MATRIXSYNTH: Plankton Electronics SPICE - Modular Saturation Unit on Kickstarter

Monday, March 18, 2019

Plankton Electronics SPICE - Modular Saturation Unit on Kickstarter

17 days to go on Kickstarter here. Currently at 52 backers with $17,810 pledged of the $47,608 goal. Some details from the campaign:


Rackable (38HP eurorack) modular desktop unit.

8 CV inputs with led level indicators.

6 main functions: Prefilter / Digital / Analog / Mixer / Envelope Follower / Feedback

Prefilter: High Pass and Low Pass filters to shape the sound before being processed. Both controlable via fader + CV input.

Digital: 12 bit Bit Crusher + Sample Rate reducer. Both controlable via potentiometer and CV inputs. It also offer an analog input control with led clip indicator and a low pass filter to smooth the output signal. All the code will be Open Source

Analog: 7 analog distortion circuits selectable with a rotary encoder + a sweet resonant state variable filter. Drive and Cutoff parameters are controlable via potentiometer and CV inputs. 2 of the circuits use the new Korg NU-TUBE.

Mixer: Dry and Wet controls to mixed the processed signal with the clean one of the input. Both controlable via fader + CV input.

Envelope Follower: A dedicated envelope follower with gain control and normal and inverted outputs to convert an incoming signal to an envelope. With its output you can control any of the CV parameters and shape the processed sound in many creative ways.

Feedback: a triple feedback section that sends the Wet input to the Prefilter, Digital and Analog sections. It's capable from a subtle resonance to a collapsed hardcore self generating tone.

Semi-modular architecture with prepatcehd sections that can be reestructured using patch cables. Each section (minus the feedback) can be used as an indpendent function from the rest.


The core of SPICE is the Analog section with 7 different analog circuits, each one offering a different color and harmonics to your sound.

These circuits are:

BOOST: A clean circuit. It is used when you want to use the filter without any distortion.

SATURATION: A soft clip saturator. It adds a bit of harmonics to warm up your signals.

HARD CLIP: A clasic circuit that distorts the signal in a stronger way.

NU-TUBE: A tube distortion from the Korg Nu-tube vacum fluorescent display.

NU-TUBE X2: Both channels of the Nu-tube for a higher gain tube distortion.

FUZZ: A transistor based fuzz circuit for strongly clipped effects.

STOMP BOX: a filtered high gain distortion based on some popular guitar pedals.

In this chart to see how how a triangle wave is affected with the different circuits at different gains. The resulting waves are taken directly from the scope output.

NU-TUBE - The new Korg Nu-tube is a new vacuum tube which puts vacuum fluoescent display technology to practical use. It operates exactly as a triode vacuum tube and it creates the same rich overtones of a vacuum tube and the same tube sound. All of this with a smaller package, a higher live (30.000h) and using less than a 2% of the electrical power of a conventional tube.


We have also designed 3 eurorack modules inspired by SPICE. These are: NUTONE, SPICEVCF and ENVF

NUTONE is a dual channel VCA and distortion based on the Korg Nutube vacuum fluorescent display. 2 inputs, 2 outputs, 2CV controls for gain, 1 feedback controls at each channel and send potentiometers from Ch1 to Ch2 and viceversa.

SPICEVCF is a module based on the filter of tha ANALOG section of SPICE. 1 input, 3 outputs (LP, BP & HP), CV input for cutoff and resonance, V/OCT input and XMOD control to modulate the filter with its own output.

ENVF is an envelope follower base on the same function of SPICE. 1 input, 2 outputs, Treshold control, Gain control and a 3 state slope switch.

You can find additional posts featuring SPICE here.

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