Artisan Electronic Instruments’s Mike Bachman has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of the Nucleus analog hybrid monophonic synthesizer.
Bachman says that Nucleus “combines the sound design of East and West Coast ideas, blends analog and digital technologies, and packs a vast sound palette into an intuitive user aesthetic.”
The Nucleus is a 60hp synth that’s available as a Eurorack or desktop module. While it’s compact, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet of sonic possibilities, with: two discrete analog oscillators; a digital oscillator that can do basic waveshapes, Karplus-Strong synthesis, Swarm wave, custom waveforms, noise, bit-crushing and more; a flexible filter with multiple low-pass, bandpass and high-pass options; 4 six-stage Envelope Generators; 3 LFOs; deep modulation options and more.
Oscillator 1 is based on an analog discrete Saw-core circuit providing Saw, Triangle, and variable pulse/PWM waveforms. Tied into it is a modulate-able 4 stage wavefolder, for creating metallic tones. The Sub-Oscillator has its own variable filter, producing smooth sine waves or all the way through a rich square.
Oscillator 2 is also a fully discrete analog design, with Saw, Variable Pulse/PWM, and PWM with Sub-Octave. It also has a selectable 2 or 3 stage Digital Ring Modulator. Oscillator 2 can also Hard-Sync to a separately controlled digital 4th oscillator. And it can be Frequency Modulated by Oscillator 3, through a dedicated VCA controlling the FM depth in real-time.
Oscillator 3 is digital. It can do basic waveshapes, but also offers variable slope Saw to Triangle wave, an adjustable width Swarm wave, and String tones using the Karplus-Strong physical model. There are ten slots for custom waveforms and a noise source. Oscillator 3 also has a bit-crusher/sample reducer effect, if you want to get into more digital effects.
The filter is a unique cascade multi-mode design that runs in 2 pole Low Pass, Bandpass, and High Pass modes, as well as 4 pole versions of each. Bachman says that it’s the Dual-path Regeneration and 8-pole design that gives a unique character to the Bandpass modes, providing variable and modulate-able bandwidth and dual peak resonance. The filter can track over a wide range, so you can “play” the peaks and get a 5-oscillator sound or chord.
The filter has modulation inputs for cutoff, resonance, and filter shape. Finally, you can dirty up the sound with asymmetrical soft clipping circuits.
Modulation Options Galore
The Nucleus also offers a deep and powerful modulation matrix, with 50+ modulation sources and 30+ destinations that are all available simultaneously.
- 4 six-stage Envelope Generators (delay, attack, hold, decay, sustain, release), with looping, linear, and expo shapes and time and sustain modulation
- 3 LFOs provide 9 waveshapes, key-sync, delay, and rate modulation.
- 2 external CVs and 4 modulation paths from the keyboard add more real-time modulation control.
- You can also take those modulations sources and Add, Multiply, Average, Lag, Quantize, Switch, Sync knobs, contour, and route MIDI CC to create new modulation effects.
All 200+ parameters are saved with patches, and you can save up to 200 patches.
- Osc 1: Analog Discrete Saw Core with Wave-folding & PWM
- Sub Osc 1 with variable waveshapes
- Osc 2: Analog Discrete Saw Core with PWM, Hard Sync and FM
- Osc 3: Digital Wavetable, Karplus Strong + Noise & Bit Crushing
- 3 input Digital Ring Modulator
- 8 Pole Multi-Mode Dual Peak Filter
- VCA with soft and hard clipping distortion
- 4 ADAHSR Envelopes with variable shape
- 3 LFO with key-sync and delay
- Modulation Adders, multipliers, lag, contouring….
- Full MIDI In/Out interface
- User-selectable CV In and Out
- 100 user patches and built-in standard patches
- Over 50 Modulation sources
- Over 30 Destinations (all simultaneous)
- 60 hp
- +12v 120ma / – 12v 50ma
Introduction to the Nucleus:
Pricing and Availability
Production of the Nucleus is being funded via a Kickstarter project and it is available to project backers starting at $770 for the Eurorack version.
Note: Crowd-funded projects can involve risk, see the project page for details.