The Metasonix F-1 Distortion Pedal – ” You Can Almost Smell The Smoke Pouring Out.”


Metasonix has introduced the F-1 distortion pedal.

The F-1 pedal uses a unique vacuum-tube pentode circuit to do something special: it simulates the extreme distortion, parasitic oscillations, and other unique sounds that come from a tube guitar amp that is being ‘overdriven to flaming destruction.’

The “Complex Distortion” knob varies the plate loading on the two pentodes to give asymmetrical distortion, and it varies the feedback effects—all on one knob. Metasonix founder Eric Barbour describes it as “Typical of the things that happen when the EL34s in a Marshall or similar amplifier are driven to the point of meltdown, and the power and output transformers threaten to go open-circuit. You can almost smell the smoke pouring out.” Continue reading

Metasonix S-2000 Vacuum-Tube Synthesizer ‘A Revolution’


Usually at NAMM time, Metasonix head Eric Barbour is introducing something like the Fucking Fucker, the Assblaster, the Wretch Machine or the Scrotum Smasher.

His latest creation, though, is simply named the Metasonix S-2000 Vacuum Tube Synthesizer. And Barbour calls it “the most exciting instrument in the history of Metasonix”.

Here’s what he has to say about it:

The S-2000 is not merely a new repackaging of old designs. It is a revolution, and a game changer.

The S-2000 was made to be as easy to use as possible. Just plug in power, plug in an amplifier, wait 30 seconds for the real new-old-stock vacuum tubes to warm up, and start playing it. The built-in 400mm ribbon controller is instantly responsive, and needs no special treatment. No trimpots, no fiddling with MIDI interfaces or fighting with fistfuls of cables. The misery has been engineered out.

The simplicity might fool you. The S-2000 has enough controls and enough flexibility to keep the musician busy for years of sonic exploration.

Here’s an unofficial video of the Metasonix S-2000 in action: Continue reading

The Metasonix R-55 Thyratron VCO Arrives, But Offensive Names And Artwork Are Missing In Action

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CDM’s Peter Kirn got the scoop on the latest tube-powered beast from Metasonix. We were busy writing about the other 80 bajillion 2012 NAMM Show leaks this year.

If you’re not familiar with Metasonix, they specialize in vacuum-tube powered analog synth gear. The Metasonix R-55 Thyratron VCO is the latest in their line of modules for Eurorack modular synthesizers.

Details on the R-55 are to come – but the Metasonix R-55 Thyratron VCO is going to be an exclusive of Big City Music. Shipment is expected by May 2012.

While the R-55 Thyratron VCO looks and sounds unique, we’re wondering where the offensive names and artwork are this year. Usually at NAMM time, Metasonix head Eric Barbour is introducing something like the Fucking Fucker, the Assblaster, the Wretch Machine or the Scrotum Smasher.

Has Barbour run out of ways to offend the world? Or is he letting his sonic mangulators speak for themselves?

Continue reading

Eric Barbour’s Experimental Metasonix Vacuum Tube Synthesizer

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Like it thick and nasty?

This video captures Metasonix’ Eric Barbour, no stranger to the thick and nasty, demonstrating his Experimental Metasonix Console, a vacuum tube synth.

You can get a little insight into the Metasonix mindset from our Eric Barbour interview.

via deengineered:

Don’t expect this to hit the shelves anytime soon, the thyratrons alone cost $20-30 each, and unlike most other Metasonix tubes, are growing scarcer by the year.

Eric Barbour’s Metasonix TX-3 iCunt

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Each NAMM Show, Metasonix’ Eric Barbour attempts to top himself with ever-more offensively named and styled vacuum tube audio boxes, and this year was no different.

This video captures a Hertz Donut through the Metasonix iCunt prototype.

“Very Boring” Video Shows Why Metasonix Products Cost So Much

Metasonix‘ Eric Barbour demonstrates why the company’s products are “costly” – they are hand-made in the USA, and the owner of the company does the final assembly and testing on every item, with his own hands.

In the 9-part video, Barbour assembles and tests a Metasonix S-1000 Wretch Machine vacuum tube synthesizer.

Note: Barbour warns that this video is “very boring”!

The Metasonix r54 Supermodule Vacuum Tube Oscillator & Filter

Saturday Synth Porn: Nice shot of the Metasonix r54 Supermodule Vacuum Tube Oscillator & Filter, a vacuum tube based analog synth module in Eurorack format.

Designer Eric Barbour calls the Metasonix r54 “the most radical, revolutionary module we’ve ever made.”

He goes on to say that “There has never been an electronic-music product like this before.”

And, “Even the oddest things that Buchla And Associates or Serge Modular ever made are prosaic and dull compared to the R-54.”

See the Metasonix site for details and audio demos.

via the Synthtopia Flickr Group

NAMM 2010 Big City Music Booth Overview

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This is an overview of the Big City Music booth at this year’s NAMM Show.

via bigcitymusic:

Here you see Eric Barbour (Metasonix), Wolfgang Michalowicz (Surfin Kangaroo) among others.

That is the new prototype digital Mellotron on top of the standard Mellotron, massive A.S. System 8500, 4ms goodies, Flight of Harmony Infernal Noise Machine, Sherman Rodec ReStyler, Dewanatron Hymnotron, Diabolical Devices modded & original gear, Ham Heart boxes, Eowave Persephone II, Metasonix D-1000 Tube Drum Machine + Eric’s new MIDI to CV and R-54 SuperModule , Signal Arts Tetra MAPS sequencer, Surfin Kangaroo Step Sequencer, Malekko modules, and last but not least, the handmade Dirty Boy pedals from Alex Saraceno.