Yorick Tech Low Frequency Expander 3.0 Adds New Modulation Options To Your Synths

Yorick Tech has introduced the Low Frequency Expander 3.0, a major update to their external modulation source for synthesizers.

The Low Frequency Expander 3.0 features new front panel designs and a major firmware upgrade, including polyphonic modulations using MPE for the P6 and OB-6. The firmware upgrade is free to all users.

The LFE is a standalone, hardware modulation expander that supports the OB-6 and Prophet 6, Rev 4 Prophets 5 and 10, Moog Voyager, Korg Prologue, Nord Wave 2 and a generic ‘CC- Synth’: any device that can be controlled by midi CC messages. It uses MIDI to provide 3 complex LFOs and a 6-stage envelope – which can also be configured as a 2 to 16-step modulation sequencer – to add considerably more complexity, movement and playability to these synthesizers.

It also acts as a 4-slot modulation matrix, allowing you to route velocity, key, aftertouch, mod wheel, CV in (optional) and others up to 80 destinations, depending on the synth.

Selecting a new patch on the synth makes the LFE automatically recall the same-numbered LFE patch from its memory, so the two have their patches locked together. The LFE will also display the synth patch’s name and category for Sequential synths.

Here’s what’s new in the LFE 3.0:A

  • New front panel designs.
  • MPE Midi Polyphonic Expression. For the OB-6 and Prophet 6, the LFE can send modulations to each of the synth’s voices independently, so it will send polyphonic rather than global modulations.
  • Each of the LFE’s 4 modulators on its front panel now operates 7 modulators ‘under the hood’ (1 global and 1 per voice), so the LFE is actually running 7 independent envelope/sequencers and 21 LFOs.
  • The LFE also allows MPE to work in Poly Chain mode, giving you 12 voices of MPE and 13 envelope/sequencers and 37 LFOs.
  • MPE Spread settings allow each of the LFOs run at slightly different frequencies and the envelopes to run with slightly different slope times, allowing ‘vintage’ type variations between voices.
  • Aux MIDI channel. The LFE can now split its modulations between two different Midi Channels, so you can for example, send LFO 1 and LFO 3 to channel 1 and LFO2 and the envelope to channel 13.
  • You can also set up the LFE to send a new Bank and Program number on the Aux channel every time the LFE changes patch. This allows you to change the Program of an attached FX unit or second synth, to your own choice of Program number, every time the primary synth changes patches. Arpeggiator.
  • The LFE now has an Arpeggiator, primarily for Prophet 5 / 10 and Voyager users. It has Up, Down, Up-Down, Down-Up, Random and Played-Order modes, 1 to 4 octaves, the usual clock sync multipliers and a Key Hold function. There is also a Gate length control, adjustable up to 200%, for overlapping notes.
  • OLEDs are available in white, blue, green or yellow.

See Yorick Tech on Facebook for additional details.

21 thoughts on “Yorick Tech Low Frequency Expander 3.0 Adds New Modulation Options To Your Synths

    1. I don’t understand why anyone would like to be depended on Facebook for anything. Building a basic website for this is easy and free nowadays and hosting some data doesn’t cost much either.

      When do people realize that using Facebook is no more than drugs for junkies and that Facebook will make sure people stay hooked?

      About the LFE.. never used one but people seem to love it and it looks like instant buy if you want to expand these amazing synths even further as some are pretty low on features.

      1. Looks like they sell them faster than they can build them, so it would not make sense to invest in improving their marketing at this time.

    2. It’s not a company, it’s a guy. Sometimes a little patience is required when dealing with a guy.

      Everyone who buys these says they’re fantastic. I’m considering one for my OB-6.

  1. looks great but midi is serial protocol and it’s too slow for sending fast lfo’s, envelopes and notes all summed together at the same time.
    fast lfo will loose their shapes and it will make the notes jitter (it may be audible with rhythmic/bass parts)

    1. Not audio rate no, but definitely updates every 2-3us, I would think is acceptable on an unladen MIDI bus dedicated for this.

      Can you reference any packet inter-arrival time spec for MIDI lately? I can’t find any.

        1. There’s also a start and a stop bit, so 3125 MIDI bytes/s is the speed limit for 5-pin MIDI. Note on, off, CC all take 3 bytes (2 with running status which isn’t going to happen much in MPE mode or when running it full throttle). So you generally have MIDI messages taking about 1ms, and a limit of 1000 MIDI messages per second. And that gets used up pretty quickly on a lot of instruments.

          Now if this gizmo is running USB MIDI it’s all a different matter.

          1. nop, “usb host” will still be at “midi speeds”, same speed that a daw will send massages to the synth.
            the only way to avoid midi limitation will be a modification/retrofit of the actual synth and use a direct cv connections internally.

            for slow modulations and parts that are not so time sensitive it will work fine.

              1. interesting, afaik a usb connection on a synth is no more then a built in class complaint usb midi interface.
                can you elaborate?

  2. 1) Price tag? Can’t locate that anywhere.
    2) Try as I might, I can’t wrap my head around this as-so-much to how I could use it musically. It looks like a great tinker-around thing, though. Making the OB6 (and others) into a slightly semi-modular, kinda sorta, if only as a modulation source box.

    1. You can modulate functions addressable by CC that would not ordinarily be available to you. Such as modulating delay time on an LFO on my synth, or replacing local LFO used for vibrato on something else.

  3. Where is all the bashing and negative comments? The style of the case and buttons are clearly copied from an Oberheim product….oh wait it’s not Behringer…carry-on.

    1. Everybody understands the difference between a knockoff and an accessory like this, so your fake controversy whataboutism is just kind of sad.

  4. I ‘ve been following Steve Hunt of a while. It’s great to see how he picks up suggestions from his customers that already bought one. Now that he has MPE implemented, that goes along with the OB-6, I ordered one as well.
    And now I also took the time to go through his manual (as my product is yet to be built). Pleasantly surprised! This LFE will serve like a kind of modular modulation device for synths that weren’t originally conceived like this. It will also allow syncing synths in other ways than with MIDI sync.
    There is more functionality in the manual than described in the article above. For me it will be quite complimentary as a toolbox to everything I already own, so looking forward to work with it.

  5. So, I bought one. And WOW! On my Prologue 16 this really brings out more life in my synth. I’ve added multiple modulation sources into my work on digital oscillators, but this really opens up the dynamic tonalities in hand rolled effects and the rest of the synth, freeing up the onboard LFO for more useful duties. I waited about a year, but it was worth it!

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