Synthesis Technology had two new modules to show at Knobcon this year. The E300 Ultra VCO is a collaboration with Dave Rossum and based on his design of a sawtooth core used in the MOTM-300 5U module. The E520 is still in development but is looking to be a powerful, CV controlled multi-effects unit for Eurorack.
E300 Ultra VCO
If it’s got the word “Ultra” on then it’s bound to be good! The MOTM-300 was generally considered to be one of the most accurate and stable analogue VCOs ever created. The drift was measured at being 30 times better than the Moog 921B VCO over 12 hours. Using an “ultra-matched” differential pair transistor array it could hold things together over 15 octaves.
The E300 Eurorack version builds in some modern updates to the 25-year-old oscillator design and adds some features to the 19-year-old MOTM-300 module. Synthesis Technology’s Paul Schreiber and Dave Rossum got together to redesign the sawtooth core taking advantage of today’s improved silicon and passive components.
The E300 still uses precision, low drift resistors, adding improved C0G ceramic timing caps, the latest in low drift and low THD OPA op amps, and a new, unique triangle waveshaper that generates ‘glitchless’ triangles and sine waves.
The MOTM-300 was very sensitive to the rise time of external VCOs used to sync, and the E300 uses a much improved sync/triggering scheme to allow any signal, with fast or slow edges, to reliably force sync.
We decided that a more useful feature not in the MOTM-300 was a switchable -1/-2 suboctave (square wave) on a dedicated output jack.
The E300 is a straight forward analogue oscillator design to be as spot-on as possible within your Eurorack context. It’s neatly designed with every output revealed, a 2-octave sub, 2 FM inputs, sync and pulse width modulation. In a 14hp module this is serious stuff. Should be available in November for $299.
E520 Hyperion Audio Processor
This is definitely a work in progress but was looking nakedly impressive on the Synthesis Technology stand. The E520 is based on a 480MHz 32-bit ARM H7 with 64MB of SDRAM and will be shrunk down to 48HP in Eurorack format from its current breadboard size. It’s a combination of their E560 Deflector Shield and the E580 Resampling Delay wrapped up in a stereo in/out effects unit. There are 4 CV inputs for controlling parameters and soft buttons for things like tap tempo and a bypass button that you don’t often see in Eurorack effects. It can record stereo high-resolution samples up to 22 minutes long.
It has a lovely bright screen and will load up whatever algorithms they decide to code for it including the aforementioned Deflector Shield and Resampling Delay. They mention how this is not intended to be a reverb module as there are a lot of those around already, this is their own thing and we need to open our minds and step beyond that wash of reverb – nice!
The E520 will be launched on Kickstarter on November 15th for less than $600 and they anticipate delivery in April 2020.
Check out the video for a demonstration of what they are doing with it.
- Synthesis Technology website.