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delicious

audio

Issue #2 Vol. #1

Spring 2019

delicious-audio.com

the stompbox blog/video aggregator

SYNTH PEDALS

SPECIAL!

bk Pedal & Synth Expo ’19 issue


What’s Delicious Audio?

Delicious Audio is a blog entirely focused on stompboxes, whose content

is driven by the videos published on YouTube by the most reputable videographers

shooting demos of guitar effects.

The team that runs it also organizes the Stompbox Exhibits, free guitar

pedal parties, with editions in Brooklyn, Austin, Los Angeles, Toronto and

Montreal, and the shared Stompbox Booth at the NAMM shows – see

pictures of our 2019 NAMM booth on pages 10-13.

In 2018 we have merged the Stompbox Exhibit with the Synth Expo (which

we started in 2014), since the formats are increasingly complementary.

Why an Aggregator?

The aggregator format allows us to amplify the content posted by expert

in the stompbox sector, while allowing us to be at once informative,

neutral and supportive of both the content makers and the community of

pedal builders. The “aggregation” of content is not automatic but curated,

which allows us to retain a voice through the website’s blog posts.

Does Delicious Audio Create Any Original Content?

Yes it does. We regularly work on in-depth articles focused on a specific

kind of effect. Some of our most popular pieces are about the “Klon

Klones”, ambient reverbs and Uni-Vibe pedals – you can easily find these

articles through generic Google searches.

What About the Magazine?

The issue you are reading is born on the ashes of The Deli, a magazine we

started in 2004 that was focused on emerging NYC bands. After we debuted

the Stompbox Exhibit in 2011 and then the Synth Expo in 2014, these

shows allowed The Deli’s print issue to survive until the winter of 2019,

when we decided to convert it into the publication you are reading now.


delicious

audio

Issue #2 Vol. #1

Spring 2019

delicious-audio.com

the stompbox blog/video aggregator

EDITOR IN CHIEF / PUBLISHER

PAOLO DE GREGORIO

EDITOR / PEDAL GURU

NICHOLAS KULA

ART DIRECTOR

KAZ YABE

( WWW.KAZYABE.SQUARESPACE.COM)

ASSISTANT EDITOR / COPY EDITOR

ERIN BETHUNE D’SOUZA

COVER ILLUSTRATION

CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS

( WWW.PLASTICFLAME.COM)

WEB DEVELOPER

BINOD LAMSAL

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

BRANDON STONER

SHIPPING COORDINATORS

MAIA AND HANA DE GREGORIO

INTERN

RENE COBAR BUSTOS

With our events for musicians approaching their 10th anniversary,

we thought it was time to introduce an educational

component consisting in a number of presentations and

workshops. Since there’s a lot more to be said and learned

about synths than pedals, we decided to team up with popular

synth blog Synthopia to curate a program of panels and

presentations that we thought local synth and pedal lovers

might find interesting. A last minute, unexpected change of

venue - and the scrambling of our lives that ensued - didn’t

allow us to finalize the schedule of the presentations in time

for it to be included in this issue. But even without that, we

are still able to publish the list of all the panels and workshop

here on the right. Thanks to the magic of the internet those

interested in knowing the times will be able to find the updated

schedule at this link: bit.ly/bk-xpo-schedule.

See you at the show!

Paolo De Gregorio

Advertising Inquiries:

paolo.dg@thedelimag.com

Synth & Pedal Expo 2019

PROGRAMMED EVENTS

(For times go to: bit.ly/bk-xpo-schedule)

Saturday 6/8

6:30pm LISA BELLA DONNA LIVE

sponsored by Moog & EarthQuaker Devices

Weekend Presentations and Seminars

(co-curated with Synthtopia.com)

• Basic and intermediate Eurorack classes (by STEM Modular)

• Classes about synthesis (by 343Lab.com)

• MPE and the new frontiers of musical expressions (by ROLI)

• Understanding FM synthesis, (by Yamaha)

• Performing with Synths and Pedals (by Lisa Bella Donna)

• Making killer bass patches (by Omnisphere)

• Eurorack Patch Show-Off!

• New synth presentations by several manufacturers

ALL EVENTS ARE FREE

BUT REQUIRE RSVP

DIRECTLY AT THE SHOW


OSCILLATOR

Every sound is a wave.

An oscillator is a device

that generates a constant

electric wave, or a note.

WAVE SELECTOR

Different waves sound different,

this is the switch that selects

the wave’s shape, creating

smoother or buzzier sounds.

FILTER

A heavy handed EQ that

lets you cut the wave’s

frequencies.

RESONANCE

A boost in EQ applied just

before the frequency cut.

Oscillator

Wave

Selector

Filter

Resonance

LFO

LFO

Another name for modulation,

appied through a slower

oscillator.

OCTAVER

A device that transposes

the original’s note picth

one or two octaves higher

or lower.

OCTAVE SELECTOR

It lets you choose what octave

is played by the octaver.

SUB

Another name for the lower

octave generator.

Octaver

Octave

Selector

SYNTH 1

Sub

SYNTH 2

Envelope

FOOT SYNTH

A TYPICAL SYNTH PEDAL

Mix

ENVELOPE

It controls the way the wavenote

is shaped when and after

you trigger it, giving it percussive

or droney qualities.

MIX

Blends clean and synthesised

signal.

10 delicious audio Spring 2019


STOMP ON THAT

SYNTH!

UNDERSTANDING SYNTH PEDALS

BY CHRISTOPHER SCAPELLITI, PAOLO DE GREGORIO AND NICHOLAS KULA

In September 1963, as the Beatles convened in Abbey Road Studios to record “Don’t Bother Me” for their

second album, With the Beatles, George Harrison was curious to know if it was possible to make his guitar

sound like another instrument. “Can we have a compressor on this guitar?” he asked audio engineer Norman

Smith. “We might try to get a sort of organ sound.”

Poor George was born a few decades too early. Had

he made such a request today, he’d have a wealth of

effect pedals from which to choose, several of which

are designed explicitly to make a guitar sound like

an organ. Advances in digital signal processing have made it

possible for effect makers to package this sophisticated circuitry

into stompboxes, allowing guitarists to emulate everything

from a Hammond B-3 to a Moog modular synthesizer.

If adding some strange sonic brew to your guitar tone sounds

enticing, the pedals we’ve gathered here should spark your

interest. The range is pretty vast, containing everything from

pedals designed to emulate specific vintage synths to octave

dividers and full-blown experimental devices.

WHAT DOES A SYNTH PEDAL DO?

Those of you who have already ventured into synth-pedalresearch-mode

may have realized that things can get a little

confusing. Stompbox manufacturers like to attach the word

“synth” to pedals that do very different things, so we thought

it would be useful to start with a little recap of the most common

subcategories:

ANALOG-STYLE SYNTH PEDALS THAT TRACK

YOUR SIGNAL AND FEED IT INTO AN OSCILLATOR

There is no analog synthesizer—at least the real thing—without

an oscillator, i.e. a device that generates an electric wave

whose pitch can be changed depending on how quickly it

oscillates. The stompboxes that come closer to being true

analog synths are the ones that track your signal and convert

them into a similar sound generated by an oscillator. These

devices will then process that resulting tone through other

circuits typically found in traditional analog synths, such as

resonating low and high-pass filters and an LFO (modulation).

A filter that cuts some of the signal’s frequencies (like a wah

pedal) is the foundation of “subtractive synthesis,” upon

which an overwhelming majority of analog synths are based.

SYNTH PEDALS THAT USE PITCH MULTIPLIERS

Many digital stompboxes billed as “synth pedals” don’t actually

have any oscillators under their hoods, but simply use

octaving or multi-note pitch shifting to create a resulting tone

that sounds “synthetic.” This is more or less the basis of additive

synthesis, in which new timbres are created by adding

one or more harmonics to the fundamental pitch. If you’ve ever

looked at a drawbar organ, such as a Hammond, and wondered

what all those sliders are for, they’re for adding harmonic

partials—such as 2nds, 3rds and 5ths—to the fundamental

tone to create new, complex sounds. Often these pitch shifted

notes are fed through subtractive synthesis circuits (filters),

creating pedals using what we could call hybrid synthesis.

EXPERIMENTAL, SAMPLE BASED, GRANULAR

SYNTH PEDALS

Digital technology has allowed the development of a new kind

delicious audio Spring 2019 11


of synthesis whose sound sources aren’t based on oscillators

but samples, i.e. recorded bits of sound. Some of the most

edgy-sounding and experimental pedals out there belong to

this category: They take your sound and mangle it in ways

that were inimaginable until a few years ago. In this field, granular

synthesis is the name of the game.

FUZZ BASED “SYNTH PEDALS”

The grating sounding square wave is one of the most common

waves an oscillator can create. Since a fuzz pedal converts

your signal into something very close to a square wave,

many stompboxes that present themselves as “synth pedals”

use this simple trick to achieve a basic synthy tone, subsequently

combining it with the usual filter-based subtractive

synthesis effects.

PEDALS THAT JUST REPLICATE THE EFFECT

SECTIONS OF ANALOG SYNTHS

(This category won’t be covered in this article). Many devices

billed as “synth pedals” don’t track-and-replace, pitch shift

or “square up” the signal at all, but simply feature effects like

resonant filters and modulation that give a regular guitar tone

one or more flavors from the synthy to the downright crazy—

when more radical effects like ring modulation and bit reduction

are employed. Others do include oscillators but as simple

drones whose pitch can be changed with knobs (they don’t

track your guitar’s notes).

MONOPHONIC VS. POLYPHONIC

VS… POLY-PITCH!

As if the info in the previous paragraph wasn’t enough, there’s

another source of confusion in the synth pedal realm: the

monophonic vs. polyphonic dilemma! This is something you

want to get right before you buy a synth pedal.

For the uninitiated, a monophonic instrument is one that can

only play one note at a time (many analog synths operate this

way, and are mostly used for solo parts or basslines). A polyphonic

synth is an instrument that can reproduce chords; but

in the pedal world, things in this department aren’t as straightforward

as one might expect.

TRULY POLYPHONIC PEDALS

These are the stompboxes that can track more than a note

at a time—play a chord with the guitar and get a reproduced

chord that sounds like a synth. Needless to say, polyphonic

pedals are also monophonic if you want them to be, since

they do an equally good job on tracking single notes.

PITCH-BASED POLYPHONIC PEDALS

These pedals produce chords (i.e. polyphony) out of a single

note played on your instrument by splitting the signal into several

notes with different pitches. But if you try to feed them a chord,

you’ll get something that very closely approximates horror.

MONOPHONIC PEDALS

These are unassuming pedals that can only track and play

one note at a time—how refreshing!

OUR SYNTH PEDAL CATEGORIES

Keeping these differences in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best guitar

synth pedals and divided the market’s current offering into a few categories.

POLYPHONIC, ANALOG-STYLE SYNTH PEDALS

If you’re looking for deep, analog-style synthesis

options with support for chord tracking (true

polyphony), there actually aren’t many choices.

Late in 2018, the Meris Enzo stole the show

with its new technology, offering multi-voice

capability, tight tracking, and a full synth palette

of multimode analog-style filters, modulation,

pitch shifting, and filter envelopes (among

other things). Also, its sound is as good as the

12 delicious audio Spring 2019

real thing. The BOSS SY-300, about thrice as

big, is also truly polyphonic and features three

tunable oscillators, giving control over similar

parameters as the Enzo plus more, while also

offering a multi-effect section, step sequencing,

comprehensive routing, and four footswitches to

adjust the parameters on the fly. It features 99

user patches, 70 factory presets and a big display

to navigate it all. Electro-Harmonix, one of

Meris Enzo

*

BOSS SY-300 *


the manufacturers most invested in pedal synth

technology, released the Synth9 in 2017. This

is a truly polyphonic synth pedal that emulates

the sound of classic vintage analog synths, but

features limited effect tweakability with just two

variable “Ctrl” knobs.

The BOSS GP-10 and the Roland GR-55 Gui-

tar Synthesizer are also polyphonic, but based

on an older technology. They require the proprietary

GK-3 pickup, which mounts to virtually

any guitar and requires no modification to your

instrument, but at about $220, it is an additional

investment. On the bright side though, these boxes

allow greater sonic manipulation.

Electro-Harmonix Synth9 *

MONOPHONIC, ANALOG-STYLE SYNTH PEDALS

But do you really need real polyphony in your

synth pedal? If you don’t, your options widen

considerably, and if you’re looking for deep

sound mangling for lead-only or bass parts

(monophonic tracking), these devices could be

just the thing. Unlike many other synth pedals,

these devices feature an onboard oscillator

triggered by the guitar, which then feeds any

number of extras such as octave circuits, filters,

LFOs and more.

The Pigtronix Mothership 2 and the Electro-Harmonix

Microsynth both feature multiple

synth voices created via octave dividers, and

also add on extra features for flexible sound synthesis.

Each pedal starts with the same core, but

the differences are in the details: the Microsynth

gives you extensive filter options while the Mothership

serves up more traditional synth controls

like Timbre and glissando (“Glide”).

The DigiTech Dirty Robot offers similar features

in a stereo synthesizer emulation pedal,

offering a fair amount of control over the various

parameters to create filter sweeps, talk box effects

and much more. Two different synth types

await prospective users, one of which is a formant

style—unique to this list.

The TWA Great Divide 2.0 seems like an octave

pedal on steroids, but what it does is wholly

unique: It provides five independent voices, including

a Syn[th] voice with four waveforms and

a Sub[octave] voice, plus 12 internal controls to

adjust various voice parameters. It achieves its

tones by reading an onboard clock signal, splitting

the signal, processing it and recombining

it for a powerful multi-voice synth experience.

Some of the Sub voices also allow harmonic

intervals—that is, intervals other than octaves—

for more complex tones.

For a different type of analog synth pedal experience,

the Electro-Harmonix Mono Synth

does just the trick. Featuring a sample-based architecture,

the Mono Synth serves up extremely

convincing models of several classic analog

synth boxes, along with mode-specific control

knobs to recreate all the idiosyncrasies of these

legacy machines.

Subdecay’s Octasynth gives players every

single parameter of an analog synth—because it

is one! Your guitar signal triggers an internal oscillator,

which gets fed through a filter and sent

right to a VCA. It sounds extremely synthlike...

because it is. For those that crave the real experience,

accept no substitutes.

The Red Witch Synthotron is a simple but

very original pedal with two switchable synth

channels, modulation, envelope filter and a

unique sample-and-hold filter. Its oscillators

can be finely tuned, then fed into an amplitude

modulator and a sample-and-hold filter—two

features rarely found in synth units.

For lack of a better classification, we would be

remiss not to mention the Zoia, from Empress

Effects. Essentially comprising a guitar effect

computer, the Zoia is what amounts to a modular

synthesizer, letting you build a whole pedalboard

on one device. The Zoia serves up oscillators, filters,

LFOs and about 80 other things which can

be mixed and matched to your liking.

Empress Zoia

*

DigiTech Dirty Robot

TWA Great Divide 2.0

delicious audio Spring 2019 13


PEDALS USING ADDITIVE SYNTHESIS

(PITCH AND HARMONIC GENERATORS)

If you want a different kind synth pedal based

on additive synthesis that can generate chords

and layers of sounds from a single note, check

out these two very different offerings from Electro-Harmonix.

The HOG2 Harmonic Octave

Generator lets players create new tones by adding

harmonic partials to their fundamental tones.

The HOG2 provides 10 polyphonic voices ranging

from two octaves below to four above the original

guitar pitch, as well as two envelopes to control

the attack and decay of the upper and lower notes

and a filter with frequency and resonance controls.

Octave pedals have been around for a while, and

they’ve been a good way to add a synthetic harmonic

richness to any tone by taking the original signal

and passing it through an octave divider to create

pitches that are an octave above it, below it, or both.

Two other pedals here go beyond traditional octave

pedals, allowing players to add pitches up

to two octaves above and below their guitar’s

original signal. The Electro-Harmonix POG2

adds a low-pass filter with variable attack as

well as detune, while the Bit Commander from

EarthQuaker Devices provides a tone control

in addition to its multitude of mixable voices.

Then there’s the Data Corrupter from Earth-

Quaker Devices, a PLL-style circuit. It brutally

amplifies your input signal into a crushing square

wave fuzz tone that’s then multiplied, divided

and modulated to create a wild, yet repeatable,

three-voice guitar synthesizer. Its feature set is

extremely streamlined and easy to digest—a rarity

in a sometimes-complex category.

The FTElettronica PLL takes the idea of the PLLbased

synth pedal as popularized by Schumann

Electronics and expands it to its fullest capabilities,

featuring all the original Schumann attachments

integrated right into the pedal.

While the PLL-type circuit isn’t cutting-edge

pedal tech, several companies have found its

features a welcome addition to their lines. The

Swarm from Beetronics adds mixable voices

and improved tracking so chordwork is now

possible when the settings are tweaked properly.

The newest entry in this category is the SolidGold-

FX Lysis, one of the biggest hits at Winter NAMM

2019. The Lysis combines a waveshaping fuzz with

two voices of DSP-based polyphonic octave-down

pitch tracking, before finishing up with a generous

filter section and an onboard vibrato circuit.

PITCH MODULATING SEQUENCERS AND ARPEGGIATORS

Additional synth flavors can be found under the

smaller umbrella of sequencing and arpeggiating,

at which additive synthesis pedals happen to excel.

They work similarly to their big brothers but add regenerative

octaving or stepped pitch modulation.

Two entrants in this category that work slightly

differently come from EarthQuaker Devices and

do things almost no other pedal does. The Rainbow

Machine is a polyphonic pitch-warping

engine that creates real-time pitch shifting using

digital oscillators. The pedal lets you select harmonies

ranging from a fourth below your original

signal to a third above it and at every atonal pitch

in-between. The pedal’s Magic control is the key

to its wild synthetic tones, allowing the creation

of ambient drones, pitch-shifting delays, chorus,

metallic digi-flanging, ascending (or descending)

“pixie” trails, whale noises and much more.

Also in a class by itself is EarthQuaker’s Arpanoid,

an intelligent polyphonic arpeggiator

that creates arpeggios from notes and chords.

It takes whatever you play and transforms it into

an adjustable ascending or descending scale. Its

eight modes work on complex chords as well as

single notes in any key.

Bananana’s Tararira works in a different way

but achieves a result that combines a sequencer

and an arpeggiator. It gives you eight steps, each

programmable with a different scale. The sequencer

works with as many steps as you want

from two up to eight, and offers up tap tempo,

major and minor scales and a random mode.

Go to Delicious-Audio.com

and search

Best Synth Pedals

EarthQuaker Devices

Bit Commander

*

Electro-Harmonix HOG2

Bananana Tararira

EarthQuaker Devices

Rainbow Machine

*

14 delicious audio Spring 2019


GRANULAR SYNTH PEDALS

The Electro-Harmonix Superego takes a different

route by using granular synthesis to create

its tones. The pedal samples a tiny segment of

the signal—hence “granular”—and then uses

this sample to create a range of synthesizer-like

effects, including fluid glissandos, infinite sustain

and more.

Detroit’s Red Panda has been at the forefront

of granular synthesis. Its Particle is a full-featured

glitch and granular synthesis machine that

masquerades as a delay. While pristine digital

echoes are easy to extract from its control set,

the meat of the effect lies within the Chop knob,

as well as the dual-function Delay/Pitch control,

which changes parameters in each mode, and

which parameter depends on the type of mode

in which the pedal is placed. Their recent Tensor

delay applies granular synthesis to sound

reverse/stretch experiments.

For the ultimate in granular synthesis, Pladask

Elektrisk’s Fabrikat delivers the goods. Featuring

a rather astounding 16 different algorithms,

the Fabrikat serves up all kinds of sample

manipulating madness, allowing you to set a

buffer length, sample the signal in and then mangle

that stored phrase to your heart’s content.

Red Panda Particle

*

Electro-Harmonix Superego

*

FUZZ SYNTHS

We all know the backbone of many synthesizers

is the humble oscillator, and sometimes

instead of creating one to intermingle with

pickup output, it’s far more tonally conscious

to amplify a signal’s gain enough until it approximates

a square wave. Then, it’s subjected

to all manner of synth controls including filters,

octaves and more.

One such unit is Keeley’s Synth-1, a fuzzbased

approach to the analog synthesizer. The

interface is simple enough: An Attack control

sets the amount of envelope-controlled swell

while the Blend knob cleverly provides a second

voice. The Filter control features a massive knob

with a massive sound, and you can use an expression

device to control it as well.

The Seymour Duncan Fooz takes the kitchen-sink

approach to fuzz-based synthery,

achieving the waveform in the same way but

serving up a generously full-featured LFO section

featuring an unprecedented four knobs of

control. A plethora of filter options and an envelope-generated

Attack control follow, and a tap

tempo control puts the cherry on top.

France’s Glou-Glou burst onto the scene with

the Rendez-vous, but it’s the Pralines that

marks its entry into synthesis. A gated fuzz circuit

compliments four parallel band-pass filters

with assignable modulation effects to each one,

including a bevy of envelope filters, LFOs and

expression pedal options.

On the opposite side of the coin, the Emma Okto-Nøjs

offers two independently footswitchable

channels: one richly featured fuzz that

slams into a gnarly octave unit with earth-shaking

subsonic potential. The Nøjs side gives players

a touch-sensitive octaving fuzz while the

Okto side tracks that and outputs synthy madness

that’s smooth as silk.

One somewhat popular classification of fuzzbased

synths are ones in which a fuzzed-up signal

fights for spectrum space with an oscillator,

often blending the two into a soup of fuzz and

synthesis. One such unit is the Industrialectric

Incinerator, a device that features two separate

oscillators and a highly transistorized signal

path. Featuring two separate channels that

can be used simultaneously, this one isn’t for the

faint of heart. d

Industrialectric Incinerator

Keeley Synth-1

*

*

*You’ll be able to play these pedals at the 2019 Brooklyn Pedal & Synth Expo!

Emma Okto-Nøjs

16 delicious audio Spring 2019


A BOUQUET

OF SOUNDS

A BOUQUET

Rose is a modulated delay

OF SOUND

unlike any other. Learn more

at eventideaudio.com/rose

The combination of onboard controls,

built-in filter and openness to CV

modulation makes EuroDDL capable

of creating quite adventurous sounds.”

— Ask Audio

Eventide is a registered trademark of Eventide Inc. © 2019 Eventide Inc.


GUITAR

VOYAGER

TAKE THE PLUNGE

INTO EURORACK

BY NICHOLAS KULA

Guitarists and synthesizer aficionados often

stand at opposite ends of the party, eyeing

one another from across the room and sizing

each other up. Both are so similar, yet so different, but

there is one arena that both types can agree upon,

it’s little gadgets that can be connected in series to

manipulate an audio signal. For you, the reader, it’s

effects pedals. But for... them, it’s Eurorack modules.

Now, there’s a good chance that many readers have heard of

Eurorack modules—essentially, these are pedals for synth heads,

but instead of mounting them on a board, they’re mounted in—

you guessed it—a rack, and are connected through front-facing

eighth-inch jacks and accompanying cables. Unlike guitar effects,

these modules feature stunning arrays of connectors that

go far beyond input and output, giving nearly every parameter

what’s called “CV control” (see elsewhere in this mag), giving way

to a morass of wires that is a point of pride among some circles.

Because these two ideas are so topologically similar, one might

think that interfacing the two is as easy as shoving an adapter-equipped

cable into a Eurorack module and shredding away.

Not so fast, bucko. Synth signals are much, much hotter than

guitar signals, and so plugging directly in will yield awful tone.

Using a pedal to boost the signal to synth levels might overload

the unit, but will more than likely fall short. And what do you

plan on doing once you need to run that mess to an amp?

Mistakes can and will be made.

I’ve touched on the idea of assembling a pedalboard featuring

stompboxes with CV outs, and you can use those to control Eurorack

modules, but what if you want to do more than assemble

a costly Eurorack case just for one or two (or 40) effects? Luckily,

there are many ways to go about it, and here’s how to do it.

EURORACK GUITAR MODULES

The simplest way to plug straight in is to buy a module that accepts

quarter-inch inputs for this exact purpose. If you’d like to throw

all your eggs into this basket, you need a module that accepts

your guitar and offers an envelope follower circuit to essentially

transform the signal into a type that’s usable for further processing.

Many modules have this option built in, saving space in your rack.

18 delicious audio Spring 2019


trol voltage so you can use your instrument to control parameters

of other gear. As of the time of writing, only the Analogue

Systems RS-35 offers such a feature.

The Doepfer A-119 is one such module and is an excellent entry

point, offering a simple lightly-crunchy overdrive in addition

to an envelope follower circuit. Another such device is the Befaco

Instrument Interface, offering a little more control over how

you plan on serving the signal to auxiliary modules.

Perhaps the best option is the Bastl Instrument Hendrickson,

which essentially offers up a guitar input and output in the

same module. While plenty of devices will happily accept your

input signal, getting it into your guitar amp is a whole different

task. Normally, this involves sending the synth signal to a separate

module called a VCA, and then to an external mixer where

you can tamp down the hot signal to be used with a guitar amplifier.

The Hendrickson eliminates the need for such outboard

nonsense in a single stroke.

EURORACK PEDALBOARDS

If you’d rather explore the world of modular synthesis at your

feet instead of a nearby table, several options are available. The

absolute simplest way to integrate the worlds of pedalboard

and synth rack is the Pittsburgh Modular Patch Box, offering

up actual footswitches in addition to attenuated inputs and

outputs. The biggest obstacle facing you is that they were discontinued

a few years ago, but finding one used (or even new, if

you know where to look), isn’t an insurmountable task.

If the idea of chasing discontinued gear doesn’t please you,

there is always the option of maintaining an actual Eurorack

case on your pedalboard. If you thought that shopping for a

pedalboard was tough, shopping for a Eurorack case is tantamount

to overload. What’s more, potential buyers must be

mindful of unused space, because holes in a Eurorack case’s

facade mean exposed circuit boards, and so one must buy either

blank panels, or all the modules at once. This results in poor

cable management or a decidedly un-rock-‘n’-roll assembly.

Here, the Eurorack setup is a little more flexible, and it opens

up dramatically when you either build or purchase true bypass

loopers with eighth-inch outs. Simply Google a wiring diagram

for these simple utility boxes or have your pedal-building buddy

take care of it. Connect the module input and output to the box,

and each one will allow you to switch one module in and out

of your chain just like a pedal. Build an entire switchbox—one

channel per module—for an all-in-one solution.

The Hendrickson module is a must in this situation by letting

you interface your guitar and amp, but there are several more

modules at play here. One such device is the Addac Pedal Integrator,

offering up two sets of send and return jacks to run

your existing gear in between synth modules. Other devices

include the Strymon (yes, that Strymon) AA.1, or perhaps the

best option of all: The ALM S.B.G., which gives you a wet-dry

blend over the send and return.

With just a little ingenuity and perhaps a little elbow grease, the

world of Eurorack synth modules is yours for the taking. On a

side note, if you haven’t looked at the cost of these modules

before reading this, you might be a little shocked. However,

many of these units are capable of effects far beyond the capabilities

of many pedals—beware the rabbit hole! d

If you’re feeling especially fancy, find a pitch tracker module,

which converts your amplified signal into corresponding condelicious

audio Spring 2019 19


EL EC TR IC

FEEL

CONTROL VOLTAGE,

GUITAR PEDALS AND YOU

Right around the same time in the late

’60s, two men, each thousands of

miles apart from one another, reinvented

the way that folks pluck electric

guitars. Bradley Plunkett of Thomas Organ

Company in California and Fumio Mieda of Japan

developed ways to manipulate a guitar effect

in real time without the use of one’s hands.

Plunkett’s invention—the wah—was originally

intended for trumpet players and controls the

center point of a bandpass filter, while Mieda’s

one was the Psychedelic Machine, which was

inspired by modulated short-wave radio circuits

and eventually became the Uni-Vibe.

Source Audio Reflex

BY NICHOLAS KULA

CV Controllers

CV = Control Voltage

Though the use of a large foot-controlled pedal was a novel idea

in the ’60s, a sparse number of manufacturers implemented them.

However, the first stone was cast: Expression pedals, as they came

to be called, offered a dynamic performance arc that standard pedals

just couldn’t match.

Meanwhile in the world of synthesizers, CV, or “Control Voltage,” was all

the rage. Bob Moog implemented it in all of his synth designs as a way

to automate certain synth functions. While it differs from expression

control in terms of extremital usage, its goal is nearly the same: control

a parameter remotely without having to manually fiddle with the thing.

For years, CV and expression control advanced in parallel, with the

two paths never crossing. They glanced in 1977 when Roland developed

the GR-550 guitar synth, but it wasn’t until far later that synth

players and guitarists broke bread at the auxiliary control roundtable

and began offering one discipline’s mechanics on the other’s devices.

While expression and CV units are nearly identical, they differ in a key

way. Expression pedals operate passively and require CV to be fed

into them, so that they may manipulate a parameter via an onboard

potentiometer, then plug the CV back into the original box. The expression

pedal does so with a stereo cable, carrying the information

on the tip or ring, and back to the box it’s controlling via the other. A

CV pedal is always powered and will deliver the voltage straight into

an auxiliary unit, and thus it is controlled with a standard mono cable.

It stands to reason then that any powered unit is capable of generating

control voltage, and so that’s where we find ourselves—rigging

our pedalboards up with CV devices and seamlessly controlling one

another the old-school way: volts and volts alone.

CV Controllers

If you’re looking for an all-in-one CV distribution powerhouse, the

Source Audio Reflex is the king of all expression devices. Featuring

three assignable CV outputs, it’s the only guitar-centric three-CV unit

on the market. Beyond the Reflex, you’re out of luck, as the next

best on the market is the discontinued Moog MP-201 and now sells

for around $700. Fret not, however, as many pedals output a single

stream of CV, and distributing them among your thirsty inputs yields

impressive results.

The Mission Engineering CV-5 outputs two foot-controlled CV

streams at once, letting you shift dynamic waves of change with just

one foot motion. Spicy!

Some of today’s expression pedals and control devices give you

the option of plugging in a standard mono cable to output CV, and

it is here that beginners should start their quests. Items such as the


CV Out

Electro-Harmonix Expression Pedal and Selah Quartz Timer output

CV in two totally different ways, via foot operation or BPM pulses.

However, the smart money is on the Electro-Harmonix 8-Step

Program, which allows you to sequence bursts of control voltage

and deliver them unto your CV-equipped board. If you’re going to

pick one CV-centric control box, this is probably the one.

Dreadbox Komorebi [Left]

Dwarfcraft Happiness [Right]

Pigtronix Philosopher King [Bottom]

WMD Geiger Counter Pro [Left]

Malekko Charlie Foxtrot [Right]

Endpoint of

CV Line

Stompboxes with Integrated CV Outs

Besides a foot controller, many pedals are capable of seamlessly providing

a steady source of CV despite operating within the signal path.

Many of these types of pedals feature a CV output that is tied directly

to the pedal’s low frequency oscillator (LFO) or, in layman’s terms,

any pedal with a “speed” or “rate” control.

Pedals like Dwarfcraft’s Happiness filter and Dreadbox’s Komorebi

feature an LFO out, and adjusting the rate of the filter similarly adjusts

the CV emitting from the unit. You can then plug this CV into a different

pedal that accepts it and sync up the units with a single cable. Others

such as the WMD Protostar offer up an even greater degree of CV

outputs, with outputs for both the envelope and the LFO dot the unit’s

top panel. Pigtronix’s Philosopher King is an envelope generating

machine that similarly has a CV out—use it to let your picking dynamics

do the talking as they control the action of the King and its adjacent

CV-equipped pedal. Of course, many pedals with this feature also support

CV in, so you can use them to chain multiple CV devices together.

The End of The CV Line

When assembling a CV-centric board, it’s nice to have an endpoint in

mind, as throughput at the end of the chain simply squanders sonic

potential. With that said, Malekko has all but mastered the art of

guitar pedal control voltage. Its newest pedal platform that includes

the Scrutator, Charlie Foxtrot, Downer and more offers user-assignable

CV control over as many as five knobs simultaneously, and

in any direction. Similarly, WMD’s Geiger Counter Pro offers two

CV inputs for some serious sonic corruption. Red Panda’s pedals

accept CV, and the company even sells a custom expression-to-CV

adapter, or gives you plans on how to make your own. The myriad

devices crafted by Chase Bliss make a great choice as well, all of the

brand’s DIP switch insanity works with CV. Don’t forget—CV originated

in synthesizers and is still immensely popular in that world, and so

manufacturers that handle both guitar and synth products are more

likely to implement CV to interface with their synth products.

With just a modicum of planning, CV is easy to integrate into any setup

and doesn’t require any special cables. It’s truly one of the more expansive

control platforms, and it’s only becoming easier to operate. d

22 delicious audio Spring 2019


The pedals of the

bklyn stompbox exhibit 2019

June 8: 12pm – 7pm / June 9: 11am – 6pm

Lytehouse Studio (356 Devoe St., Brooklyn)

FREE!

NEW

PEDALS!

Meris

Hedra Rhythmical Pitch-Shifter

A 3-Voice Rhythmical Pitch-Shifter with tap

tempo and impressively deep functionality.The

top left knob lets you choose the key, which

can be micro-tuned through the center-top

knob, while the three bottom knobs harmonize

the fundamental with pitch-shifted notes going

from minus two octaves all the way up to

plus two octaves. Each voice can be delayed

and fed back in 4 intricate matrices, through a

smooth or hard step sweep through intervals,

with the option to slides between pitches at

the speed you choose in Glide Mode.

Old Blood Noise Endeaver

Whitecap Asynchronous Dual Tremolo

A three-control analog tremolo and a multishape

digital tap tremolo interact to create

new, unheard trembling textures. Holding the

footswitch enables ramp mode to gradually

change between the two speeds. Each tremolo

features a volume boost, and a series/

parallel toggle lets you run analog into digital

or both side by side. It is possible to control

the tap via the expression pedal input.

Walrus Audio

Slö Reverb

A new, affordable take on the creative atmospheric

reverb circuit, that creates lush,

modulated, sleepy and ambient soundscapes

through three dreamy algorithms: Dark adds a

lower octave to the reverb’s trail – X controls

the octave’s volume; Rise is an auto-swell

reverb – X controls the length of the rise after

a note is played; Dream is the lushest of

the three and features a latching pad function

through the Sustain footswitch – a second

press will make it fade with length related to

the Decay knob setting. The X knob here adds

a vibrato to the effect, controlling its depth.

Birmingham Sounds FX

Twentyseventeen

Flower Pedals

Dandelion Tremolo V2

Mod DIY Kits

Thunderdrive Deluxe LTD

One Control

Silver Bee

Designed to be a wide range

overdrive and distortion, the

2017 is a “Swiss Army Knife”

kind of pedal, offering a variety

of tones, from a slight hint of

crunch all the way up to a huge

distortion. A two band Baxandall

EQ allows for tone shaping and

fine tuning to any amp or sonic

environment. Inside the box

you’ll only find high quality components

used throughout as well

as a soft-touch relay bypass.

A tremolo offering both standard

and harmonic tremolo, along

with 3 voicings for the harmonic

mode (triangle, sine, and square).

Controls are available for Boost,

Depth, Speed, and Shape. Extra

footswitch acts as tap tempo as

well as ramping device. A set of

secondary controls are accessible

by holding the footswitch.

Expression jack allows speed

control or external tap.

A build-it-yourself kit that - once

built - will give you a flexible overdrive

that will work as a boost at

lower setting or deliver a smooth

distortion when cranked all the

way up. It can overdrive the preamp

section of your guitar amp

or add its own layer of distortion

at lower volume. This LTD version

is equipped with a three-position

diode selector switch for even

more settings and tones.

Features a retooled version of

the Honey Bee’s drive engine,

giving you sounds reminiscent of

classic American “silvery” combo

amps of the ’60s, the kind of

gear that had a helping hand in

crafting some of the world’s finest

rock records.

delicious audio Spring 2019 25


The pedals of the

bklyn stompbox exhibit 2019

overdrive

Animals Pedal

Vintage Van Driving is Very Fun

An affordable, flexible and very

fun looking overdrive/boost that

can deliver a variety of tones

from clean boost to medium

gain dirt. Engineered to respond

well to both single coil and humbucker

pickups.

Jam Pedals

Double Dreamer

A dual overdrive housing the

company’s Lucy Dreamer and

the Tube Dreamer, but also incorporating

an extra high gain

circuit that can be triggered

through the central footswitch

and assigned to either overdrive

or both.

Mooer

Micro Preamp 016 Phoenix

Part of a line of pedals recreating

the preamp sections of popular

tube amps, this is a digital,

two-channel overdrive inspired

to modern, German-designed

metal amps. The clean channel

goes from crystal clear to crispy

crunch. The gain channel provides

everything from fat rock

rhythms and heavy metal riffs to

searing lead lines.

distortion

MXR

Dookie Drive

A pedal celebrating the 25th anniversary

of Greenday’s album

Dookie, and the band’s “dirty

and punchy guitar sound with

the perfect amount of articulation

to express the musicality of

their fast, melodic riffs.

Nobels

ODR-mini

SoundBrut

DRVA MKII

Neunaber

Neuron

REVV Amplification

G4 Distortion

The ODR-1 was one of the first

pedals to start the “transparent”

overdrive craze. The Mini version

packs all of the overdrive tone of

its older sibling into a miniature

enclosure. You can increase

the headroom by running it at

18v, and it features true bypass

switching. Glow in the dark

buttons help you find your tone

even on the darkest stage.

26 delicious audio Spring 2019

The DRVA shines in delivering

tones that are full of character,

thanks to a hard clipping circuit

fueled by a NE5534 opamp

(the “Dr”) and a MOSFET clean

boost seasoned with a modern

interpretation of the Varitone

tone circuit (the “Va”). MkII adds

a Treble-cut pot to DRfor high

gain settings and simplified EQ

controls for the boost.

It can dial in a variety of amplike

sounds ranging from chimey

cleans to the dirtiest dirt. It is essentially

a preamp that includes

a number of additional features

like a speaker simulator, noise

gate, compressor, presets, and

MIDI functionality – all in one

standard pedal size.

The G4 is the latest pedal by

Manitoba-based amp builder

REVV. It’s a distortion featuring

the same exact controls as their

previous (and celebrated) G3,

but a slightly different palette of

sounds. It’s the pedal version of

the red channel of the company’s

120 Generator tube amp,

which has more gain and saturation

than the purple channel

offered by the G3.


June 8: 12pm – 7pm / June 9: 11am – 6pm

Lytehouse Studio (356 Devoe St., Brooklyn)

FREE!

delay

Eventide

Rose

Floating Forest

Drift Echo/Tremolo

Strymon

Volante

Teisco

Delay

A delay that marries digital precision

with the lush sound of analog.

With six knobs and delay

multiplier, phase invert/reverse

playback and shape buttons offering

five modulation sources,

Rose inspires petals of creativity

to bloom. Five presets, MIDI

control and a fully assignable

aux switch/expression pedal input

offer flexible versatility.

reverb

A delay with an embedded photocell-controlled

tremolo. The

bottom right switch gets the

tremolo controlled by the photocell

(rather than the regular LFO).

It comes with a USB light that can

be plugged into the USB plug

on the side of the pedal, which

features a rate control. When the

mix knob is around 75% you can

engage the momentary switch

(center footswitch).

A delay/looper that aims at giving

the modern guitarist three of

the most sought-after vintage

delay sounds: tape echo, drum,

and reel-to-reel. Controls allow

you to fine tune the character,

fidelity, brightness and age of

the delay, for more or less vintage-sounding

results.

Lo-Fi/Glitch

With its warm and dark repeats,

this pedal belongs to the “colored,”

vintage sounding analog

delay category, but it’s also capable

of wild and noisy self-oscillation

at extreme Feedback

settings. A fully featured Modulation

section can add that

pleasant liquid vintage character

to the repeats.

Chase Bliss Audio

Dark World

A feature-rich reverb with a

“World” channel created by Keeley

that houses Hall, Plate, and

Spring algorithms, and an edgier

“Dark” channel designed by

Cooper FX. The channels can

be routed in 33 ways, creating a

varied palette of reverb ranging

from subtle, tasteful, and lush all

the way to broken video cassette,

glitch shimmer, and infinite freeze.

Old Blood Noise

Rêver

This circuit hosts two “signal

blocks” whose order can be

changed using the toggle switch.

Block 1 allows for a momentary

reverse of the signal. Block 2 is a

modulated reverb that is fed into

a delay. With the reverse at the

start and reverb and delay after,

the sound tends to feel washier

and the reverse is smoother. The

other way around you have a

more pronounced and glitch-like

reverse effect.

RPS Effects

Bit Reactor

A bit crusher and downsampler

that takes whatever signal you

give it and crunches it up into

digital atoms. The central Crush

knob selects the number of bits

for the crunching, from 1 to 8,

while the Sample one deals with

reducing the sample rate.

The King of Gear

Mini Glitch

Inspired by Jonny Greenwood’s

random Max/MSP “stutter” effect.

It does more than that,

through three “glitch triggering

mechanisms”: Random,

Switched and Threshold. The

glitching sample can be set to a

fixed length or randomized, while

the Dry-Path switch can remove

altogether the original dry signal

when glitching is active.

delicious audio Spring 2019 27


The pedals of the

bklyn stompbox exhibit 2019

June 8: 12pm – 7pm / June 9: 11am – 6pm

Lytehouse Studio (356 Devoe St., Brooklyn)

FREE!

Fuzz

Dusky Electronics

Hypatia

Outlaw FX

The General

Rabbit Hole FX

‘Merkin

Wampler

Fuzztration

A versatile fuzz/overdrive/distortion

pedal with a wide gain range,

an adjustable low end, a specially

designed input buffer, and a

MOSFET-based output buffer.

It spans from ragged crunch to

bludgeoning fuzz—all while remaining

musical. The low end

can be tailored for any instrument

across a range of musical styles.

A germanium fuzz that delivers

’60s-era tones in a compact

format. It uses only 2 simple

controls (Fuzz and Level) and

like all the best germanium fuzz

pedals, it works well with your

guitar’s volume.

An original fuzz circuit that offers

sustain for miles and precise

fine-tuning to your gear through

3 knobs and 2 switches. Clean

knob adds clean tone for extra

definition/low end. Wave switch

adds octave effect.

A flexible fuzz that packs a series

of controls that allow you to

get a lot of different tones out

of it, including an Octave circuit

with its own separate footswitch

that can be applied pre- or postfuzz.

The “Tone Voice” switch

lets you choose between a more

tight/compressed and a more

open/dynamic sound.

filter

modulation

Adventure Audio

Dream Reaper

A “Fuzzy Feedback Modulation

Machine” loaded with weird features

and guaranteed to turn your

tone into something unexpected.

From high-gain saturated overdrive

to glitchy.

All-in-one

Fairfield Circuitry

Shallow Water

Matthews Effects

The Chemist V2

Tech 21

Fly Rig 5 V2

This slim bar condenses all you need from a basic

pedalboard in a superlight, portable format with

Tech 21 trusted circuitry. It includes boost, tap-tempoed

delay, reverb, 3 band EQ, and a choice of two

overdrive flavors (Cali and Plexi-style). On top of

that you get tuner and effect loop, for easy integration

with your signature stompboxes.

K-field (Simulation mathematics),

is an undefined, two-dimensional,

non-linear field where past

and future forces interact at irregular

intervals. Shallow Water

generates this k-field by randomly

modulating a short time delay

to create unexpected shifts in

pitch. The result is this non-cyclical

vibrato/chorus/flanger-type

thing favoring old tape flavours.

A pedal featuring two channels of

modulation that can be alternated

at the touch of a footswitch (the

right one). Two side switches on

the side panel let you select the

effect for each channel from Chorus/Vibrato,

Octave and Phaser.

The Reaction knob controls the

dry signal, and the Catalyst and

Formula knobs change depending

on the algorithm you select.


The pedals of the

bklyn stompbox exhibit 2019

multi-effects

routing

June 8: 12pm – 7pm / June 9: 11am – 6pm

Lytehouse Studio (356 Devoe St., Brooklyn)

FREE!

JHS Pedals

Space Commander

Tomkat Pedals

Cloudy

Analog Alien

EPI Effects Pedal Interface

EarthQuaker Devices

Swiss Things

This is the repackaged VCR after

Ryan Adams’ fall from grace,

featuring clean boost, chorus and

reverb, plus a secret lo-fi switch.

The Chorus is based around classic

1980s analog chorus pedals,

while the Reverb is a hall one

with fixed size and decay and the

knob controlling effect Level.

A stompbox adaptation of the

Eurorack Module “Clouds” by

Mutable Instruments. It’s based

on the “Parasites” alternative

firmware which has 6 different

digital programs including granular

synthesis, pitch shifting, delay,

reverb, filters, and resonators.

Facilitates matching instrument-level

effects boxes with

line-level signals coming from

and going into your studio, allowing

you to use your guitar

pedals as studio-quality effects

processors.

A “pedalboard reconciler” featuring

two effects loops, an

AB-Y box, a buffered tuner output,

20dB of clean boost with

adjustable gain, an expression

pedal output for volume control

and a quiet, high headroom.


The Sponsors

of the

BK SBE 2019

A HUGE “Thank You” to

these companies for letting us

borrow their gear for the

Brooklyn Stompbox Exhibit!

PRS Guitars

Founded in 1985, Paul Reed Smith Guitars

has cemented its reputation for high

quality guitars with an unmistakable

look, and is known worldwide for being

Santana’s six-string builder of choice.

At NAMM 2019 they unveiled three new

signature models of their SE series: the

SE Santana Singlecut Trem (pictured),

the SE Schizoid and SE Paul’s Guitar.

The company also manufactures bass

and acoustic guitars and guitar amps.

Voodoo Lab

(sponsor of the Mixed Board Area)

Voodoo Lab has designed and manufactured

professional electronics for recording and touring

musicians (guitarists in particular) since

1986. The North California company offers a

wide array of rugged and reliable pedals, pedalboards

and switching systems, but has become

an industry standard with its Pedal Power series

of power suppliers. Their latest product in this

line, the X4, can drive up to four battery-operated

or high-current DSP effects and features

multi-pole filtering to eliminate any unwanted

noise. Its slim profile makes it ideal for mounting

it under even the flattest of pedalboards.

32 delicious audio Spring 2019

MONO

Already an industry leader in the instrument case realm, MONO has

become a major player in the pedalboard realm since they entered

it in 2017. Available in five different sizes, the MONO boards are cut

from a single piece of 3mm anodized aluminum, and feature cutouts

optimized to facilitate any kind of custom wiring. MONO also

offers Rise elements in two different sizes to elevate key pedals.

Each board comes with a sturdy padded soft case and is available

in black or silver. The company just announced that small, medium,

and large boards now come with our accessory case at no charge!


Two notes

(sponsor of the Mixed Board Area)

Specializing in digital amp and cabinet emulations, French company

Two notes came to the forefront of the guitar gear world in 2010, when

their Torpedo VB-101 earned them a Best of NAMM award. The company

has been applying its research to both hardware and software

products, receiving high praise for the quality of its emulation from

musicians, producers and gear critics alike. At the Brooklyn Stompbox

Exhibit 2019 they will showcase their latest Torpedo Cab M by

sponsoring the Mixed Board section of the event. “The C.A.B. M, a

small box that features power amp modelling and uses convolution to

achieve realistic cab and micing emulations, can be placed at the end

of the pedalboard to have a lightweight rig to carry around, between

the amp and the speaker as an amp DI. Thanks to its headphones out,

it’s also ideal for home use with any pedals for quick and easy practice.

Love My Switches

(sponsor of the DIY Builders’ Corner)

Born out of the desire of a Brooklyn based DIY pedal

manufacturer’s to pay less for the components he

needed to build its quirky devices, Love My Switches

has slowly taken a life of its own, after founder

Lawrence Scaduto started sourcing parts for pedal

builders large and small, amp builders, synth geeks,

luthiers, and just about every other type of maker in

the DIY universe. How appropriate it is, then, for Love

My Switches to be the sponsor of our DIY pedal builders

corner, which we are launching this year! Currently

based in Portland, Oregon, the family company has

grown to include Lawrence’s wife Rebecca. Love My

Switches offers same-day shipping and personalized

customer service.

343Labs.com

Educational Partner

Named after the speed of sound (343 meters per second) 343

Lab has the goal to accelerate your music knowledge using the

best music technology education in a beautiful, intimate space

in Soho featuring production classrooms, a large performance

space and a rooftop overlooking downtown Manhattan. All classrooms

are equipped with the latest music technology and students

are given access to the multitude of events, such as masterclasses,

open mic nights and student performances.

34 delicious audio Spring 2019


Scratch & Sniff

Go Ahead, Try It Out!

Scratch & Sniff

What does it smell like?

Let us know at

www.deadbeatsound.com


FROM

ANAHEIM

TO BERLIN

Superbooth 18 photos by Angela Kröll & von Bendeg.

THE

LATEST

SYNTHS!

TO BROOKLYN

It’s impossible, for any synth expo, not to feel some kind of inferiority

complex towards Superbooth. Even though chances are Brooklyn is

way “cooler” than Treptow-Köpenick (the Berlin borough hosting the

German event), it is very hard to compete with the Funkhaus, the gigantic

and awkwardly stylish building Superbooth has been calling home

since its 2016 launch. Those large rooms, vaguely reminiscent of the hotel

from Kubrick’s The Shining, also have a fascinating history: they used to

be the operational facility of GDR, East Germany’s Soviet controlled state

radio. Heck, that place is so charmingly intimidating you may want to visit

it even on a synthless day!

Superbooth was an instant hit, and It didn’t take long for it to become the

European hot spot for everything synth. Since, like it happens with NAMM

earlier in the year, manufacturers are now timing their mid-year synth releases

to coincide with it, we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to cover the

most exciting new releases, with the help of our friends at Synthtopia.com.

You’ll be able to try most of these machines in person at our event!


The synths of the

bklyn synth expo 2019

June 8: 12pm – 7pm / June 9: 11am – 6pm

Lytehouse Studio (356 Devoe St., Brooklyn)

FREE!

Ableton CV Tool Free Add-On for Live 10

With Euroracks making their way into more and more synthesists’

rigs, the most popular DAW for electronic musicians was under

pressure to provide a way to integrate modular synth gear with its

Live platform. CV Tools, a free add-on for Live 10 Suite presented in

Berlin, lets you do exactly that! CV Tools offers ten tools that allow

tight communication between Live and your Modular or other Control

Voltage based gear. You can send and receive Pitch, Control,

Clock and Trigger CV with this set of creative Max for Live devices.

You need to make sure your audio interface is compatible, though.

Arturia MicroFreak

Presented at NAMM 2019 and described as “a peculiar instrument

that rewards the curious musician,” the MicroFreak is a hybrid analog-digital

synth built around a unique, expressive touch keyboard,

and propelled by 11 oscillators, four Arturia engines, and seven

modes designed by Mutable Instruments. Offering various approaches

to synthesis like physical modeling, wavetable synthesis

and virtual analog, modes like Texturer, KarplusStrong, Harmonic

OSC, and Superwave offer new takes on sound design that inspire

musicians in search of new palettes of sonic possibilities.

Elektron Digitone Keys

A new eight-voice polyphonic digital synthesizer keyboard, the

Digitone Keys is - as its name suggests - a “keyed” version of

this 8 voice, multi-timbral digital synth featuring both FM and subtractive

synthesis. The keyboard is a 37-key velocity and pressure

sensitive keyboard with aftertouch. It features hundreds of new

presets and a series of new features, including 5 controllers for

hold/arpeggio/portamento/mapping/chord mode functions. On

top of that, eight encoders placed on top of the keyboard can be

assigned to any parameters.

Gamechanger Motor Synth

Gamechanger takes its name seriously. Never happy with the technological

status quo, this Latvian company seems to exists with the

precise goal of trying the untried in the pedal and - now for the first

time - synth realms. The builder’s latest creature is a synth running

on little engines (“electromotors”), rather than oscillators. The Motor

Synth produces sounds by accelerating and decelerating eight electromotors

to precise rpm (revolutions per minute) that correspond to

specific musical notes. This configuration allows for four-note polyphony,

with two voices per key played. This sound source is then

sculpted through familiar analog envelopes and filters alongside

arpeggiation, cross and LFO modulation, sequencing, and multiple

polyphonic mode facilities, as well as a looping system that allows

users to layer rhythm and melodies.

delicious audio Spring 2019 37


The synths of the

bklyn synth expo 2019

June 8: 12pm – 7pm / June 9: 11am – 6pm

Lytehouse Studio (356 Devoe St., Brooklyn)

FREE!

IK Multimedia UNO Drum

Rather new to the world of hardware synths (but a veteran in the

soft synth one), in Berlin IK Multimedia launched the UNO Drum, a

drum machine that offers a sonic palette combining analog sounds

with digital flexibility and convenience. Its wide range of programming

and live performance features and controls make it easy for

musicians, producers and DJs to add drum grooves to their music.

Six warm, rich, true analog drum sounds – two different kick drums

plus snares, claps, and hi-hats – form the essential core kit for

creating analog beats. Additional PCM elements (with 54 samples

to choose from) provide deeper sonic possibilities for more realistic

sounds like cymbals and toms.

Korg Volca Nubass

Korg’s Volca series of tiny synths celebrated the birth of a new member

of the family with nubass, a bassline synthesizer implemented

with Korg’s NuTube, an updated vacuum tube design roughly one

tenth the size of its original counterpart. The NuTube technology

is implemented into the oscillator, sub oscillator and drive circuits;

creating ‘incredibly warm tones and rich distortions’ that only a

tube can provide. nubass also calls upon NuTube to create classic

stompbox-style analog overdrives. The tone knob controls either the

distortion of the sound or its crispness. This new synth also features

a 16-step sequencer that offers motion sequencing of the knobs,

transpose, accent, slide and randomize.

Moog Matriarch

The Matriarch is a patchable 4-note paraphonic analog synthesizer

that builds on the semi-modular design of last year’s Grandmother

synthesizer. It features a built-in sequencer, arpeggiator, stereo ladder

filters, and stereo analog delay. The company describes the new

synth as ‘the pinnacle of Moog’s semi-modular family of analog synthesizers.”

Thanks to its default signal path, it can also be played

without any patching. The analog circuitry is based on classic Moog

synthesizer modules and the default signal routing can be customized

using the synth’s 90 modular patch points.

Novation Summit

The Novation Summit is the British company’s new flagship synthesizer

that essentially combines two of their Peak rack synths into a

knob-filled keyboard. It offers deep synthesis capabilities, a 16-voice

two-part multitimbral engine and a hands-on workflow. The twin

Peaks can be either split or layered across the keyboard. The Summit’s

digital sound engines can emulate analog sounds, as well as FM

and wavetable synthesis (there are 60 wavetables loaded). An analog

multi-mode filter section does the rest. The 16-slot matrix allows users

to change parameters on the fly for anything, including the four LFOs

and envelopes. The keyboard features aftertouch, an arpeggiator, and

chords with over 30 patterns, and each key can be split and layered.

38 delicious audio Spring 2019


The synths of the

bklyn synth expo 2019

June 8: 12pm – 7pm / June 9: 11am – 6pm

Lytehouse Studio (356 Devoe St., Brooklyn)

FREE!

Pioneer DJ Toraiz SQUID 16 Track Sequencer

DJ giant Pioneer DJ entered the synth world recently with the Toraiz

line and at SuperBooth 2019 introduced its first sequencer, called

SQUID. Optimized for on-the-fly production, this device controls up

to 16 instruments via multiple in and outs (USB, Midi, CV and various

synch formats), and - among other things - can produce polyrhythmic-looping

options and instantly change the playback direction and

speeds. The proprietary Groove Bend feature improves your groove

while you generate patterns in real time.

Sequential Prophet XL

Remember Dave Smith Instruments? Of course you do! The company

founded by the creator of the Prophet line didn’t launch any new synths

in Berlin, but it did show up with something new nonetheless: its name.

New and old at once, actually, since Sequential Circuits was the company’s

name at founding, back in 1974. Sequential hasn’t given up the

Prophet saga, though, with the X and XL taking the line to the next level

with their powerful fusion of samples and synthesis, newly developed

sound engine and two high-resolution digital oscillators - all processed

through the manufacturer’s celebrated analog filters. Its internal 150Gb

samples can be integrated with extra downloadable sound libraries -

the latest one dedicated to the sounds of the Oberheim OB-X.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2.6 w/Hardware Synth Control

A true force in the world of virtual synths, Omnisphere is Spectrasonics’

flagship product that brings many different types of synthesis

together into an instrument that will spark a lifetime of exploration.

In Berlin the developer showcased their NAMM news to the European

audience: a new version 2.6 that allows Omnisphere to be controlled

by over 65 hardware synths through “personalized” patches

(meaning that the controls do to the software what they do on the

hardware). The new version also features improved arpeggiators

with inversions, pattern modes, step modifiers and chord voicings,

among other new features. Omnisphere 2.6 also features a newly

expanded “Hardware Library” with 600 new patches. The latest one

is dedicated to the sounds of the Oberheim OB-X.

Yamaha CP73 and CP88

Yamaha’s renewed focus on synths was confirmed at NAMM 2019

through the release of two stage pianos that also feature classic

synthesizer sounds inside them: the CP73 and CP88. Neither is exactly

as affordable or compact as the Reface mini-synth series, the

CP73 and CP88 are powerhouse keyboards for professional musicians

and feature weighted keys, incredibly realistic piano sounds,

and an extensive library of samples. A big effort went into creating

intuitive controls for on-the-fly sound shaping, and these keyboards

feature “one-on-one” controls that only have one function to avoid

confusion. The CP series also features a very creative effect section

including a looper and several other effects.

40 delicious audio Spring 2019


The synths of the

bklyn synth expo 2019

other synths

June 8: 12pm – 7pm / June 9: 11am – 6pm

Lytehouse Studio (356 Devoe St., Brooklyn)

FREE!

6

3

1

5

2

4

1 1010music Blackbox Sampling Workstation

Blackbox is a portable sampler and groovebox that lets you record,

save/load, apply effects and edit one-shot samples and beat-sliced

loops. You can create sequences with samples by tapping on pads,

playing a virtual keyboard, using external MIDI controllers or by

drawing-in notes using a standard Piano Roll editor on a touchscreen

interface. Sequences can be played back to create song sections

and entire compositions. You can finish your song by mixing it,

adding stereo effects. You can record hours of song ideas, jam sessions,

and performances thanks to a microSD slot that enables you

to expand internal memory. Blackbox comes with gigabytes of premium

samples and loops by SoundTrack Loops and Loopmasters.

2 Deep Space Devices Antikythera Mini Synth

A debut in the synth field for this edgy pedal builder, the Antikythera

is a noise making box with a single octave keyboard that can produce

an extensive range of tones with its “Pitch” control, along with

a 4-step sequencer controlled by 4 aligned knobs, each affecting

the pitch of each step. The “Chaos” button on the side takes things

down a noisy and experimental route, triggering an oscillator at a

certain pitch depending where the “Chaos” knob is set.

3 Landscape Stereo Field

The Stereo Field is an instrument that lets you manipulate and patch

two analog stereo circuits directly via touch plates, using skin conductivity

as new paths for the circuit to follow, creating new circuits

and new sounds in relation to where your fingers are patching.

42 delicious audio Spring 2019

4 ROLAND Cloud

As usual, Roland will be at the Brooklyn Synth Expo with a lot of

hardware synths, but the Japanese company, as of late, has been

focusing a lot on Roland Cloud, an evolving cloud-based suite of

software synthesizers, drum machines, and sampled instruments offered

through an affordable monthly subscription. Its catalog includes

recreations of legendary vintage Roland synths and newer products

(like the Aria series), but also sample-based virtual instruments of

non-electronic instruments like piano and guitar, and some genre-targeted

sound apps. Roland Cloud also provides a DAW called R-Mix

to make all the instruments come together in a final song.

5 ROLI Seaboard Block and Songmaker Kit

ROLI’s BLOCKS system walks the line between cutting edge synthesis

and super-fun, intuitive expression by offering separate, wireless

controllers that can be connected to each other through a simple

magnetic snap, to create larger and more powerful work stations.

These MIDI controllers can interface with desktop applications as well

as mobil apps (wirelessly over Bluetooth), allowing new possibilities

for both simple on the go recording and deeply expressive polyphonic

sound editing. The Songmaker Kit features ROLI’s two-octave version

of the company’s signature Seaboard, a Lightpad-M illuminated playing

surface, and the Loop Block for production control.

6 Sensel Morph

A multi-touch, battery powered, programmable surface that can become

a series of different controllers thanks to different overlays that

can be purchased separately. Approx. 20,000 pressure sensors and

5g - 5kg sensing range per touch (32,000 levels) to achieve the highest

level of touch sensitivity. Connects to your device using Wireless

Bluetooth LE, USB, or Serial.


The synths of the

bklyn synth expo 2019

Eurorack

June 8: 12pm – 7pm / June 9: 11am – 6pm

Lytehouse Studio (356 Devoe St., Brooklyn)

FREE!

1010music Music Toolbox

Toolbox is a touchscreen based sequencer

and function generator for eurorack. It

is designed to drive signal patterns to your

other modules via Midi or CV. Its 3.5″ touch

screen gives immediate access to sequences,

parameters, and events, providing

a full overview of all the active notes and

events and offering touch based scrolling

and zooming, just like a smartphone, The

builder offers similar Eurorack units dealing

with synthesis, sampling and effects.

Eventide Euro DDL Delay

10 seconds of pristine delay at a sample

rate up to 192 kHz. Soft saturation clipping,

low pass filter, feedback, insert loop, relay

bypass, and +20 dB boost are all analog.

Can do looping, and has reverse and tap

tempo functions.

Maffenzeef Møffenzeef Modular Stargazer

A drone machine featuring a dual wavetable

oscillator with ninety arbitrary waveforms,

two resonant low-pass filters, three

wavetable LFOs, sample rate reduction, bit

rate reduction, amplitude modulation, and

CMOS distortion. an expression pedal input

allows control of the speed of all three

LFOs at the same time, which frees up your

hands to control other aspects of the drone.

Mystic Circuits Spectra Mirror

A resonant down-sampler tailored for use

as a low pass gate. Incoming audio can be

completely attenuated or passed through

unaffected by modulating the sampling frequency,

width of the sampling clock or the

on board through-zero VCA. Each control

voltage input can be attenuverted, allowing

the user to sculpt response to CV. The

Spectra Mirror is also capable of an effect

called “high-pass sampling,” which attenuates

signals below the sampling frequency.

44 delicious audio Spring 2019

Stem Modular ADSR Envelope

Playing with the length of Attack, Decay,

Sustain, and Release - the four phases

of this control voltage generator - allows

synthesists to mimic a lot of different musical

instruments, or make changes to the

envelope of their own sounds. The ADSR

lets you apply the resulting voltage to the

cv input of a voltage controlled amplifier or

voltage controlled filter.

Strymon Magneto

A stereo multi-head tape delay that can

do a lot of other things. Can function as a

looper, phrase sampler, vintage spring reverb

unit, phase-aligned clock multiplier,

chaotic oscillator, zero latency sub-oscillator

and more. Adds vintage character to the

signal through Tape Age, Crinkle and Wow

& Flutter Knobs.


The synths of the

bklyn synth expo 2019

Eurorack

June 8: 12pm – 7pm / June 9: 11am – 6pm

Lytehouse Studio (356 Devoe St., Brooklyn)

FREE!

Tall Dog Electronics µBraids SE

A voltage-controlled digital oscillator/sound source with a wide

range of creative and useful sound generation algorithms (aka models),

based on the classic Mutable Instruments Braids design Fully

compatible with upstream Braids firmware. Updates and simplifies

the original design with a custom brilliant orange LED display module

protected by a clear acrylic lens, a low-profile rotary encoder, and

a new added attenuverter for the Color control.

Vinicius Elektric Lizard

A powerful hybrid VCO with a 1MHz sample rate comprised of two

independent modules but in total synchronism: the LIZARD and the

analog wave switcher, each featuring an independent output. The first

can operate as VCO (with 24 generation modes), Sequencer or External

clock (with 12 different modes). It also features 8 parameter control

potentiometers whose function varies with the selected Mode. Other

functions include Frequency controls (FREQ & FINE) and FM Width,

whose FM input functions as Clock input in External Clock mode.

THE NEXT EVOLUTION OF THE PROPHET

150 GB SAMPLES · FULL SYNTHESIS ENGINE · STEREO ANALOG FILTERS

CHECK OUT THE PROPHET X, PROPHET-6, REV2 AND OTHER

SEQUENTIAL SYNTHS AT THE BROOKLYN SYNTH EXPO!

W W W . S E Q U E N T I A L . C O M

Deli - Prophet X - 2019.indd 1

5/10/19 2:26 PM


S

Empress Zoia

One Control Silver Bee

Strymon Volante

Eventide H9

PRS Standard SE

Roland SH-01A

Morph

Music Maker Bundle

ALL THE GIVEAWAYS OF THE

BK SYNTH & PEDAL EXPO!

See: bit.ly/GIMMEGEAR

Arturia MicroFreak

Animals Pedal

Vintage Van Driving is

Very Fun

Novation

Circuit Mono Station

Outlaw FX

General

Gamechanger Audio

Plasma Distortion

Two notes

Torpedo C.A.B.

ROLI Seaboard Block

Pioneer DJ Toraiz SQUID

Chase Biss

Dark World


Y15194 Deli Magazine Yamaha Synth.indd 1

2/20/19 12:19 P

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