Sonic LAB: Intellijel Atlantis Eurorack Synth Voice

SH 101 inspired synth voice      28/04/14

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14:3 mins    

The Intellijel Atlantis is what you call a self contained synthesizer voice - it has all the ingredients to make a complete mono voice. Canadian based Intellijel say it's a tribute to the Roland SH-101, but it's way more than that.

Build This is a 40HP module, not very deep, so will fit into pretty much any case should house it. Build quality is fine, but I did notice that the faders and switches are a little wobbly, not something I would want to get too enthusiastic with, the knobs and jacks are perfectly solid.

Bassics With two oscillators - the LFO can double up as a second VCO,  the main VCO is multi-wave with a Square, Triangle, Sub (-1/-2 Pulse) Noise (pink/white) and Sine.

It's based on the Dixie core - another module by Intellijel, which they say responds more musically to FM.

The LFO also can be set to audio range and follow the pitch of VCO 1 for true dual oscillator action. It offers Sine, Tri, Saw, Square, S&H and noise waves.

There's a multi-mode filter which offers LowPass/BandPass/HighPass in 2 and 4 pole flavours as well as a LowPass Boost - which stops it from being dominated by resonance and fattens it up.

There's MOD,  1V/OCT and Envelope modulation inputs.

The single ADSR oscillator with x1 and x10 modes and a cycle mode which repeats like an additional LFO.

Finally, the VCA allows three preset drive levels for output clipping, plus there's a red trigger button.

Modularity Without the use of any patch chords, routing is already pretty comprehensive, sounds ranging from classic bass and leads to snappy sequence sounds come easily to hand. But it's also entirely possible to get really out there with metallic cross mod and other audio rate type sounds.

But the looking at the patch points really opens out the synth - especially when integrated with other modules.

Patch Points:

Inputs:

Outputs:

VCO1

1V/Oct Ext in: : (sine wave normalled) PWM, Mod, Sync

wave outs: SQ, Saw, Sine, Sub

Envelope Gate,  Trig, Level,

Positive/Negative

VCF Ext In, Mod

Out

LFO 1V/Oct, Sync, Clock

Wave outs: Sine, Tri, Saw, Sq, S&H, Noise

In Use

Atlantis is like many single voice modules - instantly accessible, whilst allowing for plenty of  additional patching - it's a pleasure to use. I did find that the scaling of some of the parameters was a little fiddly - when you want to dial in a small amount of  modulation - say VCO pitch - even a tiny amount of Mod feels like too much, same with filter frequency or resonance. I spoke to Intellijel about this and they say fader scaling is tweakable if you want to dig in with a soldering iron. This is not for me, but it may be that a revision to the module will address this. It's not insurmountable - just put an attenuator inline.


Conclusion

In short, I'm a big fan of this synth. As a starter module, I can heartily recommend it - pretty much any other module will integrate nicely and enhance it.

It's easy to embark on a journey of synthesis and find yourself caught in modular time, which is all you can ask from most synths.

Unfortunately for us, Atlantis is what you'd call a premium module - in the US it's listed at $699 which is certainly much less than you'd pay for a second-hand SH-101, but still puts it on the high side for a Eurorack module. I don't have a UK or EU price as yet.

Bottom line is that it sounds great, is hugely flexible and has plenty of patching possibilities. I like the fact that you have access to a lot of audio rate modulation routings, the LFO being a great feature.

 

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12 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Champ    Said...

Prices for the Atlantis are: US dollar$ 699,- Euro € 509,- British Pound £ 419,-

Those living in The Netherlands or in Europe can contact http://www.champsoriginaltrend.com as we are proud dealer of Intellijel. (all modules incl. prices will be listed on our website within a couple of hours).

28-Apr-14 07:07 AM


Tim Webb    Said...

Wow that does sound good! I listened all the way to the end of your credit roll jam, just to hear every bit of it.

Great demos of the high rate LFO and cycled Env on the filter. I've never heard of getting a formant filter with a high rate sine LFO modding a LPF. That is a top tip I'm going to have to remember!

28-Apr-14 08:07 AM


ikkini    Said...

There is a little confusion in this video about the waveforms : you're speaking about triangle when using the sawtooth ! ;)

28-Apr-14 08:10 AM


moss    Said...

Great review as usual! I'd love to see more Modular reviews!

28-Apr-14 08:13 AM


Crustibooga    Said...

Looks good, but I think first on my list is the Metropolis sequencer.

@Champ your prices seem too cheap to be true? you're about £100 less than Postmodular!

28-Apr-14 09:43 AM


Champ    Said...

@ Crustibooga

Prices are excl. taxes

28-Apr-14 10:19 AM


brianfromusa    Said...

Good review, that thing does sound really nice. Props to Intellijel for letting you break up the VCO/VCF/VCA path. So where's the BeatStep video...didn't think we saw that didja?

28-Apr-14 12:12 PM


Studio 139    Said...

Nice review, the unit really sounds good, although the delay really helped sell it for me. Please do force me to start buying modular equipment! Review some gear that sounds crappy so I won't be tempted.

28-Apr-14 03:00 PM


Synthlover    Said...

Thanks nick! Your reviews are always on point!

28-Apr-14 05:07 PM


William Shaver    Said...

I don't suppose Dan would send you a Meterpolis sequencer would he? That looks really interesting.

Not sure about your comment regarding the price (relative to Eurorack modules) though.. you are getting an entire synth in one module after all.

28-Apr-14 08:53 PM


brianfromusa    Said...

I think Nick was comparing the price to the Doepfer synth voice.

30-Apr-14 11:43 AM


EMwhite    Said...

Price is actually alright to me. Pickup any other env gen, Oscillator w/sub, multimode filter, and an LFO and you are at that price.

Pittsburg might be the U.S. equiv of budget priced semi like the Pitts System 10 and it would be a tough choice but I would argue that the Intellijel is 2x the capability but obviously absent a Midi to CV and the case.

But nice review, Nick, especially the part where you demo the patches.

One quick question, is the 'clip' LED more of an activity/level where only the solid bright = clipping? Or are they suggesting/calibrated for a somewhat lower level so you'll need an aggressive sawtooth wave at 1/2 way point?

05-May-14 11:05 AM


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