Modular systems are attracting a lot of attention these days and the key reason for this is the fact that they are just that: modular. Crafting your own custom rack adds to your creative experience and demands. So for the past couple of years there’s been a fenomenal explosion of both hardware and software modular systems, but as with every tidal wave there is a counter wave that moves in the opposite direction and that is where ACL comes into play. ACL is basically an all in one ready to go modular system. So in case you are not so keen to build and patch together all these individual modular assets you can go ahead with ACL and be ready for action straight out of the box. Or, fortunately, ACL can easily be integrated into your existing modular system.

The ACL System 1 was launched last week and as previously announced around Superbooth this year the System 1 incorporates ACLs current range of Eurorack modules into an elegant, playable modular instrument. Here´s a nice video capturing the system in action:

Stereo is a big focus of ACL modules and the overview video definitely highlights that factor – it sounds really good. ACL has aimed to make it as simple and straightforward as possible in the creation of sounds from synth leads and bass through to percussion and drum sounds. The stereo effects and panning amplifier giving it quite a unique flavour.

With a direct-order price of 3930 EUR, it’s not exactly a budget synth, but it surely will get you started ASAP. This is what´s included:

6U 84HP Eurorack configuration in their EVZ-1 case
Two Variable Sync VCOs, linear and exponential FM
Dual State Variable VCF
Gate Mix for summing up to four sources
VC Panning Amplifier
M/S Matrix (for mid/side processing)
Three ADSR envelopes (Envelope X3)
Dual Delay
QLFO with phase-shifted sine waves

The System 1 includes two Variable Sync VCOs with high quality Vernier dials for precise tuning, linear and exponential FM and advanced sync possibilities. With the Oktave module you can control simultaneously both oscillators in pitch, and transpose any sequence up or down by up to four octaves.

The Dual State Variable VCF allows clean sound shaping as well as sound generation – excellent for kick drums! This powerfull and liquid sounding multimode filter features separate outputs for each filter type. Additionally the notch output can be blended between lowpass, bandpass, notch to highpass with a potentiometer. Up to four sources can be summed with the high quality mixer module named Gate Mix, enabling also clickless muting of each channel. You will be able to define the position of the signal in the stereo field thanks to the VC Panning Amplifier. This module can also be used as two standalone VCAs, for example for duophonic applications. Furthermore it is possible to control the width of an stereo L/R signal with the M/S Matrix, which enables mid/side processing. It can simultaneously extract the mid and side signals from a stereo input whilst combining a mid and side signal to form a L/R stereo signal.

Envelope X3 provides three classic ADSR envelopes for controlling VCAs, VCFs, and other modules. ACL modelled the envelopes on those of the acclaimed Roland 100M modular synthesizer which are renowned for their punch and lowered the time factor by a factor of 2, giving you even snappier attacks! Thanks to the Dual Delay with integrated 6dB low- and high-pass filters for each feedback channel you can create complex stereo effects, from pitch modulation effects to neverending echos. Due to it´s phase shifted sine waves, the QLFO module is the perfect partner for modulating the Dual-SVF and the Dual Delay module.

The Audio Interface module is included to interconnect the System 1 with both professional studio and stage equipment, with the highest possible quality while offering full protection for your ears, your speakers and your headphones due to it´s clever built in DC and clipping protection circuit. It provides a powerful studio-grade headphone outputput, ready to drive your lowest impedance headphone, down to 15 ohms. The remaining unused space is covered with a 4HP blank panel to allow easy expansion of the system according to your own wishes.