Yorick Tech Low Frequency Expander 3.0 Adds New Modulation Options To Your Synths

Yorick Tech has introduced the Low Frequency Expander 3.0, a major update to their external modulation source for synthesizers.

The Low Frequency Expander 3.0 features new front panel designs and a major firmware upgrade, including polyphonic modulations using MPE for the P6 and OB-6. The firmware upgrade is free to all users.

The LFE is a standalone, hardware modulation expander that supports the OB-6 and Prophet 6, Rev 4 Prophets 5 and 10, Moog Voyager, Korg Prologue, Nord Wave 2 and a generic ‘CC- Synth’: any device that can be controlled by midi CC messages. It uses MIDI to provide 3 complex LFOs and a 6-stage envelope – which can also be configured as a 2 to 16-step modulation sequencer – to add considerably more complexity, movement and playability to these synthesizers.

It also acts as a 4-slot modulation matrix, allowing you to route velocity, key, aftertouch, mod wheel, CV in (optional) and others up to 80 destinations, depending on the synth.

Selecting a new patch on the synth makes the LFE automatically recall the same-numbered LFE patch from its memory, so the two have their patches locked together. The LFE will also display the synth patch’s name and category for Sequential synths.

Here’s what’s new in the LFE 3.0:A

  • New front panel designs.
  • MPE Midi Polyphonic Expression. For the OB-6 and Prophet 6, the LFE can send modulations to each of the synth’s voices independently, so it will send polyphonic rather than global modulations.
  • Each of the LFE’s 4 modulators on its front panel now operates 7 modulators ‘under the hood’ (1 global and 1 per voice), so the LFE is actually running 7 independent envelope/sequencers and 21 LFOs.
  • The LFE also allows MPE to work in Poly Chain mode, giving you 12 voices of MPE and 13 envelope/sequencers and 37 LFOs.
  • MPE Spread settings allow each of the LFOs run at slightly different frequencies and the envelopes to run with slightly different slope times, allowing ‘vintage’ type variations between voices.
  • Aux MIDI channel. The LFE can now split its modulations between two different Midi Channels, so you can for example, send LFO 1 and LFO 3 to channel 1 and LFO2 and the envelope to channel 13.
  • You can also set up the LFE to send a new Bank and Program number on the Aux channel every time the LFE changes patch. This allows you to change the Program of an attached FX unit or second synth, to your own choice of Program number, every time the primary synth changes patches. Arpeggiator.
  • The LFE now has an Arpeggiator, primarily for Prophet 5 / 10 and Voyager users. It has Up, Down, Up-Down, Down-Up, Random and Played-Order modes, 1 to 4 octaves, the usual clock sync multipliers and a Key Hold function. There is also a Gate length control, adjustable up to 200%, for overlapping notes.
  • OLEDs are available in white, blue, green or yellow.

See Yorick Tech on Facebook for additional details.

MOD Dwarf Programmable Effects Pedal In-Depth Review

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In his latest loopop video, synthesist Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth look into the MOD Dwarf, an open platform for effects, amp simulations, cabinets, virtual instruments, synthesizers and MIDI utilities.

The MOD Dwarf can run Audio and MIDI effects, internal CV modulation, synths and samplers (for example the Dexed DX7 emulator and Sound Font compatible multi-sample instruments).

Topics covered in the video include:

0:00 Intro
1:45 What is it?
2:50 Overview
5:40 Connectivity
6:45 This setup
7:30 Editing boards
8:45 Pedal chains
9:40 Mapping knobs
11:00 Presets
12:10 Pedal types
13:00 CV mapping
15:00 LFO example
17:05 Generators
20:30 MIDI FX
21:00 CPU Mgmt
21:55 Patch walkthru
24:15 Pedal store
25:34 Misc
26:10 Pros & cons
31:50 Outro

Share your thoughts on the MOD Dwarf in the comments!

disting EX 1.8 Eurorack Modular Update Adds Multi-Effects Processor

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Expert Sleepers has released firmware 1.8 for the disting EX multifunction Eurorack module.

The update adds a multi-effects processor mode and more.

Here’s what’s new in disting EX v1.8:

  • Added the Multi FX algorithm.
  • Added the Oscilloscope algorithm.
  • Added the ‘Gate offset’ parameter to the Poly Wavetable algorithm.
  • Added the ‘Clocks required’ parameter to the Augustus Loop algorithm.
  • Added the ‘Reverse’ parameter to the Granulator algorithm.
  • Added ‘Start offset’ parameters to the SD 6 Triggers algorithm.
  • Added ‘I2C learn’ (like MIDI learn, for I2C).
  • Added the ‘Enable High Speed SD’ setting.
  • Added the ‘Wake on MIDI/I2C’ setting.
  • Added an ‘Ignore’ option to the ‘Program Change Option’ setting.
  • Some parameters, notably the sample folders in the SD Multisample and SD 6 Triggers algorithms, and the wavetable in the Poly Wavetable and Dream Machine algorithms, now wait for the user to confirm their choice (by pressing the encoder) before changing.
  • The Looper algorithm now stores the loop play/reverse/octave down states in its presets.
  • Modified the ‘G’ in the large font used by the quantizer algorithms to make it more distinct from the ‘C’.
  • In dual mode, the help texts for the two sides now have independent scroll positions.
  • Dual mode algorithms now send MIDI CCs on parameter changes and preset loads (if enabled in the settings).
  • Processing of MIDI ‘soft thru’ now continues at all times (rather than stopping e.g. during WAV folder load).
  • Single mode presets now store which parameter was active when stored.
  • Fixed a problem in the SD Multisample algorithm where the Transpose and Octave parameters would not be correctly applied to notes triggered by MIDI.
  • Fixed a problem in the Dream Machine algorithm where setting the numerator and denominator parameters via MIDI would produce unpredictable results.
  • Fixed the Quantizer 2 algorithm’s response to MIDI.

See the ES site for details.

New Creative Hardware Looper & Delay, Loupé

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Glou-Glou has announced that Loupé, a new hardware looper and delay effect, will be available starting May 15, 2021.

In addition to standard looping features, Loupé lets you overdub, replace, substitute, multiply, stack and more, with up to 127 levels of undo.

Features:

  • 48khz / 24bit Stereo audio
  • 32 MB of RAM (86 seconds)
  • 2 Selectable Line / Mic Input
  • Pulse Sync Out, adjustable PPQ
  • Expression pedal Input with 3 dedicated modes
  • 9 assignable switches (5 footswitch + 4 tactswitch) can be individually set to toggle or sustain
  • Switch configurations are stored in 99 GAMES (50 factory, 49 user).
  • Classic EDP* Functions: Record, Overdub, Replace, Multiply, Insert, Trig, Mute, Start.
  • Up to 127 levels of Undo.
  • ReadFX: Pitch, Reverse, Stutter, Drift, Auto-Follow, Redux, Pitch Modulation (Sine, Random)
  • Adjustable High Pass and Low Pass filters in the feedback loop.
  • Adjustable Quantization of Functions and ReadFX.
  • Unique SCROLL function lets you move the playback loop around in the memory.
  • Audio Bootloader for easy update (future versions of the os).

Here’s a demo by Hainbach:

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Pricing and Availability

Loupé will be available in limited quantities starting May 15, 2021, with the following pricing:

  • Euro Zone (500€)
  • Rest of the world (650$)

Erica Synths Intros Black BBD Eurorack Module

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Erica Synths has introduced the Black BBD, a new Eurorack module that features two BBD (bucket brigade device) lines – one short (1024 stage) and one long (4096 stage).

BBD’s essentially take analog samples of a signal, pass each sample down a ‘bucket brigade’, and then convert the samples back into a continuous signal. The more steps in the device, the longer a signal can be delayed at a given quality level.

Both Black BBD stages work simultaneously and you can fade between each BBD mode, creating distinct multi-tap effect. An advanced BBD clock noise cancellation circuit is implemented, reducing unwanted BBD noise, without filtering higher frequencies of the audio signal.

Features:

  • Full analogue design
  • Two BBD lines (1024 and 4096 stages)
  • Smooth crossfade between BBD lines
  • Built in LFO
  • CV control over Time, Feedback and Dry/Wet mix

Pricing and Availability

The new Erica Synths BBD is available now for €260.

Eventide’s New UltraTap Pedal Does Delay, Chorus, Reverb & More

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Eventide Audio has introduced UltraTap, a new multi-tap delay pedal that delivers rhythmic delays, glitchy reverbs, huge pad-like volume swells, and modulated effects in a compact form.

The top panel offers direct control of twelve parameters, to create simple repeats or morph delays into chorus and reverb. The pedal’s Spread function controls the effective distance between up to 64 Taps, morphing from closely spaced at the beginning of the delays, to evenly spaced, then closely spaced at the end of the delays, letting you dial in song specific rhythmic spaces between taps.

Taper controls the level of subsequent Taps either fading them up, down or constant over time. The Slurm control can smear or slur Taps together to produce unique reverbs and choruses. The Chop and Speed/Rise/Release controls work together to allow unusual and expressive amplitude modulation of Taps to chop a sound source into stuttered rhythms.

Five presets can be accessed directly from the pedal using the Active and Tap footswitches, with up to 127 in total stored under the hood and accessible via MIDI or the Eventide Device Manager application (EDM). These two footswitches allow full performance control of Active (momentary or latching), Tap Tempo and Preset selection and loading.

On the rear panel, the multi-function Exp jack allows for the connection of an expression pedal, an external single Aux switch or a triple Aux switch for easy preset changing (up/down/load) as well as MIDI over TRS capabilities. Multiple bypass options are available – Buffered, Relay, DSP+FX or Kill Dry.

The rear panel USB jack provides a connection to a computer for use with EDM, software updates, and MIDI over USB control. The Guitar/Line Level switch allows level- matching with guitars, synths, FX loops or DAW interfaces. The UltraTap pedal also features mono/stereo ins and outs.

Features:

  • Control the stereo image of taps to alternate between hard-panned and mono.
  • Five presets loaded at your feet with dozens more available with Eventide Device Manager (EDM) software.
  • Dual-action Active Footswitch is latching or momentary.
  • Onboard LFOs and envelopes to chop the sound source into stuttered rhythms.
  • Rear panel Guitar/Line Level switch for matching levels of guitars, synths, FX loops, or DAW interface.
  • Map any combination of parameters to an Expression Pedal.
  • Use a single Aux switch to Tap Tempo or a triple Aux switch for easy preset changing (up/down/load).
  • MIDI capability over TRS (use with a MIDI to TRS cable or converter box) or USB.
  • Multiple Bypass options: Buffered, Relay, DSP+FX, or Kill dry.
  • Catch-up mode helps dial in your sound when toggling between presets/parameters.
  • Eventide Device Manager PC or Mac application for software updates, system settings, and creating/saving presets.

Pricing and Availability

The UltraTap pedal is available now for $279 USD.

Dreadbox Intros Three New Effects Pedals: Darkness, Lethargy & Kinematic

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Dreadbox has introduced three new effects pedals: Darkness, a stereo reverb; Kinematic, a compressor and filter effect; and Lethargy, a phase shifter.

Darkness has a single, flexible algorithm, that can create a variety of reverb effects, from small and smooth reflections up to huge shimmering and endless reverbs.

Features:

  • Flexible Shimmer Reverb with Gate function
  • 32bit @ 48kHz Digital Effects Processor
  • Variable Time Scale with Modulation (Triangle or Sample & Hold)
  • Selectable Pitch Shift (+/-12 semitones) with variable mix amount for shimmering sounds
  • Up to 30sec Decay Times
  • 2-Pole Damping Filter (High Pass or Low Pass)
  • Freeze function (loops 150ms of the input signal)
  • Versatile Gate effect with variable Attack and Release Times
  • True Stereo (Input and Output)
  • Selectable Tails Bypass

Darkness is available for 259 €.

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Kinematic is a VCA-based Compressor and Envelope Filter effect pedal, that they say is suitable mostly for string instruments and synthesizers.

Features:

  • Full Analog VCA based Compressor
    • Band Boost Filter
    • Extreme Compression Ratio
  • Envelope Filter
    • Low Pass Filter
    • Slow Envelope Curve
  • Post Diode Overdrive Circuit
  • Level Boost up to +18dB
  • True Tone Maker
  • 3 patch points for our modular fans

Kinematic is expected to be available in April 2021 for  179 €

MOD Devices Releases Operating System Update

MOD Devices let us know that they’ve released an update to the operating system for the MOD Devices platform, covering all of their products. They describe the update as ‘a significant step forward for the MOD Devices platform.’

The Mod Devices OS. is part of their platform of open-source multi-effects pedals and effects. It lets you load over 400 effects plugins, available for free, and use them in a hardware device.

With the debut of their newest audio processor, the MOD Dwarf, the company has released an update that also enhances their Duo X and MOD Duo, devices.

The update improves the platform’s user interface, and also unlocks new features, including a file manager UI inside the now-familiar web interface.

With upcoming plugins and sampled instruments, users will be able to upload their own audio and MIDI files and IR files to and from the device. This opens up many new use cases for all MOD Devices: using it as a backing track player, MIDI player or impulse response loader – it will even be capable of running sampled instruments.

The number of user control pages has also doubled on the Duo X.

While actuators have been unlocked to become momentary switches when activated. They can be set to either “momentary on” or “momentary off”, opening up new performance options.

Similarly, you can now set the buttons of the Duo X or the footswitches of the Duo and Footswitch controller to cycle through different colors with list-style parameters. On the Advanced settings for the assignment, you can set the LED color to be static or to cycle. In cycle mode, the LEDs will change the colors helping to identify the position in the list that has been currently selected offering a clear presentation of the user’s personal set-up.

Additionally, you can assign toggle parameters – such as the effects on/off switch – to all knobs

The Duo has received the most visible UI changes, including:

  • new fonts
  • cleaner look for assigned parameters
  • pedalboard and snapshot names in the header of the displays
  • foot navigation mode showing names of previous and next pedalboard (since the active pedalboard name is already shown in the header)
  • blinking LED in foot navigation mode – you know the pedalboard is loaded when the led stops blinking

For more information, see the MOD Wiki.

Eventide Announces Standalone MicroPitch Delay Pedal

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Eventide Audio has introduced the MicroPitch Delay, a dedicated hardware implementation of the MicroPitch Delay in the H910 and H949 effects processors.

The effect offers a unique combination of dual pitch-shifters with fine-resolution detuning, delay and modulation, including new positive envelope and negative envelope modulation sources. They say this makes it useful for a wide range of applications, ranging from subtle tone thickening to creating a rich stereo spread to creative sound design special effects.

EA says the MicroPitch Delay pedal is not just for guitars, but works well with vocals, keyboards, drums, and more.

Features:

  • Users can choose from dozens of Eventide presets to load via MIDI, which are also accessible in the preset list on the Eventide Device Manager (EDM – a Windows or Mac OS X application for software updates, system settings and creating/saving presets).
  • The pedal can store up to 127 presets in memory, with five presets loaded for access from a latching/momentary dual-action Active Footswitch, with a Catch-up mode to help players dial in their sound when toggling between presets/parameters.
  • A single Aux switch can be deployed to Tap Tempo, or a triple Aux switch can be used for easy preset changing (up/down/load).
  • The MicroPitch Delay Pedal offers multiple Bypass options: Buffered, Relay, DSP+FX or Kill dry.
  • MIDI capability is available over TRS (for use with a MIDI to TRS cable or converter box) or USB.
  • The rear-panel Guitar/Line Level switch allows level-matching with guitars, synths, FX loops or DAW interfaces. Any combination of MicroPitch Delay parameters can be mapped to an Expression pedal.

Pricing and Availability

The MicroPitch Delay pedal is available now for $279.

Spoken Word with Electronics: Time Travel With The SSL FX Capacitor

The latest episode of Ethan Persoff‘s Spoken Word with Electronics podcast explores Fruit/Vegetable Senses and Time Travel with the SSL FX Capacitor.

The SSL FX Capacitor is a hardware multi-effects processor in MU format. It’s based on the Spin Semiconductor FV-1 chip, which is used in a lot of effects processors, and features the 7 built-in effects of the FV-1 and 8 custom effects. 

Here’s what Persoff has to say about the episode:

“This week’s episode is a demo on a very peculiar reverb unit called the FX Capacitor from Synthetic Sound Labs.

The SSL “FX Capacitor” is one of the oddest hardware reverb processors on the planet.

SSL is known for modifying computer chips into odd musical uses, be it a Votrax voice chip for its Scat Talker phoneme generator or a digital answering machine chip for its SampleCorder. They’re all wonderful products, capable of bizarre sounds with a unique low-fidelity sound that is immediately gratifying. You’ve heard their modules used on a lot of different music you enjoy. (My likely guesses: Boards of Canada, Depeche Mode, others) I’ve been curious about the FX Modulator, as it applies the same concept to studio effects, using a Spin Semiconductor at its base.

What is compelling about the FX Modulator, however, is the patch points on the panel: There’s control voltage for nearly every setting, with no menu diving, just a select dial for each effect and send any voltage or sound into three parameters and feedback inserts. What this allows for is adding a waveform to the shape of a reverb tail or other really wild noises. I’ve never encountered a reverb unit similar to it. You’ll need a proper Moog power supply to get going with something like this, which is addressed in this week’s introduction. Then, lock into your DeLorean for a complete half hour discussion of the FX Modulator itself. If you’d like to skip ahead, there’s a seven minute sample of all the odd sounds in this week’s Side A.”

You can listen to the podcast via the playlist below or on Soundcloud. The first section, I Smell Tomatoes, is sort of a Word Jazz style riff that explores the effects of the FX Capacitor.

The subsequent sections more explicitly demo the FX Capacitor and its various effects.