One of the standout products at NAMM this year was the Erica Synths FusionBox. It takes their Fusion analogue delay/chorus Eurorack module and puts it in nice big desktop box easy controls and rear-mounted inputs and outputs. It’s just been released and I can now bring you all the details.
It’s a fully analogue effects processor based on two bucket brigade delay chips and tube overdrive. The idea is that it’s a hands-on effects box for synth and groovebox users who are tired of re-purposing guitar stomp boxes. This is designed for the desktop but it also has a footswitch socket at the back for those who find feet useful in these situations. So, yes, guitarists can use it as well.
The effects are delay based moving through the delay to chorus and flanging by manipulating the knobs.
You may have noticed the nice big fat tube in the middle of the unit. The tube overdrive is present in both the delay output and the feedback path for “extra thickness of sound”. There’s also a low pass filter to add to the colour.
The input gain is fully adjustable meaning it can accommodate a whole range of input sources – guitars, synths and modular signals. Once you push the input over 5 you start to hear the tube overdrive kick in. You’ve got a big bypass switch and also a long/short switch. This switches between the two BBD delay chips. Short is for your flanging and chorusing, whereas Long heads into delays of up to 800ms. The Delay knob ranges through all the possibilities in a delightfully analogue fashion. While “Feedback” adjusts the amount of signal being fed back through the tube. Combine this with the Overdrive to control the fierceness.
Check out the video below to truly appreciate the fatness of this thing.
Vintage Stereo Ensemble
Erica are calling this a “special feature, not found in other contemporary stomp boxes or effects units”. The Vintage Stereo Ensemble effect routes the delayed, processed and filtered sound back into the dry audio with inverted phase on one channel, and direct phase in the other. Erica say that this gives it a “distinct and moving character, different than that obtained with chorus effects”. It also comes with some irregularities common to this method of generating the Ensemble effect. If you mix to mono you may find the effect disappears – re-combining the two out of phase channels. This can happen with subwoofers or if the speakers are too close. They suggest not mixing to mono!
It’s a great box of fat modulating, echoing, dub and ensemble generating loveliness. The throbbing illumination of the sound is reflected in the glow of the tube, dripping warmth all over the output in seriously pleasing ways. Nice one Erica.
The Erica Synths FusionBox is available now for €440 which seems expensive but then this is a fully analogue tube driven multi-effects box with a vintage stereo ensemble. So it’s probably about right. More information in the Erica Synths shop.