by Robin Vincent | 3,2 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Hampshire Electronics The Vulcan

Hampshire Electronics The Vulcan  ·  Source: Hampshire Electronics

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Can you really squeeze an 8-voice analogue polysynth into a reasonably sized Eurorack module? Hampshire Electronics believes it can, and it’s called The Vulcan.

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The Vulcan

It looks no bigger than the Erebus kit from Dreadbox or the Cre8audio East Beast. But The Vulcan is a 2-oscillator, 8-voice polysynth with a 100% analogue signal path. It’s important to know straight away that for 8-voices, you only get to play with one oscillator. It’s only when you switch to 4-voice mode, can you use the two together. Everything appears to be where it should be so there should be no trouble getting stuck in, except how will we play this in Eurorack?

As far as I can see there’s a single input for MIDI and a single output for sound. Hampshire Electronics has bypassed all that messing about with CV by making it a MIDI synth and normalising all the modulation and signal routing behind the panel. That’s not to say it’s not versatile. There are three LFOs with 10 destinations selectable on the front panel.

What’s also interesting is that each oscillator has its own lowpass filter, pulse width modulation and sub-oscillator. The filters can be tied to be the same or they can run completely independently. That could make for some exciting tonal combinations and unexpected movement.

Other features include level control on the individual oscillators, 4 wave shapes, 2 envelopes and room for up to 99 presets stored behind a classic 2-digital display.

The layout is a little busy but not too crowded and slightly offset in places which is either delightful or annoying depending on how ordered you like your life to be. The lack of patch points seems out of character for Eurorack, but I guess you have to treat it as self-contained.

MIDI only?

Having to play it via MIDI is not ideal simply because we’re used to using CV within our racks. If Hampshire Electronics had shipped it as a standalone synth with a box, which was also rackable, I don’t think anyone would have batted an eyelid. But as a Eurorack module, it is always going to have an answer to the MIDI question. The forthcoming Knobula Chord Pilot would be a good companion as a way of converting CV triggering into polyphonic MIDI.

As a synth, there are a lot of things to play with. Watching the video (below) it sounds just like you’d expect it to. I like the independence of the oscillators and filters, the way you can modulate them with the LFOs offers a lot of scope. Hampshire Electronics is hoping to have The Vulcan available just after Christmas. No commitment to a price yet but apparently it will be “reasonable”. That will be a key factor, as will getting a couple of impressive sound demo videos done!

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Hampshire Electronics The Vulcan

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10 responses to “Vulcan: 8-Voice analogue polysynth for Eurorack”

    Klaus die Maus says:
    0

    This synth will not be cheap, so they do not dare to share the price. And 99 Presets in the year of 2022 is not up to date. Midi is for a polysynth necessary, I see nö problem with it, because cv is monophonic. But yes, why do they press a polysynth without cv influence into an eurorack? And the design is really silly, I seldom saw such unprofessionell design, maybe a fast shot. They really have to ask a pro designer to get better.

    Rick Fakeman says:
    0

    ….Next!

    Rizzo says:
    0

    Why waste precious HP in Euro with a module that has zero CV connectivity? Would be more suited to a compact desktop unit. #Nope

    It’s bad enough how cramped Eurorack layouts are, they’ve made theirs even more cramped by devoting 20% of the panel to their name and logo.

      Dongleboob says:
      0

      Not necessarily.
      There’s a depth issue to contend with in Eurorack. Most cases have a maximum depth of module they can accept.
      Perhaps in this case a lot of the “brains” of the unit is behind that logo?

    Arrandan says:
    0

    It’s like turning modular into non-modular with an expensive module. Either you go modular and then you don’t buy this kind of module. Or you buy derktop/keyboard synths, in which case… you don’t buy this module either. A solution looking for a problem!

    Papparazzi says:
    0

    Vasting 1/4 of pnaels space for logo and empry space is a major nono!

    nordengine says:
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    Dieter Doepfer always says, if you want a polysynth get a polysynth. Eurorack is not for polysynths in the traditional way. So for a polysynth to exist in eurorack format it should give you more than just midi.
    The design is unpleasing to the eye, but not a criticism, after all it is subjective.

    umts umts umts says:
    0

    This is so….. boutique!

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