MacBeth Intro Elements One Eurorack Monster Module


Ken MacBeth of MacBeth Studio Systems has shared some images of his prototype for a new Eurorack monster module – the Element 1. It is the first of a set of five planned 3U Eurorack-sized 84HP synthesizer modules.

According to MacBeth, the sound of Elements 1 is “a sum of parts -‘Spike’ Oscs meet Acidic Filter which goes through a classic VCA.” It’s inspired by the look of classic British synths and the sounds of classic Japanese synths:


Here’s what MacBeth has to say about it:

Element 1 is a full scale 2 Oscillator Synth featuring my ‘Spike’ Oscillators, Analogue Ring Modulator (MC1496), Noise Generator, Acidic Diode Ladder Filter, 2 x Envelope Generators and CA3080 based VCA!…….production is January!

Please see other pics!…..and yes, there is a Fifth Element!

VCO1 has 4 waveforms- Saw/Square/Tri/Sin.

VCO2 has 6 Waveforms- Saw/Square/Tri/Sin/Ramp/S&H- both Square waves can be externally PWM’d. The Oscillators are close to the Dual Osc- I call them ‘Spike’ Osc’s because the play on the Glitch, common to Saw root Oscs.

There are convienient Trimmers on the rear to allow some or more of this Glitch to appear on waveforms such as Triangle or Sine adding harmonics in the sound if required. It suits the mild distortion of the diode ladder filter a treat!

VCO2 can be used in the pure audio mode- or it can be used as the synths modulating oscillator- cross mod/sweep etc…

84 HP might seem large to Eurorackers, but given the ‘normal’ size of the control knobs- and the Verniers- it makes for a perfect, busy, but non-cluttered layout. In Elements 1- you have the good, basic elements to get going- VC LFOs will turn up in other Elements- so wait and see!

Here’s an informal demo from MacBeth of the Elements One:

The MacBeth Element 1 is still under development, so pricing and availability info are to come.

17 thoughts on “MacBeth Intro Elements One Eurorack Monster Module

        1. The price difference is justified for a few reasons. Macbeth makes his DISCREET analog synths the old school way…. Components and manufacturing costs are much higher. Also, discreet analogs sound different… That’s why something like an original Minimoog or ARP Odyssey sounds so much bigger (IMHO) than many of the newer analogs coming out recently.

  1. All the analogues without memories are always on the budget end of the synth market.
    Macbeth stuff is not in that bracket. So if the gear is dear at least give it patch memories.
    The question of memories on his gear never gets answered . Is this a taboo subject.
    We come on here to check out new gear to inform us of developments and what to buy and what not to buy. However many variations appear of the same synth, the bottom line for me is no patch storage. If I am going to splash out on gear to write music with memories are vital.
    What is the big deal with this guys gear .?

    1. It might just be a philosophical difference . I find that I actually make more interesting music with non-programmable analogs. It forces you to engage the instrument every time you use it, rather than just browsing through someone else’s sounds. I’m not tempted to take the easy way out, or waste my time browsing to find a sound that resembles what I really want. Nonprogrammable synths make me a better sound designer too… I now know how to make the sounds in my head quicker. If I need to recall a patch, I can do it from my memory because I understand what all those knobs are doing on a deeper level.

      1. There must be something about a pure uninerupted circuit without digital intervention that changes something. Just my guess, because all my favourite sounding analogs don’t have patch memory storage.

  2. Love that video. Great sounds. What a wonderful scene with the gentle genius in his fuzzy sweater tinkering with his latest creation, comfy in his warm, cluttered study late on a cold winter night. Great stuff.

  3. all you guys complaining: stop it for once and build better stuff

    if you cant, please for christs sake shut up!

    this is not android vs iphone, this is about a guy building stuff, i guess primarly for his own joy, if you need patchmemory buy a vst

    1. slow clap.

      seriously, i wish the straight up price complaints (not wondering what they’ll be) would be banned.

      this stuff is art. they’re charging what they think they need to in order to continue making it. Yeah it blows if you can’t afford something, but it doesn’t make it bad or too much.

      there’s a lot of things i can’t afford and there’s also a lot of “cheap” stuff i’ve bought that didn’t work right, broke, had poor customer support, was not enjoyable to use, and ended up being more expensive.

      the proof of the value reveals itself in the using. MacBeth is the only one making modules just like that, with his design sensibilities and ergonomics. those are either things you either personally value or don’t, but please stop with this knee jerk “overpriced”.

  4. Wow, Ken is really bouncing between projects. From micromac to nexus and now this element series. What sucks is that he can’t stick to one color or format.
    New knobs, why?
    Crappy, sh*t , rap, man I want them all anyway!

  5. i hope there where more guys like him out there, musik would be more charakterful, and the synths cheaper 🙂 i want them all too 😉

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