Superbooth 22: Soundfreak brings the EMS VCS3 to Buchla 4U, first look

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Superbooth 22: Alina Kalancea of Soundfreak Modular brings the EMS VCS3 into the Buchla 4U format in form of three new modules.

Eurorack is the big topic at the Superbooth every year. Besides Eurorack you can also find other modular synth formats here. The 4U, which Buchla mainly uses, or the 5U, which is known from the Moog Modular.

Soundfreak Modular premiered at SB 22 new 4U Buchla-compatible modules that go in a completely different direction.

Superbooth 22 Soundfreak EMS Buchla

Superbooth 22: Soundfreak

Soundfreak Modular is a new modular company from Italy led by Alina Kalancea. She has a great love for the legendary EMS VCS3 (Snythi VCS) and so she decided to port it into the 4U Buchla format.

It’s a high-quality modular translation of the original circuits in collaboration with EMS. More precisely, the new modules are officially licensed. To make them seamlessly fit the 4U format and its workflow, Soundfreak has equipped the modules with extra features and adaptations. Related to the connectivity, modulation, and interface. For example, they will preserve the same original message of the VCS3 but offers classic as well as banana sockets. There will be three modules for the start.

 3 Soundfreak Modules

Triple Oscillator consists of three independent oscillators with the same super-wide frequency range that goes below the audible range known from the original VCS3. All three oscillators have identical controls but are different in range and waveforms.

Dual Filter/Oscillator features two independent, identical filtering circuits from the VCS3 but expanded with extra features. They offer the resonant lowpass filter or a self-oscillating bandpass filter which is capable to produce a pure sine wave. So you can use it also as an oscillator.

The Soundfreak adaption comes with a new built-in FM circuit that allows you to control the filter’s cutoff frequency with both CV and audio signals. There is a switch that modifies the filter reaction to audio-rate frequency modulation. Plus, you can change the filter slope from 24 to 18dB/oct with which you can go beyond the sound of the VCS3.

Soundfreak EMS Buchla

The third module is the Envelope Shaper/Noise Generator which merges two separate sections of the VCS3 into a single module.

The upper part gives you an envelope shaper that combines a VCA and a loopable envelope generator that can also work as an LFO. The envelope both controls the VCA level and is available as control voltage. It can accept up to four distinct sounds thanks to four semi-normalled audio inputs.

On the lower part, you get a noise generator with controls over its amplitude and color. The color knob defines its timbre by cutting the low or the high frequencies from the default white noise. Nice, the timbre parameter is also controllable with CV, another new addition.

First Look

I did a developer talk with the wonderful Alina Kalancea about her new company, love for VCS3, and the modules.

Three exciting modules that bring new tones to the Buchla format. Buchla with VCS3 sounds like a wild sound experience. I’m excited to hear the first big sound demos. Not in my price league, but certainly exciting modules for Buchla users who know such high-priced modules.

Soundfreak Modular modules will be available in Summer 2022. Triple Oscillator will cost 2120€, Dual Filter/Oscillator 1620€, and Envelope Shaper/Noise Generator for 1480€. So can subscribe to the waiting list via the contact form.

More information here: Soundfreak 

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