New Systems Instruments Inertia, a complex function generator with an intriguing concept

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New Systems Instruments Inertia: a Serge Modular DUSG inspired complex function generator upgraded with function-expanding features. 

In the article about the 2hp Cat oscillator, I mentioned that the Eurorack market likes to see innovation. New modules that invite us to explore and inspire. The Cat v2 and his partner Catnip were a nice, crazy idea, but no modules that enrich the modular synthesis with depth. Okay, you now have a cat oscillator hehe.

The situation is different with the new module from New Systems Instruments.

New Systems Instruments Inertia

New Systems Instruments Inertia

Inertia is a novel take on a complex function generator. The idea comes from the west coast side of synthesis. However, this is not a replica of a classic Buchla or Serge Modular module, but New Systems Instruments goes its own way here. The basic idea remains: it has tons of functionality in one single module: exponential slew limiter, envelope generator, filter, percussion generator, phase-locked loop, and more.

It models physical motion with analog electronics, adding a rise and fall “momentum” parameter to the rise and fall rate controls. This add-on pulls the classic concept into new areas including vactrol-style organic, exponential envelopes, or lush resonant filtering. The rise momentum parameter is here the little star of the module as it can become different things. From an AR envelope, in self-oscillation an LFO to a versatile attack envelope for percussion.

If you push in audio rate, Inertia can be used as a melodic VCO with over 5 octaves. For this task, the module has a second interface mode that allows you to control the frequency and skew independently. Further, the module can also act as a filter where you can control the skew of both the cutoff and the resonance. Further, New Systems Instruments says that the module really shines in this function as it can produce a wide range of timbres. Especially if you set the resonance very high. This gives you very harmonic-rich results that range from subtle light touch to screaming glitches.


This is not your normal complex function generator. The approach is definitely refreshingly different. Yes, many points are similar to the Serge Modular Dual Universal Slope Generator like the advanced controls for the rise and fall, manipulation of slopes…  But there are many things that make it different and even more interesting. The possibility to go into VCO and filter areas takes the idea to another level, for me.

New Systems Instruments Inertia is available now for $329 USD.

More information here: New Systems Instruments 

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