Classic electronica from the 70’s and 80’s often featured the unique “swooshing” sound of analog phasers. The phased sounds found on Jean Michel Jarre’s Equinoxe album were the inspiration for Oakley Sounds‘ fantastic Equinoxe phaser.
Oakley Sound’s version was designed by Tony Allgood, the mastermind of Oakley Sound. Oakley makes a complete line of MOTM-compatible modules that are available as PCD’s for DIY’ers, or as pre-built modules.
His design is a four-stage OTA-based phaser. The analog circuitry creates a lush phasing effect, that can go from very subtle to very pronounced. The beautiful sound of the Equinoxe, and the prominence of this effect in popular electronic music, has made it a hit.
The Equinoxe has a built-in low frequency triangle wave oscillator that is patched internally to the modulation depth of the phaser. This automatically sweeps the effect depth. To further control the module’s sound, there are four knobs:
- Frequency controls the frequency of the notches created by the phase shift network.
- Emphasis controls the peaks in the feedback signal within the phaser to create a deeper effect.
- Modulation adjust the level of the internal LFO or any external control voltage.
- LFO rate – you guessed it – controls the speed of the LFO..
There are four jacks. The input and output are self-explanatory. The CV In jack allows other modules to modulate the phase effect. Finally, a bonus is the LFO out. There’s a LED that flashes in sync with the LFO rate.
The internal LFO produces a triangle wave output which is also available from a front panel socket. This allows you to use the internal LFO for other modulation purposes. The LFO signal is automatically routed to the modulation depth pot when no jack is inserted in the CV input.
Two Equinoxe’s can be used together to create interesting stereo effects. For example, you can run a signal through a mult and then to the inputs of both Equinoxes. If you take the LFO Out from one Equinoxe, through an inverter, and then use that as the CV In of the second equinoxe, the phasing effect will shift across the stereo field.
Sound samples are available at the Oakley Sound website. The Equinoxe is available as a pre-built module, or can be purchased as a partial kit.