Neutral Labs Scrat, Steiner-Parker VCF module with hackable resonance

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Neutral Labs Scrat is a wild Steiner-Parker voltage-controlled filter module for Eurorack with hackable resonance behaviour.

Filter modules are just as important as oscillators in a modular synthesizer. They are essential building blocks to design sounds. The choice often falls on a classic filter based on the design of Moog, Oberheim, or Roland Synthesizer.

A less popular and more experimental filter design comes from Steiner-Parker. Compared to Moog or Roland, the SP design sounds refreshingly different. It’s rougher, earthier, and more aggressive. The developer of the Elmyra DIY Drone synth and MEG module have released a new DIY filter based on this design.

Neutral Labs Scrat

Neutral Labs Scrat

Scrat is a new Steiner-Parker filter (VCF) module for Eurorack with 2-pole filter (12dB/octave) with both lowpass and high-pass modes.

In addition to the special aggressive sound, Neutral Labs’ take on the SP filter has a special feature that no other has. Scrat has an interchangeable (hackable) resonance flavor by plugging in components like diodes, capacitors, or resistors (even LEDs, and/or light-dependent resistors) directly to the front panel. You can also connect some jumper wires to the breadboard for the absolute experimental timbres.

For the less adventurous, there are also a set of preset cartridges (Acorn, Almond, Cashew, and Pecan) available, which gives you instant access without experimenting with components to different resonance flavors. I’m pretty sure this will make a lot of fun.

Scrat also works without external components or cartridges and you can even modify the resonance behavior using the switches on the front panel. It also contains an adjustable pre-filter drive circuit for additional warmth. Both cutoff and resonance offer full CV control and you can adjust the cutoff CV sensitivity.

The module is DIY but according to the developer, it’s relatively easy to build to complete with a low component count and no SMD or other tricky parts.

If classic filters are too simple for you, Scart is a filter module that is wild and experimental. Above all, the possibility of “hardware” hacking the resonance is very unique here.

Neutral Labs Scrat is available from July 2022 for 90€ as a full DIY kit from retailers like Exploding Shed. A set of 4 preset cards called Nuts (Acorn, Almond, Cashew, and Pecan) is also available for 15€.

More information here: Neutral Labs 

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