Modulus Music

Paul Maddox from Vaco Loco is returning with a nice (still a bit vague) synth…

Hes an interesting fella that appears to have quite a few things in common with MI.
The synth geek video (found on CDM) is quite a good view:

I look forward to seeing how his big synth turns out :slight_smile:

My bet: 8-voices poly, very generous UI, 8-bit oscillators running on a pair of Atmega, ladder filter, price in the 2500€ range.

That’s got to be a very close gues :slight_smile: … Only wonder about the ATmega.

There was a voicecard pic posted somewhere, and I saw a 2 or 3 TQFP32s with 2x3 pins connectors next to them.

So an Ambika v1.333333333333333333333, then, with a keyboard.

Sort of :slight_smile:

Actually, in the video of his talk, he mentions that the new polysynth will be eight (or 10 or 12) of his earlier MonoWave, except that I’m sure it won’t be just a set of clocked EPROMs, but it will have an analogue filter, and he keeps mentioning ladder filters. Later he mentions the problem of keeping the filters calibrated, and he hints that they are patenting digital calibration of the filters. He also mentions the many problems they found with latency on the system bus and synchronisation etc - sounds familiar, I’m sure I’ve heard Olivier describing similar problems while developing the Ambika. At about 57:00 in the video he describes that they are aiming to produce the Stradivarius of polysynths, with aluminium knobs made in Switzerland… (but just Atmel CPUs…). And a Fatar keyboard. It’s going to be expensive…

Sonic State have given it the once over. It’s (reassuringly) expensive! But rather nice with it fortunately.
Both designers are there too, so it’s a great view for synth nerds like us :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, it looks and sounds gorgeous - they’ve done a good job! 12 voices, 24 DCOs, transistor ladder filters as Olivier predicted. Many, many similarities to the Ambika design, it seems - I suspect they carefully examined the Shruthi and Ambika design and feature sets, including use of the built-in sequencer as a modulation source. If I could play the keyboard, I’d badly want one. Since I can’t, I’d still rather build two Ambikas, in chain mode. Interesting discussion at about 20:00 - they provide 12 individual analogue voice out (on a d-sub connector…), but they plan to add a DSP effects and audio interface/audio encoder add-on for 24-bit digital output over USB in a DAW, and it has a “cloud interface” - all parameters can be replicated on their website, and then downloaded to other instances of the hardware synth elsewhere - so it backs up all your patches and makes sharing patches with others trivially simple. And it has a web server built into the synth, so you can edit the synth parameters with a web browser with a direct connection to it, no internet needed. They mention that the API for their cloud parameter sharing site is, or will be, open, so other synth manufacturers can use it too. That means that Shruthi and Ambika parameters and patches could be stored and exchanged there, given a suitable software shim or adaptor. They mention the price: 3800 euro plus tax, or about US$5200.

I don’t think these are DCOs. They have several waveforms they can choose from, including single cycles. Pretty sure their oscillator design is this:

1 AVR interfaced with the main processor, sitting in a tight loop, generating two square waves on two different output pins, at the note frequency x 256 (or 128… or 64…).
2 AVRs stepping through a single cycle waveform stored in their flash, clocked by the first guy.

Yes, sorry, it was the interviewer who kept using the term DCO, but Paul Maddox the designer refers to what sound like bandwidth-limited NCOs from about 2:00 onwards. Just how sophisticated their digital oscillators are remains to be seen - there seemed to be plenty of very bright harmonics and aliasing in some of the patches played in the demo, but that may be deliberate on those patches.

“Yeah, it looks and sounds gorgeous – they’ve done a good job![](” Perhaps. Given a price point of $5200, I don’t know how difficult it would be to do a good job. Can you imagine what Olivier could do if he aimed for a $5200 price point) I’m just not sure the world needs another limited-market polyphonic synth. For less than that, I would prefer something like this.


Looks nice indeed. I hope the can build a sustainable business out of this. I also hope they don’t have the honor of being the first synth manufacturer to get their machines hacked over the internet. :wink:

It’s surprising there don’t seem to be any scannable wavetables in there.

I was thinking that with that nice big OLED and the built-in web server, it would still be pretty easy to program with a much reduced panel layout. They also mentioned plans to re-use their tech for other products, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a smaller, cheaper 6-voice version at some point.

Also wondering about the encoders; I hope they’re the nice high-resolution stepless ones with the “pot feel” that are also in the ion and micron.

I sure hope that they have Wifi built in, for that price and the idea of a cloud synth, wifi seems logical.

Looks good but the price still stings…

wifi synth? lolwut

Well, it has an ethernet port, it only seems practical to not have to run a cable to wherever the router resides nowadays…