Madlab Noise-X Is An Experimental DIY Synthesizer For Sound Effects

I don’t know how new this instrument is, but it’s worth writing about it. Noise-X is an experimental DIY Synthesizer from Madlab which has its strengths in sound effects. It features 4 digitally-controlled oscillators (sine, square, triangle, rising saw, falling saw, pulse, noise) but does not rely on classic synthesizer functions: no filter or envelope

Instead, it offers FM and RM for sound shapings and two effects: delay and flanger. This small synth has even patch memory and can be triggered via MIDI with an additional interface. Noise-X has a very limited feature set but sounds in my opinion very crazy and makes a lot of fun.

Noise-X Synthesizer

Overview

Using a combination of sliders and rotary pots a variety of atmospheric sounds can be created, such as might be used to score a science fiction film.The more interesting patches arise from the use of feedback with the delay line. This generates complex non-linear sounds that exist on the border between order and chaos.

Features

  • 4 DCOs (digitally-controlled oscillators) + mixer
  • pitch and amplitude LFOs
  • waveforms – sine, square, triangle, rising sawtooth, falling sawtooth, pulse, noise
  • frequency modulation and ring modulation
  • delay line with feedback
  • flanger
  • user patch (non-volatile)
  • MIDI and command line interfaces

An expansion interface for a MIDI connection is available. Note that this is a ‘raw’ MIDI interface in that there is no optoisolator and no DIN socket. It is simply a direct connection to the microcontroller’s UART input pin (3.3V or 5V voltage level). It accepts a MIDI data stream in the correct format at 31250 baud.

A command line interface (CLI) is also available to connect Noise-X to a terminal program on a host computer. Typically a USB-to-serial cable would be used with 3.3V signal levels. The CLI could be used as an API for a GUI front-end on a host PC. Supplied as a kit of PCB and components. Power input is via a 2.1mm DC power socket or battery snap, and audio output is mono through a 3.5mm jack socke

Noise-X Synthesizer is available now for $55 USD + shipping from the Madlab Tindie webshop.

More information here: Madlab 

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