Among the drone of bleeps and blops, deep in the depths of the Alex4 booth we were greeted with the beautiful looking Verbos Electronics modular synth. Created by Mark Verbos, his designs are focused on the style of West Coast experimentalists, Serge and Buchla, presented with a distinct understanding of how modular gear is used by the current generation. With 20 years of experience as a producer/engineer, and with his work with vintage Buchla systems Mark Verbos has created a unique set of modules some of which have not been seen in the Eurorack format before!
First up is the Voltage Multistage, a sophisticated chameleon of control voltage designed to create all your standard control signals from saw, square, pulse, and triangle LFOs, AR, AD, ADSR and multistage envelopes, tracking generators, quantisers and of course sequencers. However this is anything but your standard voltage source.
Verbos has two oscillators in his collection, the Complex Oscillator and the Harmonic Oscillator, both of which offer a different method of synthesis. The Complex Oscillator is reminiscent of your classic West Coast flavour, whereby one oscillator modulates another creating rich timbres. Verbos' design is configured as a master oscillator, a modulation oscillator for FM or AM and a voltage controlled waveshaper. The Harmonic Oscillator is the first of its kind for Eurorack, providing outputs for the first 8 harmonics as sine waves as well as your fundamental as a standard triangle, saw and square wave. Allowing for some intense harmonic content which to our ears sounded unlike any other analogue oscillator. "ooo thats loverly!"
The next module in the line is the Amplitude & Tone Controller; a totally discrete VCA, with simultaneous exponential and linear CV input and a Vactrol based VCF with diode limited resonance.
And last but not least is the Dual Four Pole based on the core of a Buchla 100 system providing a hi pass on the left and low pass on the right each with a reversing attenuator and voltage controlled resonance. These filters will not self oscillate, however with the resonance up high Verbos showed us some beautiful vocal, almost formant like qualities.
Although we didnt get a price, we did get a hint at a price, and from the build quality and sound quality it is likely that these modules will be at the higher end of the Eurorack spectrum. For more info check out verboselectronics.com or Alex4.de
We sat down with Rob to discuss the creative process and what lead him to using a modular