Sonicsmith Intros ConVertor+ Audio-Controlled Synthesizer

Sonicsmith has introduced the ConVertor+ Audio Controlled Synthesizer.

The Convertor+ is an updated version of their original battery-powered audio-controlled synth. It can detect the pitch of an incoming audio signal and ‘play along” with analog synth waves.

The Pitch CV out along with ENV, gate & trigger CV outs let you integrate the ConVertor+ with your other analog and modular gear.

Here’s what Sonicsmith has to say about the new version:

  1. The biggest difference between the ConVertor and ConVertor+ is the conversion of the input low-pass filter frequency shift knob (on the left directly below the IP GAIN, or preamp gain, knob) into a gate threshold adjustment knob. This is most useful in situations with lots of background noise (like microphones in a live performance situation). The same change was made on the Squaver P1+ vs. the Squaver P1.
  2. The 3-way input high-pass filter (HPF) switch has been replaced with a 2-way 12dB/24dB per octave selection switch for the input auto-tracking filter. This allows the user to select more filtering for instruments with higher harmonic content or less filtering for faster transient response. The input HPF in the plus versions has been fixed at 16Hz.
  3. The main ENV out on the plus versions incorporates an additional smoothing filter which makes it sound smooth enough even to modulate the amplitude of a sine wave.
  4. The Squaver P1+ PWM control now spans the full range from 0-100% duty cycle, with 50% roughly at 12 O’Clock. This gives a much more dramatic sound when ENV is routed to PWM, for example.
  5. We added 2.5dB gain to both the main ENV and side-chain ENV outputs in the plus versions. This allows us to clip the envelope at close to +9V and also allows the ENV to fully reverse to a silent (almost 0v) state when the envelope is clipped and ENV AMT is set fully counter-clockwise.
  6. The plus versions are painted using a much more durable paint process, which we expect will last for many years.
  7. The original versions will be offered for sale at 40% off until stock is exhausted, whereas the plus versions will be introduced at higher prices ($419 for ConVertor+ and $729 for Squaver P1+ in North America; in Europe prices will be higher because of VAT).
  8. Both the original versions and the plus versions now have the improved higher gate threshold for the ACO chip so are equally able to reject low-level noise in the input. The plus versions just have the additional gate threshold adjustment available which is described in point (1) above.

Pricing and Availability

The ConVertor+ is available now for US $419.

5 thoughts on “Sonicsmith Intros ConVertor+ Audio-Controlled Synthesizer

  1. Kinda pricey.

    Though perhaps fun for experimental analog action.

    If digital isn’t out of the question for some, a iOS combination of MIDImorphosis and a soft synth could accomplish some cool things.

    The demo did start sounding better near the end.

  2. i really liked the way the synth sounds and how you can use other musical instruments with, but there are three things that really start to turn me off from it. First, you limited the synth to being monophonic and any other instrument that is polyphonic, like the guitar, can not play chords, double stops, double up notes or anything else like that. Seceond, the price doesn’t make sense to purchase it. Why would I buy one if I could buy any other guitar synth peadel out there that does the same thing? Third and last, the only instrument that was shown to work with it was the guitar. Is there a microphone input to alow other instrument to work with the synth. Can a trumpet, violin, flute, or even the human voice control it?

    1. 1.monophonic is an endless world,
      2.maybe because it’s better or different,
      3.nothing does the same thing exactly, the fun is in little twists and to comment without reading about hard worked products.
      4.yes, why not. you welcome to do things you didn’t see in the video..
      stop the hardware yelpers!

    2. I got one of the early models. Somehow i agree, it is annoying to have such accurate and latency free pitch detection that works only monophonic. I keep pestering them to make a six voice guitar version with individual pickups. They are at it, they say.
      To answer your question, it sort of works best with any monophonic dynamic sound, like beatboxing, singing, bent notes on one string. So if you want polyphonic, check the Boss SY-300, which works with harmonic restructuring. Or the Electro Harmonix palette. Since the ACO is actually a dedicated chip doing hardware pitch detection, the most fun i get out of it is playing chords, leave the mix at 50% to hear them and use the tracking to add a fundamental. It will be unpredictable at first, but you can fine tune it to react to which note of the chord you play loudest. Its new tech, i guess the inventors themselves are trying to keep up with what that means…
      The price is high but theres nothing like it.

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