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Analog Gear News
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mosc
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:45 am    Post subject:  Analog Gear News
Subject description: Issue 4
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Analog Gear News - February 2006

By Per Wikstrom

Have you ever dreamed of designing a synth module? Now you have the chance. Blacet Research http://www.blacet.com/ have front plates with holes for one potentiometer and five input or output jacks that they do not need in their normal production. They are now asking for good ideas for a module based on that plate. A picture is on http://www.blacet.com/multi.html The best suggestion will be rewarded, they say. If you want to participate, the address is blacet@blacet.com with "Blacet Contest" in the subject line.

It is obvious that the compact modular is getting more popular than the the bigger formats. Synthesizer Technology that is making the big MOTM modules releases a series of modules for the Frack Rack format. They are not so quick at updating their site http://www.synthtech.com/ (the latest note on their “news” area is from 2004) so there is no information there. But at the NAMM fair recently they presented several Frack Rack modules. It is a classic Moog transistor ladder filter and a more aggressive overdrive LP/HP filter, as well as an envelope generator with retrigger/LFO possibilities. They soon will also release a dual VCA in Frack Rack format. On http://www.sonicstate.com/news/shownews.cfm?newsid=2645# there is a nice streamed video presentation of the equipment.
And now when Blacet, Synthesizer Technology, Wiard, Paia and Cyndustries all are into Frack Rack, it makes the format even more interesting.

Synthesizer Technology is also releasing a new Midi/CV converter and arpeggiator in the normal MOTM format. It can deliver four separate CV/Gates and can create portamento. It can also be tuned of the normal tempered 12 tone scaling, into micro tonality and other odd scales.
EAR Plan B Dual Voltage Processor

EAR
http://www.ear-group.com/livewire_start.html is an ambitious company. Even though they have just one retailer, the Analogue Haven, http://www.analoguehaven.com/ they are releasing a big array of new modules. Under the label Livewire they produce esoteric CV generators. The Dual Cyclotron is an odd unit with two LFOs modulating a third for complex CV structures. Now they add the Chaos Computer, which creates CV patterns from 8 bit shift registers. It has two additional modules, one for random gate signals and one for transforming CV patterns by using mathematical principles, like the square root of the CV. I guess it is more for the experimentalist than for the techno head, but I just love the name: Chaos Computer.
Under the name Plan B they are releasing several new modules. Not so sexy, but very smart, is their 4 x 2 stereo mixer, with a possibility to add a balanced output module and voltage control for pan and volume. There is no other firm that delivers a decent output mixer for the Eurorack format.

They are also making new gear for CV modification. In the pipe they have a Dual Analogue Shift Register, a VC Gate Delay and a Dual Voltage Processor. The last one is a fairly advanced CV mixer, with polarized inputs and minimum, maximum and summary outputs.

The shift register is a sort of clocked delay chain for CVs. It can, for example, deliver parallel delayed arpeggios, or a pseudo delay of CV sequences.

Both Plan B and Livewire uses the Eurorack format. A video presentation of the modules from the NAMM is also found on http://www.sonicstate.com/news/shownews.cfm?newsid=2645#

Finally, they are releasing some old Oakley modules: A wave shaper, an envelope/VCA, a state variable filter and the Oakley Octal Resonator. The last one is a fixed filter bank, but with Q variable up to self resonance. The first production line is in MOTM format, but they will come with the same modules in Eurorack format later.

The prices for the EAR modules are well in level of other companies. The Dual Cyclotrone is USD 275, the VCO is USD 289 and their Dual Timbral Gates (a clone of Buchla 292 Low Pass Gate) is USD $225. They have a big catalogue right now, and with all new modules it looks like they want to compete with Doepfer and Analogue Systems on the Eurorack format. I hope they have enough financial capacity to stay in the business, because they have a lot of new ideas on modules.

Doepfer http://www.doepfer.de/home.htm will start deliver their BBD-device in late March or early April. I will write a review of it as soon it is available.

And I am still waiting to get my Analogue Systems VC Sampler/Delay from the warranty repair. When I put on the power, smoke was clearly visible coming out of the rack. This is a near-death experience for a modular synth musician.
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Per



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:11 am    Post subject: Sorry. contest over Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blacet closed the contest for amateur synth module constructors on midnight the 12th of February. Some of the ideas will be published on their site.
Per Wikstrom
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jamos



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That's "Synthesis Technology".
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ian-s



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some nice looking stuff at EAR site.


EAR wrote:

The Model 15 Complex VCO:
Separate expediential FM input


No VCO should be without it.
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Per



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:28 am    Post subject: Many modules but not much sale Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, their catalogue looks impressive. But up to now there ain´t much for instant delivery. And I get some bad vibes about their "fun" techical describtion, the "said to be copied from a UFO in 1947" style of information. I have to order just by judging mp3s and info on their web. And those "fun" describtions is too much for a more than USD 200 gear.
Per
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ian-s



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just want to say thanks to Per

I enjoy reading these reports.
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Per



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you for those words. I plan to expand to more reviews soon. On the way is a review of the new Metasonix TM-6 vaccum tube filter, and the Buched brigade module of Doepfer, the latter I will get my hands on in three weeks I guess. Hopefully, I will also make reviews on modules from other companies as well.
Per
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ndkent



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That Livewire Dual Cyclotron looks neat but most of the CV inputs seem to have been abducted.
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