More and more people are looking to design and build their own synths and modules while complex oscillators are on trend, and Pittsburgh takes us to the zoo.
Pittsburgh Modular is continuing its series of experimental safari modules. In the percussion enclosure we find the Elephant Drum and the Narwhal Cymbal. Both are analogue modules driving for interesting and versatile percussion sounds. Read more about them here.
For some complex Z-Waves Steady State Fate has released Zephyr, which, unusually for a complex oscillator, only has the one VCO. The idea is that you plug in one of your other oscillators to get some audio rate modulation playing with the Zephyrs internals. Read more about it here.
Synthux Academy is offering a tempting package of microcontroller-driven synth design and an easy-to-populate PCB with the Simple project. With video tutorials to help you code your functions and design the control interface, this could be where you start your journey into building synths. Read more about it here.
Midweek Modular Bits and pieces
Here are a few more bits and pieces of modular news and coolness that I’m pleased to shine a light on for this week’s Midweek Modular.
Vaemi Osi-Op Thru-Zero Oscillator
The first oscillator from modular makers Vaemi looks the business. Osi-Op has a striking front panel and knob combination that will stand out in any rack. While it can operate as a solid, 4-waveform oscillator with a sub-oscillator, it really likes to bring modulation into its FM and Thru-Zero FM inputs.
There’s a wave shaping output that can be used for morphing between different shapes, starting with the internal sine wave and then to whatever you plug into the wave shaping input. Vaemi sees this module as more about additive synthesizer than subtractive. It wants to use additional sine waves as analogue operators while working hard to remain musical.
Interesting stuff and available now for $270.
- Vaemi website.
Serge by Random Source Audio Interface
For the 4U Serge enthusiasts, Random Source has come up with the ultimate audio interface module. It provides all sorts of connections into and out of your modular rig.
You’ve got a preamp section with line input and output, a compressor with sidechain, and a VCA with envelope follower and gate output. There’s a voltage-controlled crossfade across two inputs and a three-input mixer, a mix output and an auxiliary input. It really has everything you need to interface your Serge modular with other audio parts of your studio.
The Audio Interface will be available soon.
Happy Nerding FX Aid Pro firmware update
A new firmware update for the FX Aid Pro has brought some new things to the mound of the already weighty 200 algorithms. The key update is the arrival of more internal LFOs. The module had a single LFO with multiple waveforms for internal modulations on release. The new firmware brings the number up to three! You could arguably say that you now wouldn’t need any external modulations at all.
All the LFO settings have been slimmed down to a single display to help with navigation. The visualisation has also been improved, the screen updates through algorithm switching, and we get an oscilloscope – nice!
Rare Waves Grendel Formant Filter v2.2
Rare Waves are the makers of the Grendel range of synthesizers. The Grendal Formant Filter returns in an updated version and is a standalone Eurorack module that focuses purely on the vocal and vowel sounds. The module uses a bank of bandpass filters to generate the effect.
Rare Waves has added a three-way switch to give you a new mode that adds a 5th analogue filter for a fuller bass response. It also adds a bypass switch, something you never see in Eurorack and I think is very welcome.
- Rare Waves Grendel Formant Filter: Rare Waves