SoundForce has introduced a digitally controlled oscillator module for Eurorack. They tell us that it is based on the architecture of the Juno-60/106 oscillator section and is a modern homage to that sound using technology from the future. They say that it provides true analog waveforms with digital stability. Here's the story direct from SoundForce...
A DCO is not an all-analog VCO but also not a digital oscillator. It’s an hybrid design that combines the best of both. Similarly to some VCO’s, the DCO generates its core waveform, the saw wave, by charging a capacitor in an op-amp integrator configuration. A VCO will restart the waveform cycle when the signal has reached its maximum amplitude. But the DCO starts an new cycle when a micro-controller, a small computer chip, commands it to. The micro-controller also controls the rate at which the capacitor is charging, hence the frequency of the oscillator. As with a digital oscillator, the DCO acquires the CV input voltages and turns them into numbers that will later set the frequency of the oscillator. This is done inside the micro-controller using 16 bits sigma-delta analog to digital converters. All signals are true analog signals: the PULSE wave is derived from the SAW wave using a comparator and the SUB oscillators are generated using a flip-flop IC. Furthermore, the use of a very modern micro-controller with built-in 32 bits timers have improved the frequency accuracy a lot compared to the original design.
The SoundForce DCO features 10 slide pots (faders) reminiscent of the vintage Roland synths. 5 sound sources are available: SAW, PULSE, SUB1 (1 octave lower), SUB2 (2 octaves lower) and NOISE. The built-in mixer allows you to mix them together using the faders and the MIX output jack. The PULSE has manual pulse width control, as well as PWM with a CV input and an attenuator. An FM input is also available with an attenuator. The oscillator can be hard synced to another oscillator using the SYNC input.
– Frequency range : 20Hz – 14kHz
– Depth: 24mm (+ power connector)
– Power: +12V 82mA, -12V 26mA
– V/OCT input range -3 to 7V
– FM input range -5V to 5V
– PWM input range -5V to 5V
Pricing and Availability:
The module will be shown on the SoundForce booth this week at Superbooth (booth O501) along with some more upcoming modules. It’s available right now to pre-order at 229 euros (189 euros outside of Europe) on the SoundForce webshop. It will be shipping in June.
With Matt Hodson
ADSR, Function Generator, LFO, & Mixer
A detailed look at the new Wavetable synth
Self assembly too