Dave Smith Instruments today began shipping the DSM01 Curtis Filter module, their first product for modular synthesizers. The module takes its name from the filter chip originally designed by the late Doug Curtis, which has been an integral part of the sound of Dave Smith’s instruments from the classic Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, all the way up to recent synths such as the Evolver, Mopho, Prophet ʼ08, and Prophet 12.
The DSM01 features a switchable 2/4-pole, resonant low-pass filter, as well as its own VCA. It is a standard 8HP wide, Eurorack-format device with interconnections made using 3.5 mm phone jacks. A carefully designed set of inputs and parameters allows voltage control of filter frequency and resonance. Filter slope is selectable between -12 dB and -24 dB. The module’s VCA features two separate outputs for the filter—one pre-VCA and the other, post-VCA. A unique feature of the filter is a Boost function that introduces harmonic distortion into the signal for more aggressive coloration.
“Having the widest tonal palette possible has always been the goal for modular users,” said Smith. “This product is our first—but significant—contribution to that world. We wanted to give modular users easy, affordable access to the classic Curtis filter sound, which I’ve always found very versatile and expressive.” The Curtis sound has often been described as saturated, brash, and powerful, and has also been fundamental to such vintage instruments as the Oberheim Xpander, Rhodes Chroma and Polaris, and Elka Synthex.
“The DSM01 packs a lot of sound-shaping power into a small package. We think modular users are going to get a lot of sonic mileage out of it,” said Smith.
The DSM01 Curtis Filter module is available now with a MAP of $179.
So here is the last….it is the last, video of what will now be the Voltage Controlled Filter in the MacBeth Elements Synthesizer- here I give a short discussion/exploratory about nailing down that sound! Speed on further into the vid if the technical stuff gets boring! I try here to give a overview of how things were done! Roll on production…..at last!
Sinevibes has released a free Audio Unit plugin –Atom. Atom is a filter with focus on dynamic, tempo-synchronised modulation. It features five different resonant filter types each with three slope settings – up to super-steep -48 dB/octave.
It has two modulators which feature multiple waveforms and run at rates from 1/128 note to 16 bars. Thanks to the chaos function which randomises the amplitude of each modulator cycle, as well as lag switch that smoothens the waveform curves, Atom allows a user to create lively, elaborate filter effects.
Atom is the first Sinevibes plugin to feature a new interface design language that is designed to cleanly present internal components and logical or audio connections between them..
- Multi-mode filter with five types and –12/24/48 dB/octave slope steepness.
- Dual modulators with eight waveforms, per-cycle chaos function and shape lag on/off switch.
- Advanced transport sync algorithm with support for tempo and time signature automation.
- Extensive use of OS X Core Animation and Accelerate frameworks for hardware-accelerated graphics and audio processing.
Solid State Logic has announced that three new Duende Native plug-ins and migration to iLok 2 copy protection are now available online.
The superior audio quality and deep feature set of the SSL Duende Native plug-in range has earned the respect of a very discerning clientele through the years.
The three new plug-ins complement the existing range with two plug-ins (X-Saturator & X-ValveComp) designed to bring some analogue saturation and distortion emulation to your digital DAW and the third (X-Phase) delivering high precision frequency specific phase correction.
The new plug-ins are available now via the SSL web site. To coincide with the new plug-in release SSL has migrated the entire Duende Native plug-in collection to the iLok 2 copy protection system. SSL has also announced a summer release for AAX native versions of the entire suite.
New Duende plug-ins
- X-Phase is an All-pass Filter plug-in that offers the user manual control and benchmark audio quality. It enables the user to apply a phase shift (sometimes called a phase offset) at a specified frequency within a signal. Unlike other filter types where the gain of selected frequencies is altered, with an All-pass Filter the gain remains unchanged throughout the signal. This is useful for fixing phase problems with microphones when recording: eg overheads causing phase problems when mixed with close mic’s.
- X-Saturator delivers a stunning range of analogue style distortion effects. It is an emulation of an analogue circuit that introduces either 2nd order valve style or 3rd order transistor style distortion or a blend of the two. At low drive settings the distortion is mild and can add gentle warming to help instruments sit nicely in a mix or to add a little extra edge to help instruments cut through a mix. As drive levels are increased so too is the level of distortion until at high drive levels heavy distortion occurs.
- X-ValveComp is a fully-featured mono or stereo channel compressor with a full set of classic channel compressor controls and an added ‘valve’ emulation stage. The valve emulation stage sits after the compressor in the signal path and adds a variable degree of primarily 2nd order harmonic saturation and distortion that thickens and colours the sound. The compressor can be switched between Peak or RMS modes and has a full set of standard controls.
X-Phase is available for purchase for £199 GBP/249 EUR/$329 USD. X-Saturator and X-ValveComp are £69 GBP/89 EUR/$119 USD each, with an introductory price of £49 GBP/59 EUR/$85 USD for the first 30 days only. Prices exclude tax.
Shoogle Studios has announced Shoogler, a free Max for Live filter device.
To celebrate the launch of our new Max for Live course we’re giving away this incredible multimode filter device! Featuring:
- 2 Independent Filter Units
- Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass, Band Stop and Peak filter types
- 4x standard LFO’s and 1x combo to modulate cutoff, Q and gain
- Full Push compatibility!
The Shoogler device is a free download (requires Facebook like).
Shoogler is an incredibly powerful dual-multimode filter with extensive modulation possibilities. It was developed by Shoogle Studios M4L guru Robert Goldie to demonstrate the type of effect you will be able to build after completing our new Max for Live: Introducer course.
“Waldorf’s mystery knob is the filter control from a big filter in a box.
That’s right, Waldorf is introducing a 2-pole filter. And one heck of a 2-pole filter it is:
Filter with cutoff and resonance, but also a Drive setting, Rectify, and switchable between low-pass, band-pass, and high-pass
LFO with Depth and Speed
LFO set to Fast, Slow, and (hilariously) Gemütlich (kinda hard to translate, actually easy-going and slower than slow)
Envelope controls: Attack/Decay/Hold, threshold, a source (hard to tell what that does), and trigger.
And it takes CV for envelope, cutoff, and gate, with jack plugs for input and output.”
“Then there’s Moog, who are introducing, as rumored, a new Theremin. And this isn’t just any Theremin: it’s a Theremin that can assist you in keeping things in tune, all whilst looking like a space-age egg from Woody Allen’s Sleeper.
It’s a Theremin with presets. Crazy presets.
It’s a digital instrument with Theremin-style controls. (Readers who speculated, you guessed right.) It’ll upset purists, perhaps, but this is rather cool: it’s based on the unique-sounding Animoog sound engine.
The synth is digital, but the input is analog: classic heterodyning style, then digitized as control signal for the engine. Onboard MIDI, CV output (presumably pre-digitization, in fact), and USB. But that engine gives you more different ways to play.
Yes, there’s a display, scale and root controls, a Presets knob, plus built-in delay. There’s a built-in speaker and headphone jack, as well, for convenience.
Price: US$299 estimated is what we heard on the floor…”
Product descriptions from our colleagues at CDM
“The Theremini is a re-imagination of one of the oldest electronic musical instrument in history, and Bob Moog’s first love – the theremin. Its design fuses the experience of performing with an instrument you don’t actually touch, with a powerful sound engine derived from Moog’s award winning synthesizer, Animoog. The Theremini guarantees immediate success to any player at any skill level, while providing new ways to experiment with music, education, and gestural control.
Assistive pitch correction allows each player to adjust the instruments level of playing difficulty. At the maximum position, the Theremini will play every note in a selected scale perfectly, making it impossible to play a wrong note. As this control is decreased, more expressive control of pitch becomes possible. When set to minimum, the Theremini will perform as a traditional theremin with analog heterodyning oscillator and absolutely no pitch assistance.
A built in tuner supplies real-time visual feedback of each note as it is played, as well as its proximity to perfection. This is useful for correcting a users playing position, or to educate younger players about pitch and scales.
The presets section allows you to select from 32 wave or wavetable-based patches, store a selected scale & root note, set and recall a specified playing range, and specify per-patch settings for the included stereo delay.
Recessed in the top of the Theremini is a compact speaker perfect for private rehearsal and quick setup anywhere. Silent rehearsal is also possible via front panel headphone jack. Simply plug in ear-buds or headphones and the built in speaker becomes silent.
For live performance and gestural control, the rear panel features two line level audio outputs, a pitch CV output with selectable range, and a mini USB jack for MIDI I/O and connectivity.
Here is a demonstration of the sound and functionality of the Arturia MicroBrute filter.
John Keston explores the Bass Station II, below his report:
I have recently been trying out a Novation Bass Station II monophonic analogue synthesizer. I am quite impressed with this big sounding synth in a small package. While digitally controlled, Novation have focused on packing in proper synthesis features rather than trying to gloss over the sound with onboard effects. For example, as I have illustrated in the video, the filter self oscillates nicely with a clean sine wave that can be modulated in unique ways especially with distinct features like oscillator slew.
The video starts with the self oscillating filter getting modulated by LFO 2 using the triangle wave. After that I switch to using the sample and hold setting creating the well-known 60s computer sound of random notes. Here’s where it gets interesting though. Once I switch the LFO to sample and hold I start turning up the oscillator slew I mentioned earlier. What this does is variably smooth the wave shapes created by the LFO. You’ll hear this come in at 0:28. It sounds like portamento. At 0:35 I switch the LFO to the square wave, but with the slew on it sounds more like a sine. As I reduce the amount of slew the square wave regains its recognizable character. Next I switch it to the saw tooth wave. The nice thing here is that the LFO amount can go into negative values allowing the saw to be reversed.
Another distinctive feature is the oscillator filter mod setting. This modulates the filter with oscillator 2. Since the oscillators range from subsonic to almost supersonic this feature offers modulation effects that are not possible with the LFOs. At 1:29 you will start to hear the oscillator filter mod come in using a pulse waveform. What makes this interesting is that while oscillator 2 is modulating the filter it can also have the pulse width modulated by LFO 1. This can cause bit-reduction-like effects that can be heard between 1:49 and 2:19. At 2:20 I start tapping the octave and waveform buttons on oscillator 2 illustrating what happens when the modulation source is instantly shifted an octave at a time. After a bit more messing around I added a final, manual filter sweep at 3:20.
This is a demo of the Boomstar 4075 (ARP 2600 filter) being sequenced by a Doepfer Dark Time. Because of the nature of the demonstration, it could get a little boring during some sections. Pay attention to the subtle changes and you will be impressed. Stay tuned through the whole video to see how much range the Boomstars can cover. This is only a short segment as well, these synths are capable of much more. This is a Perfect Circuit Audio favorite of 2013!
Look out for another Boomstar demo coming soon, this time played by a MIDI controller.
A quick inspirational video showing a nice result from step sequencing the Moog Voyager’s filter cutoff.