SSF take on the classic Low Pass Gate and build in some wave-bending features to elevate it from utility to a fascinating creative tool.
Steady State Gate
There’s something very organic and human in the bounce of a low pass gate. In many ways, it’s what gives modular its uniquely bleepy bloopy character. They have this mythical West-Coast status because they came out of the Buchla 200 series but we find them all of the place these days. The classic LPG is essentially a combined low pass filter and VCA circuit that close together as voltage approaches zero. This means that as the VCA closes the high frequencies are rolled off, which gives it a distinctive sound from a regular VCA.
I’m telling you all this because the Steady State Gate unexpectedly pulls these elements out into individual usage while piling on the features in terms of waveform manipulation.
Instead of just a low pass filter, SSF has added multiple modes, including 6dB/Oct Bandpass, a 6dB/Oct Lowpass and a 12 dB/Oct Lowpass. Unusually for an LPG, you have manual control over the cutoff and the resonance, which turns the module into a standalone VCF complete with CV control. So it’s already gone way beyond its remit as an LPG.
More interesting stuff happens with the middle Timbre slider. At the flick of a switch, it can be a wavefolder, a saturation circuit or QAOS, which is something that right royally messes with the resonance. The Saturate comes from an overdriven class A discrete VCA and a second-stage Zener diode soft clipper. The Fold is an Op-Amp-based Buchla style wavefolder. Meanwhile, QAOS is a unique way of adding variable character to the resonance.
It’s still a LPG
The SSG is still very happy being a classic LPG. You have an Excite input that pings the filter and a Decay slider to set the response of the VCA, which also tugs on the filter. One further bonus is that the resultant envelope is also captured, so you can use it in other modulations.
So SSF has taken the humble LPG and done some satisfyingly interesting things with it. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into. Check out Divikids video below for all the detail.
- Steady State Gate: Divkid