MATRIXSYNTH: Starling Via - Shared Modular System - In Store Demo Saturday March 23rd, 1pm at Switched On Austin

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Starling Via - Shared Modular System - In Store Demo Saturday March 23rd, 1pm at Switched On Austin

A system of synthesizer modules built on a shared hardware platform.

More info -

The shared DNA of the modules, if you care to know

Analog circuit, digital control
Basic analog processing blocks are brought to life with flexible digital signals.

Shared IO
A set of programmable controls, inputs, and outputs provides the foundation for each module.

Replaceable skin
Swap the faceplate and flash new firmware over USB to transform the module into one of its family members.

Via comes in a few different packages

Built by Starling
Fully assembled and tested modules are available from Starling and authorized distributors.

Built by you
DIY kits with pre-populated surface mount components are available, along with open source software.

Built by a computer
All modules are available as Rack plugins on a pay-what-you-can basis.

Modules & Demo:

2.23.19 no.1 // Modular Music

Published on Feb 23, 2019 Tarek Sabbar


META flexible slope generator

META generates a flexible path from one voltage to another and back. Any input is fair game, be it fast, slow, or totally still. This allows you to generate a signal, or use that signal to animate a crossfader. In one patch, generate an envelope to modulate the cutoff of a filter. In the next, apply a totally different envelope shape to the amplitude of a sound source passing through the module. Who knows, the next day, you might use it as a drum voice.

A touch interface gives you control over how the path is traversed, and the controls adapt to provide the most relevant response to the type of signal being generated. A preset store/recall system can be used to keep programming to a minimum.

Dial in the signal that your patch was missing, or explore the space of happy accidents when signals in different frequency ranges interact in unconventional ways.


SYNC clock-synced signal source

SYNC lets you latch onto a clock signal (such as an audio square wave or an LFO) and travel back and forth between two inputs at a frequency related to the clock by a ratio. Under the hood, it works a lot like META, but you control the frequency of the internal signal generator with clock multiplication and division.

Use an audio-rate clock to create just-intoned harmonies, overtones, and subharmonics, or patch in a low frequency clock to generate tempo-synced modulation signals. Controls and CV inputs allow you to surf through a grid of musically related ratios to animate the frequency relative to the clock input to create musical gestures. Outputs provide auxiliary waveforms, giving you a suite of synced signal sources enabling clock multiplier/divider style gate sequencing.


SCANNER multi-channel waveshaper

SCANNER transforms a pair of input signals into 4 complementary outputs by using the inputs to scan across "surfaces" of possible values. An additional control input deforms the shape of the surfaces, allowing you to morph the character of the waveshaping created by the scan process.

The main waveshaper output controls a crossfade between two inputs, turning the module into an amplitude processing/mixing node suitable for CV or audio. Patch a gate sequence into the jump input to impose a sudden change in wave shape or timbre.

Explore tones full of distinct sonic pockets and tearing, wavefolded overtones, or transform a slow LFO into a liquid modulation sequence.


GATESEQ rhythm engine

Create necklaces of polyrhythms with a pair of interwoven gate sequencers. GATESEQ sets a complex gate sequencer (offering pattern offset, clock multiplication, or shuffle/swing) against a simple euclidean sequencer.

Choose a logical combination of the two to create a rhythmic counterpoint. Map the sequences to an analog processing circuit including a sample and hold, VCA gate, and mixing stage to process other logic, CV, and audio signals.

Manual and CV control over pattern density provides an intuitive way to play the module or derive more nuanced patterns with modulation. When your gate-sequencing needs are sated in a patch, try stepping it with an audio square wave.

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