Monday, June 13, 2011

Synthwerks FSR-1N

Some pics of my newly acquired Synthwerks FSR-1N. This one was an early birthday present from George Mattson of Mattson Mini Modular during my last visit checking out his monster EML modular. Thank you George!

Click on each pic for the super size shot. I also found a new use for my OTO Biscuit - mood lighting for synth pics! :) No disrespect to the Biscuit, I absolutely love mine. You can also see a Division 6 Filtare SEIII, Tiptop Audio Z8000 Sequencer, and the bottom of an Elby Designs - Ken Stone CGS735 Synthacon Filter, all in a snake skin Monorocket case.

The focus of course is on the Synthwerks FSR-1N. The FSR-1N is a single channel "Force Sensing Resistor." In short, it's a touch sensor module with two outputs, one that transmits pressure (aftertouch) and one Gate. Each output has a knob to set the amount of CV output. You can plug either into whatever CV input in your modular or hardware synths. Route it to a filter's cutoff, resonance, VCO pitch, or use it to trigger envelopes that modulate different things. Anything you can modulate can be patched with this, and you can hook it up to a mixer or mult and patch multiple things at the same time. If you have a switched mixer, you can drop things in and out. Just one FSR-1 can be surprisingly versatile.

One thing that stands out with Synthwerks' FSR modules is that they are actually pressure sensitive and not capacitive, meaning you don't have to make skin contact with them to work. You can use drum sticks on these - you can even cut out a piece of a mouse pad to make a nice pad for them. It's not needed though, the sensor feels fine and is very responsive. It doesn't act like a simple on/off switch. The harder you press or hit the sensor, the more the modulation is applied. You don't have to over press either. It is extremely sensitive and you can adjust the amount of the effect with the knobs. Of course you can press quickly to get max output instantly.

The FSR-1N takes up little space as you can see and is a great way to fill out any gap in your modular system. You can of course get one module with four sensors with the FSR-4 or large size pads with the FSR-4C. See for more including other controller and utility modules.

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