Hampshire Electronics The Vulcan is a new 8-voice analog polyphonic Synthesizer squeezed into a Eurorack module.
Polyphony and Eurorack is not easy task. In most cases, you work with monophonic patches because it is easier and faster to implement. If you want to go the polyphonic route, you need a large number of modules, many cables… and of course a correspondingly high budget. On the other side, the workflow in polyphony is significantly more complicated and cumbersome. If you want to adjust a poly patch, you have to change the parameters of each module individually.
But there are new modules from some manufacturers that try to make polyphony in modular easier. Like the polyphonic modules from Doepfer, the Knobula Poly Cinematic/ Chord Pilot or the EMI M800-R2. The British boutique manufacturer Hampshire Electronics is now bringing analog polyphony to the Eurorack in the form of a “compact module”
Hampshire Electronics The Vulcan
The Vulcan is an upcoming polyphonic analog Synthesizer for Eurorack with switchable either to dual oscillator mode with 4 voices or single oscillator mode with 8 voices. It’s very exciting how the developer stuffed an 8-voice poly synth into a pretty “compact” module. And it offers everything you know from a polysynth.
It features two multi-wave oscillators, each with dedicated level and pulse-width controls. Then, each oscillator also comes with independent sub-basses and filters. Modulation side, the Vulcan has two ADSR envelopes (VCA, filter), and three multi-wave LFOs assignable to 10 different destinations. This can be done using a small matrix-style interface.
There is also a MIDI input on a mini jack and a tuning option. The output signal is mono. A bit of a shame, stereo would certainly have been more exciting but it definitely needs a different circuit design. Also neat on this module is that you can store your patches in one of 99 presets slots. So you can call up your voice settings again and again. Presets in the modular, uuh hopefully we don’t invoke the evil spirits.
The module has no CV/Gate inputs or options to modulate parameters with CV. I hope there will be an expander that makes this possible, otherwise, the whole thing makes little sense to me. Without CV options, it would lose the “modular” charm and workflow.
Polyphony in modular is not an easy game. With such a module you could save yourself a lot of patch cables and simply create polyphonic sounds. I love the idea of having a big poly voice module in a compact module, but only without losing the CV connectivity. Hopefully, they will be an expander or so.
Hampshire Electronics The Vulca will be available soon. Price TBA but the developer tries to achieve a reasonable price for the module.
More information will follow here: Hampshire Electronics