Connect with us

Signal Sounds

Signal Sounds Roundup April, 17th 2020

Published

on

Signal Sounds Logo

Signal Sounds Roundup April, 17th 2020

How’s it going out there in synth nerd land?  Everybody hanging in there?  Just about?  Good!

Judging by the amount of Blanking Panels, Knurlies, carefully co-ordinated patch cable ranges, washers, cable ties and other modular accessories we’ve sold over the last two weeks, the COV19 situation is going to be responsible for some of the most bad-ass, pimped up, super organised, ergonomically and aesthetically pleasing modular rigs the world has ever seen.  But you do all realise this means that, along with the extra time you’ve got at home, that you now have NO EXCUSE for not finishing that triple concept album you’ve been thinking about since the 1990’s?

This weeks’ mailout has a pleasant sting in the tail.  Although the modular scene is often brought to life by incredible innovation and general “newness” of new modules…..some of the concepts behind them are decades old.  Some modules have also been on the market for so long they just get forgotten about even though they’re amazing so……we’ll be doing an “Unsung Heroes” at the end of each mailout for as long as we can remember to do so, celebrating modules that we just think don’t get enough love, or perhaps showing some different ways of using them.  If you’ve got any suggestions for us, definitely send them in and we’ll see if we can do something about it.

On a more general note, we’re still shipping but again, there’s only one of us in the office so apologies if we don’t respond to your mails straight away and occasionally it’s taking an extra day to get orders out the door.

Keep on patching and stay safe and well friends

Jason and the Signal Sounds Team

FE5AF7D5 B712 46D1 95E1 0A35F13F808C
Signal Sounds Roundup April, 17th 2020 41

Brand new from the incredibly talented Finlay and Jamie at Future Sound Systems! The latest addition to the “West Country Synthesis” family. We don’t really know how to define this thing. It’s just different!

The Recombination Engine is an innovative reconsideration of the traditional analogue three oscillator array that is found on classic subtractive synthesisers. It focuses on a new technique called ‘wave splicing’. where the scissor oscillator splices between the two DNA oscillators to give you a final ‘glue’ output waveform unlike any other eurorack oscillator. The resulting waveform allows the user to explore new tones never before heard on modular synthesiser.

E861A0FB 4C40 403F A4E7 36E4F59BC761
Signal Sounds Roundup April, 17th 2020 42

Remember those amazing Tiptop effects modules that came out a few months ago? Well they’ve made them even prettier with black panels and adjusted sci-fi graphics.

Each of these modules contains 24 effects. ECHOZ has a variety of time based and tape echo delay emulations. ZVERB is all reverbs from across the decades with shimmers and other pitch effects. Z5000 has more varied effects including delays, reverbs, pitch effects, harmonisers and modulation. They’re a great compromise between amount of control and module size and the effects will complete your patch with a huge number of applications.

it’s often said that there’s not a huge amount of choice in the Digital FX range on modular but these modules are a superb addition to anyone’s rig.

8FFD3D33 3BF0 464F B2D8 81615A441457
Signal Sounds Roundup April, 17th 2020 43

This is a really interesting one for you synth history nerds. The WFM is based off of the Kobol synth from the 70’s (also known as the French Minimoog”)
It’s awesome because it has a unique waveshaping circuit allowing for continuous variation from triangle to saw to modulated pulse. It can sound a bit like crazy PWM if you modulated that parameter. On top of that it has accurate V/Oct tracking over 8 octaves, versatile FM, Sync and a MASSIVE frequency range all the way down to 10Hz. If you want a voice to sound amazing, this is a good place to start.

Ps. I considered putting in a Battlestar Galactica joke here but couldn’t make it work. Let us know if you get it!

1D0F7E50 DEC1 4C9F 8936 FD49E8EF18AE
Signal Sounds Roundup April, 17th 2020 44

We all know Arturia for their most excellent instruments and controllers; The tangible Microfreak, the majestic Keystep, the thunderous Drumbrute. Did you know they maybe equally as excellent Audio interfaces? These are modern interfaces with built in features that just make working easier. Portable? check. Built in USB hub? yup. High quality drivers and bright clear feedback? duh.

Seriously, if you’re in the market for an upgrade or even your first interface, check this range out.  

They all have DC coupled outputs so can be used with Silent Way and Bitwig for CV control of your rig too

1393415A 779C 4086 A75A EB4E0F600F3E
Signal Sounds Roundup April, 17th 2020 45

Nicolas for Soundforce makes some lovely Juno inspired modules. His first creation, the DCO has grabbed the communities attention for its Juno 60 heritage and slider heavy panel, actually pretty rare in eurorack.

His other modules are no different a Dual Filter and Dual ADSR can be used to really bring that Juno voice into your eurorack system. Well laid out panels and clear controls make playing with these modules an absolute joy.

C49CCF31 A7E4 44D5 8999 6149D21E6700
Signal Sounds Roundup April, 17th 2020 46

In this difficult time we’ve decided to take a look back at some of our favourite modules. Maybe not the newest or shiniest things but solid, reliable, creative modules. Here’s what Aleks has to say about the Tiptop Z8000:

“Z8000 was released not very long after I got into eurorack. I remember, at the time, having my brain frazzled trying to work out the relationship between all 10 sequencers and puzzling over how the thing worked! Looking back, it was ideas like this one that got me completely hooked on this as a new method of creating sound. It was a total revelation!

The sequencers work in a 4 * 4 matrix where there’s an output for each individual row, each individual column, one output for the sequencer moving through all 16 steps horizontally and one output for the sequencer moving through all 16 steps vertically. Each sequencer has its own clock, direction and reset input so if you combine it with a number of complex clock sources (and maybe a quantiser if notes are your thing) then it’s still one of the most comprehensive modules for macro-modulation you’ll find for the HP in eurorack.”

Continue Reading

ADDAC

Signal Sounds Roundup May 2022

Published

on

signal sounds image small 1

Hello everyone. We’ve been on a Budhist retreat in a cave on the dark side of the Moon for the last two years and literally just returned to Earth today. Did we miss anything whilst we were gone? Anything exciting happen?

Signal Sounds Roundup May 2022

Now that we’re back, fully enlightened and settled in again we’ll endevour to make these mails more regular, keeping it short and sweet and hopefully giving you the best new synths and modules and a few interesting titbits we’ve seen on our travels over the internetz.

Superbooth

Superbooth22
Signal Sounds Roundup May 2022 67

Superbooth is the primary source of excitement in the modular and synth world at the moment, taking place in Berlin on Thursday 12th May through to Saturday.  Both myself and Aleks will be bothering every one of the 100+ companies exhibiting there to get the lowdown on what new delights they have for us.  We’ll do a round up afterwards but the best place to see regular updates would be on our Instagram page.

Ben DivKid

Ben DivKid
Signal Sounds Roundup May 2022 68

Ben DivKid continued his mission to bring interesting and affordable modules to the world,  His last was with Stead State Fate (the wildly successful RNDStep) and this time around he returns to his first partners, Befacco, to bring us the Stereo Strip. 

It’s outrageously good value given that some companies charge more than £200 just for an Audio In and Out module – this one offers that feature (Eurorack or standard Line level, separately selectable for both in and out) PLUS a very high quality Stereo panner and EQ circuit.  It’s very funky and not very chunky given that it’s only 6hp.  The usual high quality video from Ben (above) is here if you need more convincing.

Look Mum No Computer 

Look Mum No Computer
Signal Sounds Roundup May 2022 69

Look Mum No Computer has been a big figure on YouTube for a long time now and has a repuation for unusual large format 5U modular synths but has now taken those designs and succesfully transplanted them into Eurorack format.  The first (of many) module is an all analogue Oscialltor with built in visual Tuner (something rarely seen and since the demise of TipTop’s Z3000…almost impossible to find) and other performance oriented features like Octave Switches.  Almost sold out already, move quick if you need to get one.

Non Eurorack Stuff 

Oberheim
Signal Sounds Roundup May 2022 70

Non Eurorack Stuff – still lots of interesting stuff happening outside of your rack, look out for some really, really good stuff from Polyend, Moog and Korg in particular and of course the new Dave Smith/Oberheim release, the OB-B8 which we’ll be elbowing people out of the way to get a shot of at the show.

signal sounds image small 1
Signal Sounds Roundup May 2022 71

Signal Sounds Shop – if you’ve communicated with us over email in the last year you’ll have heard us moan about how long it’s taken to get the new place fully up and running after out move, however…..we have some final touches being applied to the showroom next week and after that we’ll be in a much better place to make a really inviting and comfortable place to enjoy synths and geek out in. There’s all the Eurorack you can eat plus a cross section of vintage synths, drum machines, mixers and effects to mess with. And a Beer Fridge.

New and Updated Stock

Just a few bits that are in stock now that are worth mentioning

Signal Sounds New Gear
Signal Sounds Roundup May 2022 72
  • Tendrils Mutants MK2 – newly designed 3.5mm to 1/4″ Jack cables from Tendrils in their usual array of tasty colours
  • AJH Synth – Multii Burst. The fist batch of these sold out on teh first day, second batch are coming on Friday, don’t miss out on this new take on the Burst Genarator concept with adjustable attack and decay slopes for each pulse in the Burst group.
  • Random Source – Serge APNC has you covered for crossfading between complex audio and CV signals AND a Noise Source (Pink and White) too.
  • Cre8 Audio – Function Junction.  Cre8 have hooked up with Pittsburgh Modular and have some very exciting releases planned over the next few weeks.  Check out this very affordable and clever modulation source module for starters.  And wait until you see what else they have coming….it’s pretty damn fine.
  • Ziqal – Dimension Wavetable Processor. A really interesting new Wavetable Oscillator with some unique features (24 note polyphony and full Unison mode for starters), it was highly successful on Kickstarter and now gets a more general release for the rest of latecomers.
  • Acid Rain Technology – Constellation.  With a similar approach to Torso’s T-1 Euclidean Sequencer generator, this new module from Acid Rain has 8 channels of subtly interacting tracks giving endlessly interesting and unique pattern generation.

This little lot have show up over the last week or two:

Signal Sounds Restock
Signal Sounds Roundup May 2022 73
  • Massive Tendrils restock, Right Angled and Straight
  • Malekko sent us a nice selection of Varigate and the Quad series (criminally under-appreciated modules in our humble opinion)
  • UDO Synths – the Super 6 Desktop and Keyboard synths are back in both colours
  • Korg – ARP 2600 Anyone? Comes in a very cool suitcase with a Keystep style keyboard controller.
  • MiniKorg 700? Also comes in a ridiculously lavish case, this thing is a work of art.
  • Dreadbox – Desktop Polyphonic Analogue for just over £350? Yes please.
  • Michigan Synth Works have sent us….the works!
  • ALM made us Workout by unpacking a huge box of Pam’s, Squid and all their patch cables amongst other highly sought after bits
  • ADDAC also sent us a hefty big box of modules, we’ve got pretty much everything in stock at the moment.

Continue Reading

Oscillator

Complex Oscillator Cs-L by Instruō & DPO by Make Noise

Published

on

maxresdefault 46

Complex Oscillator Cs-L & DPO

We get asked this question all the time here at Signal Sounds so we decided to make a little video showing off some of the features and sounds of Cs-L & DPO.

INSTRUO CS L
Complex Oscillator Cs-L by Instruō & DPO by Make Noise 91

Cš-L is a dual voltage controlled oscillator. It takes the modern approach of dual primary oscillators and expands upon them. Each oscillator sports its own wavefolder, PWM output and wide range of classic waveforms. A four-quadrant multiplier stage allows for ring modulation as well as rectified and positive only amplitude modulation.

Instruō’s Cš-L is a dual voltage controlled oscillator available here.

DPO by Make Noise
Complex Oscillator Cs-L by Instruō & DPO by Make Noise 92

DPO (Dual Prismatic Oscillator) is a dual analog VCO with plenty of internal modualtion possibilities, FM, a wave multiplier and other timbral controls. The main idea of primary and modulation oscillators with internal FM is based on Buchla´s 259 oscillator. Voltage controlled analog dual oscillator for creating complex wave forms. The oscillators act as one modulation VCO and a primary VCO; both are audio oscillators with a triangle core. Waveforms are triangle (here: spike), sawtooth and sine for VCO A and sine and square for VCO B.

Make Noise´s lDPO (Dual Prismatic Oscillator) is available here.

Continue Reading

Signal Sounds

Signal Sounds Roundup – Mid May 2020

Published

on

image 67

Signal Sounds Roundup – Mid May 2020

We’re back again, two weeks, regular as clockwork for a change. This time around we’re got some new desktop synths and sequencers to go along with the usual hp munching modules which is a nice change. 

image 66
Signal Sounds Roundup - Mid May 2020 104

Couple of HEAVY HITTERS from the big names in synths, Moog and Make Noise, some excellent new bits from Rare Waves out of Texas, new gear from DPW Design, and the welcome return of the Unsung Heroes feature (which we might rename “Forgotten Heroes” as we forgot to put it in the mail-out last time around).

Hope you’re all keeping safe out there.

image 67
Signal Sounds Roundup - Mid May 2020 105

First seeing the light of day as a DIY project at Moogfest a couple of years ago, the Subharmonicon now gets a proper release and it’s important in a few different ways.

Firstly, it’s a really interesting synth – based around the idea of subharmonics and with a strange dual 4 step sequencer with very cool inter-step rhythm generators, it’s not really like too many other things out there.

Secondly, it shows that Moog is happy to do things a little different now and again and not just resting on their laurels by making yet another MiniMoog style synth

Thirdly it really rounds out the Mother32/DFAM family nicely – a three-tier rig with Mother 32, DFAM, and Subharmonicon is a force to be reckoned with and would make a superb compact synth with a lot of flexibility

image 68
Signal Sounds Roundup - Mid May 2020 106

Holy macaroni!  We had an idea that Make Noise was going to release something new at the sadly canceled Superbooth earlier this year but they are very tight-lipped about future projects and we didn’t know what it as going to be. Turns out it’s something very, very cool indeed – The 0-CTRL Sequencer.

A stand-alone patchable sequencer with touch-capacitive controls galore, it works equally well with 0-Coast or the rest of your Eurorack system

The first person to ask “can i put in in my rack?” gets a pole in the eye with a sharp stick. Just put it on your desktop people, it won’t kill you.

image 69

All hand built in Texas, the Rare Waves stuff is a treat, ranging from weird drone stuff with the Drone Commander to the more acidic bent of the Harmonium and the analog domain formant synthesis of the semi-modular RA-99

Their ethos is summed up nicely here:

“How can a circuit transcend its own simplicity to become a captivating musical instrument? This question underpins the Rare Waves philosophy of research and design. Ten years of laborious hand-built prototyping and evaluating new circuits in live performance has begun to yield fruit”

image 70
Signal Sounds Roundup - Mid May 2020 107

Everything is hand-assembled with love by pedal enthusiast and one-man powerhouse, Dan Wahlbeck in Sweden. DPW modules focus on various methods of dynamics control within your eurorack synthesizer. A fast way to nice (or nasty!) up your sound!

Arriving with us very soon!

image 71
Signal Sounds Roundup - Mid May 2020 108

Launched a little later than the Z8000 the Trigger Riot seemed, at the time, to be a natural companion to the matrix sequencer we mentioned in a mailout a few weeks ago. Again, it’s a matrix of 8 different sequencers but it outputs clock/gate/trigger patterns rather than variable CV sequences. The most interesting thing I’ve found with it on my rack for years now is how effortless it is to create seemingly complex rhythmic sequences.

The Trigger Riot lets you write patterns over the top of patterns that interweave to give you a wonderfully intricate web of rhythms that all work together with one another. I’ve often looked at other trigger sequencers to see if I can replicate what Trigger Riot does in a smaller form factor but I’ve never found anything that could replace it. For me, it is, without doubt, one of eurorack’s unsung heroes.

Continue Reading

Trending