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Analog Hybrid Synthesizer in Desktop or Eurorack
Not Old, Not Borrowed, Not Blue...But New
In this day when it seems like so many are just resurrecting the past, we, at Artisan Electronic Instruments think art and technology have moved forward. And we want to bring something new into the world of synthesis. NUCLEUS is a unique and powerful monophonic Synthesizer that combines the sound design of East and West Coast ideas, blends Analog and Digital technologies, and packs a vast sound palette into an intuitive user aesthetic.
Don’t be fooled by its compact size. The NUCLEUS is anything but a classic remake or just a “more of the same” Synthesizer. There is a lot of sonic synthesis power hidden behind that 60hp panel, an extraordinary amount for such a small instrument.
A Beast Of Raw Sonic Power
Nucleus fills any harmonic space with its complex 3 Oscillator block. Its analog and digital circuits churn out some serious walls of sound. This little machine ROARS!
Oscillator 1 is based on an analog discrete Saw-core circuit providing those classic Saw, Triangle, and variable pulse/PWM waveforms. Tied into it is a modulate-able 4 stage wavefolder for awesome metallic tones. The Sub-Oscillator has its own variable filter producing smooth pounding sine waves or all the way through a rich square.
Oscillator 2 is also a fully discrete analog design with Saw, Variable Pulse/PWM, and PWM with Sub-Octave. But that’s just the start. It also has a selectable 2 or 3 stage Digital Ring Modulator. The DRM combines the waveforms of all three Oscillators for some amazing tones heard nowhere else. If that were not enough, Oscillator 2 can Hard-Sync to a separately controlled digital 4th oscillator. Wait, there's more, when not in Hard Sync, it can be Frequency Modulated by Oscillator 3 through a dedicated VCA controlling the FM depth in real-time.
Oscillator 3 is digital, why? To provide those unique sounds only found in the digital world. It still provides some clean anti-aliased standard shapes, like Sine and PWM but adds a few tricks, such as a variable slope Saw to Triangle wave, an adjustable width Swarm wave, and String tones using the Karplus-Strong physical model. There are ten slots for custom waveforms and a noise source. Oscillator 3 also has a bit-crusher/sample reducer effect to get into some dirty digital color.
And you can modulation just about anything! From pitch, wave-shape, and mix levels and the oscillator “special effects” of sub-shape, hard-sync frequency, FM depth, and bit crusher strength.
Character and More Character
There is so much to NUCLEUS before ever reaching the filter. But that bad boy does not want to be outdone. It is awesome in its own right. First off it offers a unique cascade multi-mode design. The filter runs in 2 pole Low Pass, Bandpass, and High Pass modes, as well as 4 pole versions of each. It’s the Dual-path Regeneration and 8-pole design that really give a unique character to the Bandpass modes, providing variable and modulate-able bandwidth and dual peak resonance. Since the filter can track over a wide range you can “play” these peaks and get a 5-oscillator sound or chord!
The filter has modulation inputs for cutoff, resonance, and filter shape. And after all that, the asymmetrical soft clipping circuits can bring in some much loved “dirt”. Just crank that Overdrive knob.
Modulation Mania Until You Drop
With all this sonic power, the Artisan NUCLEUS Synthesizer controls it all with an deep and powerful modulation matrix. There are 50+ modulation sources and 30+ destinations that all available simultaneously. An impressive amount for such a compact mono synth. There are 4 six-stage Envelope Generators (delay, attack, hold, decay, sustain, release), with looping, linear, and expo shapes and time and sustain modulation. 3 LFOs provide 9 waveshapes, key-sync, delay, and rate modulation. 2 external CVs and 4 modulation paths from the keyboard to add more real-time modulation control. And now it gets wild. You can take those modulations sources and Add, Multiply, Average, Lag, Quantize, Switch, Sync knobs, contour, and route MIDI CC to create new modulation effects. A modulation engine that has far more on offer than a classic mono synth.
Hand-crafted instruments Stradivarius would be proud of... and Rick Wakeman would leave his Minimoog for.