Erica Synths unveils the stunning SYNTRX II exploratory synthesizer and drops the LXR percussion and bassline machine into Eurorack.
I’d assumed with the discontinuation of the original Syntrx that Erica Synths had finished with high-end experimental synthesizers, but that is certainly not the case. Syntrx II is a beautiful piece of work that builds on the original and covers “sonic territory from daunting drones, to powerful basslines, to glitched noisescapes”.
Syntrx II features two stable oscillators with waveshaping and oscillator sync. Oscillator 1 moves from sine wave to pulse whereas oscillator 2 prefers pulse to sawtooth. A third oscillator provides a variable shaped LFO. The filter section features highpass and lowpass modes with resonance and level control. A Sample & Hold based randomiser provides some more modulation. The slightly strange Trapezoid section, which comes from the original, takes care of enveloping. As does the Joystick, but in this new version, we get to record our movements to create a more freeform modulator.
Also new is the redeveloped input section. The first input features an envelope follower to extract both the shape of the input and also the gate. The second input can handle microphone or line-level inputs, either direct or inverted. In the effects section, this time around, Erica Synths has added a Delay and upgraded the Ring Modulator.
One thing mentioned in the marketing but for which I can see no controls is the “piano-roll sequencer”. Presumably, it uses the Matrix Mixer somehow, but we’ll probably have to wait until we see it in action. Also, there’s no mention of internal speakers so I think they may have left those out. There’s no indication of them on the front at any rate.
Otherwise, our eyes get drawn to the lovely looking, softly lit VU meter and the matrix mixer to digitally recall all signal routing and patching. The ability to shift between signal mixes is compelling. It allows you to save the synth in your favourite configurations.
The Syntrx was a beautiful synthesizer; this is something more than that. It will cost you €1,800 ex VAT and should be available in the summer.
LXR Eurorack module
The LXR-02 was a fruity little drum machine and bass synth built with Sonic Potions. Erica Synths has taken its core, squeezed it into a 28HP Eurorack module, and added a bunch of CV control and patch points.
The LXR features 6 drum or percussion voices. You can use 3 of the voices as basslines if you wish. Each voice has over 30 adjustable parameters making it possible to design your own synth sounds and build your own kits. Usefully, you can transfer kits from the desktop LXR-02 via an SD card. There are 6 trigger and accent inputs, 5 CV inputs and 4 assignable outputs. There’s no sequencer in the module so you’ll have to be running the sounds from another module. The Erica Synths Drum Sequencer springs to mind.
The LXR Eurorack module will also be available in the summer for €410.