New Systems Instruments has announced that Inertia is now shipping and available. They tell us that Inertia is a new take on a complex function generator. It models physical motion with analog electronics, adding a rise and fall "momentum" parameter to the more familiar rise and fall rate controls. The company says that this extra parameter radically expands on what a function generator can do, with the most obvious addition being lush, resonant filtering. Here's more details in their own words...
Inertia's physical model produces exponential envelopes that are extremely natural, comparable to a vactrol ping but much more configurable. The inclusion of rise momentum gives an easy way to get an ADSR type signal from a gate input, with momentum adding a peak or accent to the initial rise. It has two types of output curves as well, with the second phase delayed from the first.
Unlike a traditional function generator, Inertia doesn't generate LFOs by cycling its envelope. Instead, you just turn up the momentum until it self-oscillates. As an LFO, it has a useful skewed sine shape. It's also very syncable, either with the trigger input or just by plugging another LFO into the input.
At audio rate, it makes an excellent VCO, tracking 5+ octaves. Plus it has a second interface mode that allows you to control the frequency and the skew independently, instead of having to fiddle with rise and fall to get a particular frequency and timbre. Skewed all the way to either side, Inertia is as bright as the best sawtooth wave.
Where this module really shines, however, is in use as a filter. It produces anything from subtle to squelch to glitchy scream, depending on how big you let the resonance get and--since it's got a skew control--what waveshape you give to the resonant frequency. You can skew the resonance itself as well, making Inertia respond with different resonances to the rising and falling edges of an audio waveform. All of this makes Inertia into a filter with the same level of complexity and configurability as a complex oscillator.
The function generator space is pretty crowded in Eurorack, but Inertia is not just another DUSG clone. It stands out as a unique and capable implementation, giving you a huge variety of control curves, an excellent oscillator, and a wild and distinctive filter, all in a single module.
New Systems Instruments is a modular manufacturer located in the San Francisco Bay Area, focusing on creating new, analog designs based on different ways of thinking about music and synthesis.
Pricing and Availability:
Inertia retails at $329 USD.
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