X Audio Systems are about to launch a new BEATS FM prototype onto Indiegogo to nail down “The Ultimate Noise Machine” stereo sound processor that’s also a radio.
The name makes you assume it’s an FM Synthesis-based groove box, but it really isn’t. No idea where the Beats come from but the FM refers to the integrated FM/AM/SW radio that can be used as a noise source. In some ways, the radio is a weird distraction from what is otherwise quite an interesting stereo audio processor. On the other hand, the radio seems to be a big part of this box and so it must be a thing.
This video will help explain it, possibly.
The project was started in 2020 and at this point, they are about to release revision 4 of the prototype. It’s going to be crowdfunded via Indiegogo and you are advised to sign up now to make sure you get the early-bird discount. You can follow the evolution of the project via the @mad_synth_engineer TikTok or Instagram.
The BEATS FM unit contains a wideband FM/AM/SW radio with manual and LFO modulated tuning. It also takes an external input that you can mix with the output of the radio. Next, we have a pair of analogue lowpass and highpass filters. Following on is a stereo digital delay with up to 4 seconds of delay time. The modulation section has a very interesting LFO. Along with rate, there’s a multiplier knob to reach a wide range of frequencies. But this has 16 LFO waveforms and all of them can be bent and manipulated via a Wave Bender knob.
Sync is also a feature. You can tap in a tempo, send it audio clicks or clock pulses and that can be used to keep the LFO and delays in check.
Here’s an example of using the radio to generate some analogue FM synthesis.
BEATS FM is a really interesting project that just as a desktop audio processor could be a lot of fun. The radio aspect is undoubtedly a fascinated way to get audio and noise flowing that’s ever-changing and prone to difference, so I can see where that could come in. I’m looking forward to seeing more complete demos of the unit once it’s ready to go.