The first story on this was so popular, we knew we had to spend some quality time with itâ€™s maker Jared at the Big City Music booth (another cool analog stand at the show). The FutureRetro XS as it will be known is another from the creator of one of the finest 303 clones and the highly desirable Mobius sequencer. There at present, only two in existence, these being prototypes, but the one we saw was fully functioning and making plenty of cool noise.
The XS appears to take some inspiration from Korgs legendary MS20 semi modular synth, in so much as it is semi-modular,with the sections prewired so it will make a sound at powerup. You can of course access each sections ins and outs as desired for some abnormal routing and sonic mangling.
The XS responds to the standard 1V/Oct control voltages and positive gates so it can be interfaced with most analog sequencers or MIDI to CV converters.
The XS provides a wide range VCO or voltage controlled oscillator, capable of covering the entire audio range or acting as an LFO for sub audio oscillation. This VCO can sync itâ€™s waveform to oscillators and gate signals, or act as a free running oscillator. The VCO generates sine, triangle, sawtooth, and pulse width/square waveforms. The pulse width shape can be set manually or modulated with an internal or external signal. The VCO can be frequency modulated by both internal and external signals to create more complex waveforms. The VCO also generates a sub oscillator waveform which can be 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, or 1/16th the frequency of the main waveform. An output is provided for both main and sub oscillator waveforms.
The mix section sets the levels of the oscillator and sub oscillator waveforms or any external audio signal to be sent to the input of the filter. The multimode filter provides 2 pole high-pass and low-pass frequency roll off with dedicated controls for the cutoff frequency and resonance settings. With high resonance settings the filter will self oscillate. The cutoff frequency can further be modulated by both internal and external signals. A dedicated output for the filter is also provided.
The XS includes a unique ADSR type envelope with additional attack and decay time settings for accented envelopes. Itâ€™s like having two envelopes in one. The envelope can be triggered with a single gate for traditional ADSR type envelopes, or insert another gate signal into the accent input to select the accent time settings. Both positive and negative polarity envelopes are available at the output.
And finally a VCA or voltage controlled amplifier is provided to process the amplitude of signals. The VCA normally affects the filterâ€™s output but can also be used to process external audio signals. The VCA can be controlled by an external gate or the internal envelope. In addition, a manual control is provided to control the VCA when no gate or envelope signal is present. The VCA has a level control for attenuating signals sent to its output.