micronaut – experiment seven

October 3, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized 

“In the middle of beta-testing the DSI Tempest, I decided to knock out a quick movie showing the cool pattern-switching and ribbon controller abilities. Also in this video: MeeBlip and DSI TETR4, and Eventide TimeFactor. Recorded to and mixed from 8-track 1/2″ tape.”

Hardware feature The TETR4:

  • Affordable, fully programmable poly synth with a 100% analog signal path.
  • Classic, real analog sound—including legendary Curtis analog low-pass filter.
  • Four-part multitimbral capability with four separate outputs.
  • Combo Mode for huge unison patches, stacked sequences, and “modular-style” poly sounds.
  • Expandable: poly chain with other Tetras, Prophet ’08, and Mopho for expanded polyphony
  • Just 7.9″ x 5″ (20.07 cm x 12.7 cm).
  • Free editor for Mac OS and Windows.
Overview

Tetra is our next-generation analog poly synth. Tetra takes the award-winning sound and features of Mopho, multiplies them by four, and packs them in a box less than half an inch larger!

Tetra has multiple personalities. It is a four-voice, analog poly synth, a sort of “mini Prophet.” It’s a four-part, multitimbral synth with separate outputs, essentially four Mophos in one very compact box. And it’s a voice expander for other Tetras or the Prophet ’08.

Outside the Box
Physically, Tetra is similar to Mopho, with four assignable parameter controls per program and a row of controls dedicated to the most commonly used performance parameters. All of the parameters can be accessed from the front panel and Tetra is fully programmable. A free, downloadable editor is available for Mac OS and Windows to facilitate more comprehensive tweaking.

Most of the rotary controls are detented encoders, but Cutoff and Resonance are potentiometers, allowing full sweeps with a single turn. The Push It button is a manual trigger to play notes and latch sequences on without the need for a MIDI controller.

Audio is output in mono, stereo, or per voice, via the four audio output jacks. There is also a headphone out. MIDI communication is by standard MIDI in and out jacks or USB. Poly Chain Out is a special, dedicated MIDI output to chain multiple instruments for increased polyphony.

Under the Hood
The voice architecture is based on the Prophet ’08, but with the addition of a sub-octave generator for each oscillator and a fully programmable feedback loop for each voice. That breaks down to two DCOs, a resonant low-pass filter, three DADSR envelope generators, four LFOS, deep modulation routing, an arpeggiator, and a 16 x 4 analog-style step sequencer per voice. Feedback is capable of producing effects ranging from mild distortion to fairly extreme harmonic instability. (That’s a good thing.) The possibilities are nearly endless. And the audio signal path is 100% analog.

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