Artisan Nucleus, hybrid monophonic Synthesizer now on Kickstarter

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Artisan Electronic Instruments’ new hybrid monophonic Eurorack-compatible Synthesizer Nucleus with three powerful oscillators is now on Kickstarter.

In the summer when it was nice and warm, I reported about the Artisan Nucleus, a new Eurorack compatible hybrid desktop Synthesizer. Today than the next step.

Artisan Electronic Instruments has launched the Kickstarter campaign where you can pre-order Nucleus.

Artisan Nucleus

Artisan Nucleus

Monophonic voice yes, but not “more of the same”. The Nucleus engine consists of an interesting mix of analog and digital elements. It already starts in the oscillators. It has three oscillators. The first is an analog discrete saw-core oscillator with wave-folding and PWM. It is supported by a multi-wave sub-oscillator with which you can give the main oscillator more analog juice and power.

Oscillator 2 is also an analog discrete saw-core oscillator with PWM but in this, you can hard-sync and FM options. The algorithms have the power in the third sound generator. Here you can choose between digital wavetables, Karplus Strong synthesis, and a combination of noise and bit crushing. An exciting mix of analog and digital synthesis that will certainly keep you busy for a long time.

Then, you can route all three oscillators in a 3-input digital ring modulator and in an 8-pole multi-mode dual peak filter. The filter runs in 2-pole low pass, bandpass, and high pass modes, as well as 4 pole versions of each. Thanks to the dual-path regeneration and 8-pole design, you get variable and modulate-able bandwidth and dual peak resonance. The latter can be played as a 5-oscillator sound or chord. Definitely not a simple filter but one with a lot of muscle power.

Advanced Modulation

The signal ends in a VCA with soft and hard clipping distortion for additional character. The modulation is also pretty impressive for such a compact synth. There are 4 six-stage envelope generators (delay, attack, hold, decay, sustain, releases), with looping, and expo shapes and time and sustain modulation. Next to these, you have 3 multi-wave LFOs with key-sync, delay, rate modulation, and 2 external CVs, and 4 modulation paths. That’s not all.

Nucleus allows you to spice up the modulation sources with additional functions incl. adders, multipliers, average, lag, quantize, and more. This extends the sonic range and capabilities of the modulators significantly. Plus, you can route MIDI CC to create new modulation effects. In total, you have over 50 modulation sources and 30 destinations.

And as the icing on the cake, you can also save your sounds in Nucleus’ patch memory. It comes with a factory library and with space for 100 user sounds. On the connection side, the 60HP wide synth comes with a full MIDI In/Out interface, user-selectable CV in/out, a trigger input, and an audio input/output.

Artisan Nucleu

More Is More

The good news. It doesn’t seem to be all features yet. Artisan promises: “the more people who pre-order it via Kickstarter, the more features there are. They range from new duophonic modes (50 units), a 4th LFO (60 units), more patch storage (70 units), or user downloadable waveforms (80 units). So far Nucleus doesn’t have effects. At 100 units, the developer will also add a reverb effect to it. I have to admit very attractive stretch goals.

And don’t forget there is more in the works. As I wrote in the first article, the developers are working on a polyphonic version that is based on this engine.

First Impression

We currently have a lot of monophonic synthesizers on the market From Behringer, Moog, Korg, etc. Do we need another one? A Nucleus, definitely yes because it brings new ideas into the mono synth area that you see less often. Artisan offers a very interesting package with tons of functionality on just 60HP. And Eurorack compatible. So for desktop and modular friends alike. Good luck Artisan with the Kickstarter campaign, it would be great to see it on the market.

Artisan Nucleus is available now for pre-order on Kickstarter for a starting price of $660 USD (sound designer edition). The Eurorack module version costs $770 USD and the desktop (euro + case) for $880 USD. Shipping starts in April with the early birds.

More information here: Kickstarter 

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