Metasonix S-1000 Wretch Machine Tube-Based Synth

metasonix tube synthMetasonix, creators of tube-based analog music gear, has introduced what they call “The Ultimate Tube Synthesizer,” the Metasonix S-1000 Wretch Machine.

Pitch sources:

  • 2 independent VCOs
  • Made entirely of vacuum and gas-filled tubes
  • Range >2 octaves using CV, octave switching allows range from 33 Hz (low C) to more than 2 kHz.
  • 3 waveforms: thyratron sawtooth, square, and square with suboctave
  • VCO2 may free-run or be soft-synced to VCO 1
  • Numerous patch points allow enormous flexibility


  • Unique circuit with soft clipper and pulse adder (shapes waveforms from VCOs by adding small pulses to top of waveform at discontinuity)
  • Made entirely of vacuum tubes
  • Settings: disable, soft-clip only, and soft-clip with pulses added to signal. Latter circuit allows simulation of noise source.


  • Unique multimode circuit allows it to be used as a lowpass, treble/midrange bandpass or bass bandpass filter.
  • Continuously variable control allows mixing of filter forms in any proportion.
  • Made entirely of vacuum tubes.
  • Range of treble resonance switchable, 400-1700 Hz. Bass resonance tunes from ~100-350 Hz


  • Unique circuit using a pentode tube
  • Made entirely of a vacuum tube
  • May be modulated with the AR generator only, or with the control voltage generated on modulation bus 2


  • 2 envelope generators, A(S)R and AD, both triggered with input gate signal. Both may be combined on either modulation bus to create ADSR.
  • 2 independent LFOs, triangle waveform, range <0.3 Hz to more than 5 Hz.
  • 2 modulation buses allow combining the A(S)R, AD, and two LFOs as needed to affect any CV input in the audio circuit (VCO pitch, VCO squarer waveshape, waveshaper pulser, filter tuning).

Other Details

  • Main CV input controls pitch of both VCOs (Hz/V response).
  • Gate input triggers envelope generators, accepts 0-5v or 0-10v gate voltage.
  • 6AL7 “eye” tube displays status of LFOs and A(S)R control voltages on three separate glowing green bar graphs.
  • Miniature joystick performs multiple jobs: vertical motion affects pitch of both VCOs, horizontal motion affects tuning of filter.
  • Press joystick in to trigger envelopes.


Size: 6U high standard EIA rack mount, 3″ depth below rack panel. 11 vacuum/gas tubes. Weight about 20 pounds with AC adapter. Draws 12 volts (AC ONLY) at 3 amps.

The synth is scheduled to be released mid-2006, and will be priced around $2,500.

More information and demos are available at the Metasonix site.

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