Superbooth 21: Expert Sleepers disting EX 1.9 with new Poly Exciter synth engine, quad envelope & more

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For Superbooth 21, Expert Sleepers is showing its first analog modules and a massive update (1.9) for the Disting EX with a new Poly Exciter synth engine.

During Superbooth 20 Home Edition, Expert Sleepers unveiled the Disting EX, the Super Disting with double power, a larger display, and more power. More than a year has passed since the official release and my first look video. How time flies. And in this year, Andrew Ostler has made massive free updates to the module, which has given it added value several times. Including a polysynth algorithm, granular processor, and more.

Expert Sleepers won’t be in Berlin this year, but Andrew has two new releases. We already know one: Lorelei, Ivo & Beatrix are the first analog module that he already presented in August. Today, it’s time for the second release: it is again a massive free update for the disting EX module, the firmware 1.9.

Disting EX firmware 1.9

Disting EX Firmware 1.9

The biggest highlight is the new Poly Exciter algorithm, which introduces another full polyphonic Synthesizer engine in the module. It is based on the method of exciting a resonant structure with a burst of audio. It produces results that can sound like a stringed instrument being plucked/struck. Comparable to the sound of a physical modeling synth. The engine is deep. For example, the exciter can be one of those built into the algorithm itself, a WAV file loaded from the MicroSD card, or live audio patched into one of the module’s inputs.

Then, you have built-in delay and chorus effects and clever play functions like automatic chord generation and arpeggiator. The algorithm can be played equally well by CV/gate or MIDI. When using CV/gate, the gate inputs are velocity-sensitive. In ‘Strum’ mode (see below) the algorithm works particularly well with aftertouch and supports using the gate inputs as such says the developer.  It also supports microtonal tunings using scala or MTS. Definitely, an exciting new algorithm.

Quad Envelope Algorithm

The second algorithm highlight of firmware 1.9 is a quad complex envelope generator (DAHDSR) with optional VCA functionality. It comes with various trigger modes including gated, triggered (one-shot), and looping. They also offer sync to clocks (analog pulses, or MIDI).

In addition to these two new flagship algorithms, there are other new features to discover in firmware 1.9.

  • new stereo+mono output assignments to the SD 6 Triggers algorithm.
  • additional arpeggiator patterns to the SD Multisample and Poly Wavetable algorithms.
  • ability to enable Chord mode on a per gate basis to the SD Multisample and Poly Wavetable algorithms.
  • ‘Pitch quantize’ parameter to the Granulator algorithm.
  • MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard) support to the MIDI/CV and Programmable Quantizer algorithms.
  • added functions to save and load all dual mode presets to/from the SD card.
  • an option for stereo operation to the Bit Crusher algorithm.
  • new modes to the Dual Sample and Hold algorithm which use Z as the signal to be sampled and X & Y as the sample triggers.
  • …. and many bug fixes

Another huge free update for the Disting EX that expands the module once more. If the module were available, that would probably be the point at which I finally buy one. But we are waiting until the next batch.

Expert Sleepers Disting EX firmware 1.9 is available now as a free download. The module is out now and costs $349 USD.

More information here: Expert Sleepers

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