Sunday, November 15, 2020



"Overviewing my new passive utility set and its various capabilities! These demos are with plain-simple Doepfer modules for the sake of clarity and simplicity, but of course, one can get way more complicated and unpredictable results using it in more uncommon ways."

PASSIVE TOOLS 1 by SYNTHFOX is a versatile collection of passive utilities in 4 HP. It consists of 4 signal processors, 3 of which can be musically useful when used with audio, CV and logic/gate signals, and one is intended to be a sound processor.

PASSIVE TOOLS 1 includes four useful submodules:

- MASH is a somewhat esoteric signal interwinder. A passive diode/transistor setup mashes the two signals together, often boosting their slight detunes and mismatches for audio, and creates interesting patterns out of CVs and logic signals. It acts in a manner somewhat similar to ring modulators and the logic XOR output, although the expected result of either is unobtainable from it: instead, you are going to get more unpredictable and surprising results.

- OR is a simple, yet very useful "max" processor. It lets the highest of the two voltages on its inputs pass, while completely blocking the other one. Its main intent is to combine gate signals like an OR logic gate, but it also can be used to select the maximal of the two LFOs, for example, or even mix down two sounds in a weird, weird way.

- M0RE is the least complex part of the module: a simple half wave rectifier lets only the positive half of the wave pass through, while completely blocking the negative portion. Useful for ridding the CV of the negative portion, harmonically enhancing sounds, or converting a bipolar squaerwave-like signals into unipolar gate signals.

- HPF is the only submodule that is intended only for use with audio: it's a simple passive high pass filter with three preset cutoff frequencies. It's an extremely useful and underappreciated audio tool: when it comes to mixing down the patch, nothing is a simpler solution in fixing the frequency overlaps between the bass and mid layer, for example, than a high-pass on the higher sound. It can as well be used to DC decouple sounds that have some voltage offset, or converting gates to tiny pluck-like spikes for pinging the filters.

The module draws no power and comes with 2 M3 mounting screws. NB! The module is assembled on-demand upon purchase, and it takes 1 working day. So, don't worry about the unit not being shipped right the next day - it will be shipped in 3 working days.

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