CircleFade has been exploring modular synthesizer in a variety of diverse ways. They’ve put their energy into software modules in VCV Rack, they’ve constructed artificially intelligent drum loops, they a very digital looking sequencer and toolbox module for Eurorack and now they want to produce a hardware semi-modular synth with one of those cool digital macro-oscillators. They are calling it the CFM2 but it’s still at an early stage.
They are calling it an “all-in-one” synthesizer which is a bit weird since all synthesizers have all the bits they need to be the thing they are supposed to be. Maybe it’s because it has a sequencer – who knows? Anyway, it has all the bits that you would expect to find on a synthesizer. It has an oscillator, a pair of LFOs, a single ADSR envelope, a filter a useful randomiser module and some very welcome reverb. They suggest that this will give you a full Eurorack experience in a little semi-modular synth which is probably partly true. They have revealed a number of patch points for the various parts of the synth which is great, but there are a lot which they haven’t.
What’s interesting is the nature of the oscillator. They’ve gone for a Macro Oscillator like that found in the Arturia MicroFreak or oscillator 3 on the Korg Minilogue XD. It allows it to load up all sorts of sounds, oscillator models, wavetables and such like. They say it’s inspired by the Mutable Instruments Plaits although they are saying that they are not going to be using the open-source version of that module. There will be 8 banks of oscillators so it should go well beyond what the Plaits has to offer.
This could be a cool little box. I always like synths that have CV patch points next to the parameter it’s for rather than in a separate patch bay. The sequencer looks useful and the reverb and utilities are great to have. It should work fine with any other Eurorack stuff although they haven’t said whether it will be rackable itself. Although having ports like USB on the front panel would indicate that racking is a possibility.
The target price is €350 which puts it round about the ball-park of the MicroFreak, just about. They are announcing it now because they are interested in getting ideas and feedback from the community and interested people so that they can make it into the best possible synthesizer they can. The original Facebook post certainly has a bunch of feedback for them to be thinking about. I wonder how much they’ll take on board and when we’ll see the finished product.
- CFM2 webpage.