stage setup. Synth in pocket, indeed… Treadstone’s no pretender! 
UK purchase price for the Treadstone synthBlock is £499.00 GBP (including VAT), via dealers (http://analoguesolutions.com/global-distribution/) and Analogue Solutions directly.
North American availability of the Treadstone synthBlock is being handled via Voltage & Company (http://www.vcousa.com) — full-service reps of high-quality manufacturers from around the world — with a retail price of $599.00 USD, while (most) EU distribution is being handled by Sonic Sales (http://www.sonic-sales.de) — one of the largest full-service MI (Musical Instrument) distribution companies in Europe — priced at €589.00 EUR (including VAT).
For more in-depth info, visit the dedicated Treadstone webpage here: http://analoguesolutions.com/treadstone-synthblock/
Watch Analogue Solutions’ ear-tickling Treadstone teaser video here: https://youtu.be/CmLKV9_Y78g?list=PLq-KgzIcyyGFGRNp2SBlHy3YZdQq-9lb7 

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/

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