New Atlantis Eurorack Synth Module Inspired By The Classic Roland SH-101

Intellijel-AtlantisIntellijel Designs has introduced a new Eurorack synth module, the Atlantis, inspired by the classic Roland SH-101 synthesizer.

The Atlantis is heavily inspired by the architecture and sound of the Roland SH-101, but offers several enhancements:

  • Triangle core vcos (with far better tracking and Hard sync) instead of saw core
  • Primary vco has linear FM (not just exp)
  • MOD Vco can be linked to the primary VCO pitch CV.
  • Modulation oscillator switchable from LFO to VCO
  • Filter is multimode, 2/4pole switchable and has a special LP boost mode
  • Filter allows for selection of inverted ADSR mod source
  • Filter tracks 1V/oct
  • Mixer section includes and external source which is normalled to a sinewave
  • Filter has built in soft clipping
  • Envelope has looping option, re-trigger and selectable time range
  • Output VCA has two stage clipping circuit
  • External clock input for the S&H
  • Patch points for every synthesis section

Here’s a quick demo of the Atlantis:

Here’s what Intellijel has to say about the Atlantis:

The Atlantis is heavily inspired by the architecture and sound of the classic Roland SH-101. It has always been one of our  favorite synths and we really liked how the seemingly limited architecture allowed for all sorts of creative and musically useful sounds to be easily generated.

Just like the 101 it is quick to dial in beautifully rich bass and lead sounds. However this module uses triangle core VCOs (based on the Dixie core) instead of Saw core which respond much more musically to FM. The modulation oscillator can be used as an LFO or VCO (audio rate) and both track very precisely over 8 or more octaves.

In the mixer section you can adjust the balance of the primary oscillators waveforms including a sinewave which is normalled to the EXT IN jack. You could also patch in one of the modulation oscillators waveforms into this channel and be able to operate the Atlantis as a proper two oscillator synth. There is a switch labelled “LINK” which enables the modulation vco pitch to be based as an offset of the primary VCO. This is useful when using it as a stacked dual vco or when you have the mod VCO acting as the linear FM source for the primary vco and wish to maintain the ratio.

The filter section is a Roland style cascaded 4 pole multimode filter with LP, BP and HP modes. The LP Boost switch engages a special mode useful for the LP that produces a much fatter and prominent sound that is not drowned out by resonance (unlike the original SH-101). The filter self-oscillates to produce a very clean sine wave which also tracks 1V/Oct. Between the Mod VCO, Primary VCO, Sub Oscillator and resonating filter it is possible to layer up to four different pitches at one time.

The envelope section is an ADSR with a dual range switch. It also can be set to a looping mode which can be gated on/off externally.
The output VCA feeds into a two level output clipping circuit that you can use to get a much ballsier/dirtier sound.


  • Modulation VCO: triangle core with Hard Sync and Link switch to connect pitch to primary
  • Primary VCO: triangle core with Hard Sync, Octave switches, Linear/Exp FM and PWM
  • Global modulation bus with four VCO waveforms, noise and S&H options
  • Cascaded 4-Pole multimode filter
  • Looping ADSR with range switch, manual gate, and external level (velocity) control.
  • Three position output clipping circuit
  • 27 jacks for creative and complex patching options
  • Header on back of pcb that allows it to be linked (normalled) to the Intellijel Metropolis sequencer
  • Skiff Friendly

The Intellijel Atlantis is priced at US $699 and is expected to be available Jan 1st, 2014.

14 thoughts on “New Atlantis Eurorack Synth Module Inspired By The Classic Roland SH-101

  1. Man that is soooo sweet sounding!
    I used t have an Sh-101 and this sounds very close to it.

    Hell, I recently sold my Doepfer A-100, now I am thinking of buying a case and rebuilding a modular system just because of this awesome module!

  2. I think this will be the beggining of a move to modular for those of us , not waiting for Roland to make an new synth.
    This sounds good and to this day the MC 202 I had was one of the best sounding synths I owned.
    Well done and that price seems very good.

  3. What a classy move. It bridges the gap between modulars and slab synths in a smart way. Its amusing to feel tickled by this, as I’m spoiled by my DAW and layered fun-time with samples. I’m a big fan of OMD as one example, so its not as if I don’t appreciate monosynths; I do. I simply leaned back towards my own particular roots, where boop-beep synthy sounds alone aren’t quite enough. They’re “just” another color which I use for texturing more than exposed soloing. That’s why I smiled and nodded at this thing. The best New Gear Day is one in which someone addresses a middle-ground need with style. Its a very fair price for the punch, too. WIN.

  4. Super cool product but I’m very curious to hear it…the saw VCO section was what gave a lot of character to the 101 so Im immediately a little skeptical on whether or not the triangle is an ‘upgrade’ but I’m willing to bet the filter is an an absolute upgrade. Im very interested personally, this looks like a killer synth.

    1. It has a sawtooth wave output, not triangle.

      What triangle core refers to is that the original waveform produced is a triangle.
      That waveform can then be converted to others (and sine is easier had they provided it.)
      But it’s just the design of the oscillator. Not the waveform you get to play with.
      The SH-101 used a CEM3340 chip anyway.
      Totally different oscillators.

      This looks like a sweet single voice synth and if I had the bucks, I’d buy 4 and try polyphonic control. That would be closer to a JP4 in capability.
      I also see a lot of Odyssey in this design, not just 101. 🙂

  5. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE fan of Intellijel and have major lust for the ShapeShifter but… with the current trend this will likely end up as €700. That is much more than I paid for my 101 and €200 more than the last 202 I was watching went for.

    I appreciate it is not cheap to manufacture these let alone R&D so I wish Intellijel ALL the success in the world and hope they have a huge hit on their hands. Unfortunately, for me I think I’ll have to wait and pick up one used.

  6. I’ve been quite keen to see this one in action and hear it after chatting with the chaps @ Moog Audio about it recently. I was thinking that two of these + a good sequencer module and I could get a nice modular take on the MC202 that did a whole lot more besides.
    That said i could easily incorporate this into my A4, Microbrute part of the setup also via CV/GATE.
    I agree it doesn’t sound like a 101 but as stated 2 of these, perhaps a Makenoise module or two + and i could have some serious fun.

  7. I wonder, why did they put jacks at the top of the module, contrary to other Intellijel designs. It’s more logical to put them at the bottom for the hanging cables not getting in a way to the panel controls. This layout seems kinda messy and is a big turn-off.

    1. Hi MB,

      The advantage of placing the jacks at the top as we have done with Atlantis, Metropolis and the reversible Planar vector joystick is that when used in the first row of a skiff (horizontal tabletop case) there are no cables sticking out and getting in the way of the users hands. The primary usage scenario the Atlantis is designed for is in skiff placed horizontally. That said it works just as well vertically since most eurorack cables have enough stiffness to not droop directly onto the control surface. Usually in a multi row modular there will be patched modules directly above the Atlantis with jacks only centimetres away which means you will have cables drooping across the Atlantis regardless of our design. In my personal modular I have the Atlantis mounted vertically, not in a skiff and do not find the jack placement bothersome. I hope that answers your question.

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