The synthBlocks series represents an all-new range of small and affordable desktop signal processors produced by British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions, an acclaimed company with over 24 years of designing serious-sounding synthesizers featuring fully-analogue audio paths with analogue LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) and EGs (Envelope Generators) to its notable name. Similarly, synthBlocks are all-analogue affairs — albeit with some lo-fi digital effects thrown in for good (musical) measure. Menus and software are all eschewed in favour of a hardy hardware approach. As such, synthBlocks are squarely aimed at laptop and audio plug-ins-focused digital musicians wishing to apply analogue, hands-on hardware processing to their sometimes sterile-sounding computer-based creations. Cue simply plugging the synthBlocks in question into an audio interface’s I/O connections, then routing drums, synths, vocals, or whatever out of the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and through the transistors and op-amps of the synthBlocks and recording the results back into the DAW. Something similar can be achieved by connecting the synthBlocks to the auxiliary buss of a mixing console — just like any other effects processor. Whatever the workflow, turning the dials and flicking the switches by hand of course changes the sound in realtime — often with radical results. Results of course can be radically different — depending on which of the two available synthBlocks are applied to any given sound signal.
Watch Analogue Solutions’ Mr Hyde audio demonstration video here:
Specification-wise, Mr Hyde doesn’t disappoint by boasting a two-pole 12db/octave analogue multimode filter (featuring lowpass, high-pass, band-pass, and notch filtering options); resonance with a Q BOOST feature to make it SCREAM (self oscillate); LFO with triangle and square wave signals; and a range switch (to bring the modulation speed into audio frequencies). Hands-on control comes quickly, thanks to a selection of switches and knobs — not least the largest knob of all: FREAQ (filter cutoff frequency). Furthermore, the smaller Q knob sets the resonance level, CHANGE changes the frequency range of the LFO from SLOW to FAST at the flick of a switch, SPEED sets the LFO modulator’s speed, and LEVEL controls the modulation level/depth that affects the filter cutoff. More meaningfully, Mr Hyde can change sounds subtly, such as satisfying sweeping filtering, right up to mangled FM (Frequency Modulation) mayhem — perfectly in keeping with its naughty name!
Dr Strangelove is an altogether different character, both literally and figuratively speaking — Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 political satire black comedy Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, anyone? Actually, Analogue Solutions’ Dr Strangelove is a compact, high-quality analogue ring modulator (with two audio inputs) and an analogue LFO capable of going into audio range (with two waveforms), plus a lo-fi echo (giving an ‘analogue’ bucket brigade-style sound). The ring mod itself does not have any controls as such, since a ring mod does not have parameters that can be altered — other than input and output levels. Just plug in audio cables and it does its thing! Ring mods do need two audio sources, however — namely, the main signal to be processed (carrier) and the signal that will modulate the carrier (modulator).
Watch Analogue Solutions’ Dr Strangelove audio demonstration video here:
Mangling music setups sonically while adding analogue warmth is a synthBlocks speciality, so why not consider adding one or more of them to your music setup today? And all without breaking the bank while fitting in the palm of your hand! Hand built, having been designed and engineered in England by Analogue Solutions, surely it’s time to wave goodbye to those sometimes sterile-sounding computer-based creations by saying hello to some synthBlocks?
UK pricing for the Mr Hyde and Dr Strangelove synthBlocks is £255.00 GBP (including VAT) apiece, available from dealers (http://analoguesolutions.com/global-distribution/) and Analogue Solutions directly.
North American availability of the Mr Hyde and Dr Strangelove synthBlocks is being handled via Voltage & Company (http://www.vcousa.com) — full-service reps of high-quality manufacturers from around the world — with a retail price of $279.00 USD, while (most) EU distribution is being handled by Sonic Sales (http://www.sonic-sales.de) — one of the largest full-service MI (Musical Instrument) distribution companies in Europe — priced at €279.00 EUR (including VAT).
For more in-depth info, please visit the dedicated Mr Hyde webpage here: http://analoguesolutions.com/mr-hyde-synthblock/
For more in-depth info, please visit the dedicated Dr Strangelove webpage here: http://analoguesolutions.com/dr-strangelove-synthblock/
About Analogue Solutions (www.analoguesolutions.com)
Analogue Solutions is a UK-based boutique instrument innovator that specialises in true analogue synthesizers, sequencers, and Eurorack modules. More than 24 years experience in the industry means that they were right there at the start of the Eurorack revolution — the third company to start producing modules, in fact. Furthermore, Analogue Solutions products are all hand built in England — many being tested by founder Tom Carpenter himself, who has hands-on involvement in all aspects of the company. Characterful to boot, Analogue Solutions innovative instruments are applauded for proudly possessing a truly vintage sound — synthesizers featuring fully-analogue audio paths with analogue LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) and EGs (Envelope Generators) are the order of the day here. Having no memories means that nothing is being made to sound sterile by CPU (Central Processing Unit) control; conversely, turning a knob directly changes the voltage or current in an actual synth circuit to audible affect. Analogue Solutions founder Tom Carpenter consistently constitutes proof of a genuine passion for analogue synths, drawing upon his years of owning and using vintage analogue synths and drum machines that he still uses in his own music productions — alongside Analogue Solutions products, predictably!
© 2017 Analogue Solutions (UK) Ltd