Frequency Central Strips, 4-channel VCA-based stereo mixer module

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Frequency Central has unveiled Strips, a new 4-channel VCA-based stereo mix module with tone-shaping options and an FX bus. 

The time of performance-oriented stereo mixer modules is here. In the last few months, numerous new stereo mixer modules have been announced or released with more or fewer features. Boredbrain Music, Noise Engineering, and 1010music… have all introduced their takes on a stereo mixer.

The British developer Frequency Central, which is particularly popular in the DIY world, now also has a new stereo mixer in its growing portfolio.

Frequency Central Strips

Frequency Central Strips

Strips has 20HP and is a new expandable 4-channel VCA-based stereo mixer. The core consists of three LM13700 OTA chips.

Yes, you read it right. It’s expandable. You can expand it with a second strips module by connecting it to the first via a 16-pin to 16-pin cable. The cable powers the second Strips and gives you eight channels to play with. 

The module features four input channels, each with tone-shaping options. More precisely, each channel features a level control, an EQ with high and low settings, pan, mute, and CV control of the level. Plus, you get an FX send control.

Regarding FX, Strips has a built-in send and stereo return plus a jumper for modifying the FX phase. Frequency Central says: “because not all FX that you might use in the FX loop are in phase with respect to their input/output. The phase jumper allows you to compensate for this and avoid weird phase cancellations.”

Important note: If you use two Strips, the second will access the first Strips FX bus. Plus the FX send/return and the main outputs for the second are not available.

On the connection side, you get left right Eurorack level inputs (2 x 3.5mm sockets), and left and right line level outputs (2 x 6.35mm sockets). Further, each channel has a white stripe with which you can label the channel in an old-fashioned way.

First Impression

At first glance, it’s a very nice, classic stereo mixer. I like the look of the module and how straight it is designed. 

Frequency Central Strips is available now in an assembled version and various DIY versions. The assembled version costs £250, and the DIY versions start at £50 for the PCBs and panel. With the chipset, it’s £65. 

More information here: Frequency Central 

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