Dutch manufacturer Singular Audio released a new hardware – filterdrve. This is an “adaptation” of the Korg MS-20 semi-modular synthesizer’s notoriously grouchy, squealing, and characterful filter for Series 500 racks. It may seem like an esoteric piece of kit for some, but, if you know – you know!
Singular Audio filterdrve
filterdrve pays due respect to the original circuit and also honours solid engineering skill, with quality components and upgrades like low-noise operation, adjustable overdrive, controllable feedback, switchable high-pass operation, and controlled gain structure. That’s how you do a barely-tamed beast like the MS-20 filter justice in 2021! It’s the kind of stuff you need to bring the grit that the past 15 years or so ravished back into music.
In terms of what went into building filterdrve, bypass switching is accomplished with hardware relays to obtain transparency. A 16v bipolar power supply is used to enable extended headroom, although the Drive control will inevitably reduce it (as distortion is also a form of compression). Other build features include alpha metal pots, laser-engraved aluminium faceplate, and high quality switches. It’s a nice thing to look at, but the screaming self-oscillation should be even nicer!
Having tinkered with an MS-20 in its hardware and plug-in incarnations, I can easily imagine the sheer fun of having that filter wreck creative havoc onto an unsuspecting studio rig. I mean, check out the videos below and you’ll understand why Singular Audio has my support! If I ever get to putting together a 500 series rack, filterdrve is among the first modules going in.
Price and availability
The filterdrve is available now, in small hand-assembled batches. Units from the the initial run will be sold for EUR 299 (+ tax and shipping). The next batch will be sold at the regular price of EUR 350 (+ tax and shipping). Singular Audio ships from Amsterdam, NL to anywhere in the world.