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We were mightily impressed with the sound and authority of the Studio Electronics Boomstar desktops - two oscillator desktop synths with different filter variants. Now Studio Electronics have introduced a range Eurorack Modules - we're taking a look at a few of them.
The first in our reviews is the Boomstar Oscillation - an oscillator.
It's billed as a Tim Caswell hybrid, with a range from sub-audible LFO rates up to 100k bat frequencies. Size is 16HP - not very deep, with the usual box header for connecting to your Eurorack power rail - though this doesn't support the Doepfer CV and gate normalling bus, any patching has to be done old-school.
Oscillation is a multi-wave Oscillator, with extremely stable waveforms - check the scope. It offers, Normal and Low modes for using it as an LFO or an Oscillator, the range goes from fractions
CV is controlled via 1V/Oct Eurorack standard, additional inputs are: Pulse Width (for the Square) and FM (Frequency modulation) in. You also get a Sync from other sources.
Sine Triangle, Saw, Ramp (inverse Saw), Square and Sub are all available via dedicated outputs, but you also have a switchable mix output with each wave added to the mix via a toggle switch, plus the Sub level. Each wave is also output separately - the mix does not affect the levels of these.
Waves are indeed very accurate across the entire audio, with clean, weighty waveforms - the Boomstar desktops have a real charisma to their waves and these are no different.
Pulse width and FM are dialled in both positive and negative amounts, with 12 o'clock being 0. In practice it's quite difficult to dial in very small amounts of modulation with no centre-dent. I'm told that control law is the thing -which is easier to define in digital control - these are all analog so you can easily set rules for this kind of thing, you'll need to attenuate your mod source to get precise at low amounts.
It is possible to get some very wild and deep modulation it you patch it in, FM like and bell tones are not a problem - particularly pleasant when applying FM to a sine wave.
I have to say, there is no nonsense here, it does what it says. Providing a clean, consistent waveform across the entire audio range and beyond. Plenty of those lovely harmonics to filter and emphasize, with lots of low end available on the raw waves.
It's a premium module, at the higher end of what you might pay for a single oscillator, but you do get what you pay for.
Size - 16hp
Depth - 39.7mm with ribbon cable attached
Power Usage - 44mA, 39mA (+12 / -12)
Available now, priced at £229/$299 from most reputable modular suppliers.
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