Steady State Fate Zephyr: Compact complex VCO
Zephyr brings together the trackability and octave switching of the Spectrum VCO and the waveform generation of the Zero Point Oscillator and adds some spice.
Apparently, because of the component shortage, Steady State Fate is having trouble building modules like the Zero Point Oscillator. And so SSF has designed Zephyr to make use of more widely available components. At the same time, it has some unique character to offer something different to Zero Point while fulfilling many of the same functions.
As an analogue oscillator, Zephyr has all the things you’d expect. You’ve got your 1v/oct driven sine, triangle, pulse and sawtooth outputs, FM with an attenuator, Hard Sync and a 1 or 2-octave sub-oscillator. But then things start to deviate from the norm. The pulse width modulation (PWM) can pull in from the edge or the centre and also impact the sub-oscillator. You have coarse tuning plus an 8-octave rotary switch which is unusual, alongside a single octave of fine-tuning and a switch to go LFO. It has wave folding and a multi-mode input called ZMOD.
This all adds up to a very full analogue oscillator.
In addition to the regular waveform outputs, we have the Z-Wave output. This mixes a wavefolded and overdriven sine wave with the PWM pulse wave. The ZMOD input can work with Through-Zero Phase Modulation, ZYNC (hybrid reversing sync with linear TZPM) and FLIP, which is hard waveform reversal. Apparently, the ZMOD really likes audio-rate modulation, so essentially, you’re pairing it with another oscillator for modulation.
Whatever way you like to modulate the Zephyr can spill a lot of interesting and complex tones out of the Z-Wave output. And rather than including two oscillators like most complex oscillators, the single oscillator approach gives you a more compact and versatile module as you can choose your modulator. Alternatively, you can strip it back to regular waveforms. Check out the video below from Red Means Recording for a great dive into this module.
The Zephyr Complex Oscillator is available now for $379.