Plankton Electronics SPICE - Modular Saturation Unit
A modular distortion unit in a desktop format. Plus three extra eurorack modules.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, April 5 2019 10:19 AM UTC +00:00.
Before the details, listen to SPICE:
DIVKID quick demo:
- 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.
7 ANALOG DISTORTION CIRCUITS
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.
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.
3 EXTRA EURORACK MODULES
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. Check its features at Modulagrid (NUTONE).
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. Check its features at Modulagrid (SPICEVCF).
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. Check its features at Modulagrid (ENVF).
Check our SPICE youtube playlist:
Check the 3 modules in action in this playlist:
We offer DIY kits and PCB + Panel options for the NUTONE the SPICEVCF and the ENVF. Very easy to asemble. All the kits and PCBs use only Through Hole components.
At this point we will add an extra feature to the SPICE digital section. Using the encoder it will be possible to switch the Bit Crusher operation and acces to Bit Shifting and Bit Swapping modes to get an extra digital sound FX palette. It will be also possibe to disable the antialiasing filter, creating aliasing effects to the digitized signal.
If this feature is unlocked we will offer silver panels for all the modules. You will be able to chose the option via the survey that we will send after the campaign will be ended.
We offer 15 differents reward options doubled between EU and NON-EU destination. Check this 4 infographics to help you understand all the available options.
The complete list:
As rewards are ordered with the pledge amount in the right column, the best way to find your reward is to match the amount of the desired reward of this list with the one on the reward right column.
As we can not made all the possible reward combinations it may be the case that you want some reward combination that is not in the list. The solution is that you pledge for the option that is closer to your choice and then add the remaining amount of the other option. You must select the higher amount option.
Example: You want the SPICE eurorack and the ENVF assembled (and you're in a country outside the EU). You choose the reward SPICE Eurorack (Non EU) (441€) and you add the amount of the ENVF assembled (Non EU) to the total amount (441 + 81=522).
At the end of the campaign we will send a survey to collect all the information.
"EU" / "Non EU"?
To VAT or not to VAT
VAT (Value Added Tax) is a tax that we must charge to all the pledges that are shipped inside the EU, that's the law. If your country is inside the EU you must chose any of the"(EU)" rewards. By contrary if you country is outside the EU you must chose any of the "(Non EU)" rewards.
Here is the list of the EU members.
What about UK?
It is written into law that the UK will be leaving on 29 march 2019, but the deadline could be extended. As at the time of launching this campaign the UK is still part of the EU, all the UK pledges must be done with the "(EU)" reward option. If at time of shipping the rewards the tax is not aplicable anymore we will proceed to refund any charged VAT.
THE METAPATCH APP
Like with the Ants! synth we have developed a web based app to store your patches and share them. It's not a way load the presets in the machine, but a picture to remember the configuration used in the past. Check the Ants! Metapatch to see some examples.
The delivery time will depend on many factors, like the succeed of the campaign, factory production, component supply, etc. We expect to start to deliver the rewards by may 2019. The firsts orders to be delivered will be the DIY options and we will follow to send the assembled units.
WHO WE ARE?
This project has also been possible thanks to the contribution, ideas and feedback of many other people. Specially thanks to: Alfredo C. Castro (Can Electric - Taula 4), Olivier Ozoux, Pedro Pina (Pina), Eloi Flores (Wintermodular), Manu Retamero and Diego de León (Befaco), Andreas Zhukovsky (Endorphine.es), the memebers of Eurorack Barcelona, and all the backers that have supported us during this campaign.
You may ask, why not to launch directly your products?
- First: we're a small company and SPICE is a quite ambitious project. Getting all the parts, specially the NU-TUBEs requieres a considerable disbursement. The crowdfunding campaign is a good way to ensure the minimum necessary funds for the production.
- Second: we're sure that people will love SPICE and it will be well accepted. But crowdfunding is a good way to take a look on how the product will fit in the market.
- Third: This is our second Kickstarter campaign. The first one was to launch our Ants! synthesizer. It was a really good experience! Who don't want to repeat good ones?
A SHIFT FOR SUSTAINABILITY
Plastic is super usefull but at the same time is ruinning the environment. We want to make a change on our way to pack our products and we will not use any single use plastic on our packaging. We will only use carton boxes, paper envelopes, paper tape, etc.
We encourage you to ask companies to do the same.
*some of the big transport companies use a plastic envelope to attach the documents inside. Specially on the deliveries outisde the EU. We will like to see a change on this also, but that's not only on us.
Risks and challenges
This is our second Kickstarter campaign. We have experience on building machines, electronics, and production processes. But as in any project there are some risks and challenges.
First of all is the component shortage. When working on electronics this is the main risk that one should face. We have many hours behind us working with different suppliers to ensure we can have an alternative if something goes wrong with one of the manufacturers.
The second is a delay on the delivery caused from a production issue during all the production chain. From a wrong design to an assembly issue. Again we have spent many hours testing our prototypes to avoid any design problem and we have been working with different PCB and panel companies to be confident about our success. The last part of the production process is done at our workshop, and we are 100% sure about doing things properly!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter