The LFE is a hardware modulation expander for the OB-6, Prophet 5, 6, 10 and more and its just had an overhaul.
First of all, they look great! Some new panel designs in there with clearer labelling and a much nicer OLED screen in a choice of colours.
The LFE is a standalone hardware modulation expander that was original designed for the Oberheim OB-6 and Sequential Prophet 5 but has since got its LFOs into the Prophet 6, Moog Voyager, Korg Prologue and Nord Wave 2. You can in fact plug it into anything that responds to MIDI CC messages and you can set it up yourself.
The LFE generates 3 complex LFOs and a 6-stage envelope which can be sent over MIDI to add further modulations to your synthesizer. It also has a 4-slot modulation matrix for routing all sorts of MIDI controls and features. The way it embeds itself into your synth means that when you select a patch on your synth it pulls in the expanded patch from the LFE.
New in 3.0
The key new feature is support for MIDI Polyphonic Expression or MPE. For the OB-6 and Prophet 6 it can send modulations to each voice independently rather than globally. This results in the 4 front panel modulators operating 7 modulators under the hood for 7 envelopes and 21 LFOs. In Poly Chain mode this goes up to 13 envelopes and 37 LFOs over 12 voices. A feature called MPE Spread adds tiny variations to keep that vintage feel.
They’ve added an Aux MIDI Channel so you can now address a second MIDI channel in a patch. This is useful for sending out modulation or patch change information to other attached devices.
And finally, there’s an Arpeggiator which is designed primarily for Prophet 5 / 10 and Voyager users. It has the usual direction and play modes, up to 4 octaves and a Gate length control of up to 200% for overlapping notes.
The LFE is an extraordinarily useful device for people with a supported synthesizer. While it can work with anything I imagine the magic lies in that patch integration of the specified synths and the ease with which they run together.
The basic OB-6 or Prophet styled LFE is £540. The rather nice oak ends will cost you another £50 and a CV option adds £40. They are available via the Facebook page below or by contacting Steve Hunt on firstname.lastname@example.org
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