006 NAMM Show Update: Jered Flickinger from Future Retro introduced their new XS analog modular synthesizer, designed to expand the sound capabilities of their existing products and other modular synthesizer systems.
Housed in a aluminum chassis, the unit can be rack mounted taking up 3U spaces, or used with additional desktop end pieces for tabletop use. The inputs and outputs of the XS are pre-wired in a way which allow it to act as a monophonic synthesizer without the need for patch cables. Add patch cables and you can connect each section’s inputs and outputs in any way desired. With a single unit you can easily create basslines, leads, drones, percussion, and sound effects. Connect multiple units together to form larger systems and the possibilities are endless.
The XS responds to the standard 1V/Oct control voltages and positive gates so it can be interfaced with most analog sequencers or MIDI to CV converters.
The XS provides a wide range VCO or voltage controlled oscillator, capable of covering the entire audio range or acting as an LFO for sub audio oscillation. This VCO can sync it’s waveform to oscillators and gate signals, or act as a free running oscillator. The VCO generates sine, triangle, sawtooth, and pulse width/square waveforms. The pulse width shape can be set manually or modulated with an internal or external signal. The VCO can be frequency modulated by both internal and external signals to create more complex waveforms. The VCO also generates a sub oscillator waveform which can be 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, or 1/16th the frequency of the main waveform. An output is provided for both main and sub oscillator waveforms.
The mix section sets the levels of the oscillator and sub oscillator waveforms or any external audio signal to be sent to the input of the filter. The multimode filter provides 2 pole high-pass and low-pass frequency roll off with dedicated controls for the cutoff frequency and resonance settings. With high resonance settings the filter will self oscillate. The cutoff frequency can further be modulated by both internal and external signals. A dedicated output for the filter is also provided.
The XS includes a unique ADSR type envelope with additional attack and decay time settings for accented envelopes. It’s like having two envelopes in one. The envelope can be triggered with a single gate for traditional ADSR type envelopes, or insert another gate signal into the accent input to select the accent time settings. Both positive and negative polarity envelopes are available at the output.
Finally, a VCA or voltage controlled amplifier is provided to process the amplitude of signals. The VCA normally affects the filter’s output but can also be used to process external audio signals. The VCA can be controlled by an external gate or the internal envelope. In addition, a manual control is provided to control the VCA when no gate or envelope signal is present. The VCA has a level control for attenuating signals sent to its output.
More information is available at the Future Retro site.