Sonic LAB: Intellijel Atlantis Eurorack Synth Voice

SH 101 inspired synth voice      28/04/14

   QuickTime (MP4)  | iOS MP4
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.

 

More From: INTELLIJEL
Even more news...

 



More Videos

Meet The Makers: Mark Verbos -Verbos Electronics 

Manufacturer, Buchla expert and Performer


Sonic Lab: Makenoise 0-Coast Review 

Desktop semi-modular with a bit of East/West action


Presentation: Nektar Impact LX 49+ Affordable MIDI Control 

With native plugin and DAW mapping


BPM2016: Korg MicroKorg S Spotted 

Speakers are suprisingly beefy