MATRIXSYNTH: Hello Spice: Unboxing Plankton Electronic's semi-modular saturation unit

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Hello Spice: Unboxing Plankton Electronic's semi-modular saturation unit

Olivier Ozoux

Plankton Spice posts

"So, about 2 years ago, I received this email from Alex at Plankton Electronics:


We’re designing a new machine. Actually it is almost designed already.

The machine will be a distorting unit. Standalone but eurorack suitable, semimodular, several distorting circuits. Stages are:

- Filter section (LP and HP)
- Digital section (Bit crush and Downsampling)
- Analog (9 disotrtion circuits one of them being a Nu-tube)
- Mixing section (dry and wet).

Then a feedback control with an insert between. From the analog section back into the filter. And also an envelope follower normaled to the filter input but breakable with normal and inverted outs (very good to control the filters before the distortion.

The idea of using HP and LP before the distortion circuit comes from the process of filtering the signal before the clipping stage in all the distortion circuits in the market. Generally is what defines the sound. The different distortion circuits will add more or less harmonics, being a compressed clipped signal, a fuzz, or the even harmonics produced by the tube.

Each section has its own I/O so you can skip the digital section if you want to avoid the 12bit of maximum bit rate or if you want to change the order. Overall it’s a very versatile distortion unit.

the spice is amazing, and I can't believe it took me this long to make a video about it. Full disclosure, even though I got early access to the design, I purchased my own unit as part of the Kickstarter launch campaign."

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