NAMM 2020: Few modern synth brands can do grit and aggression quite as well as Erica Synths. From its Polivoks-inspired Acidbox (opens in new tab) filters, to the modular Techno System or the recent Ninja Tune collaboration Zen Delay (opens in new tab), the Latvian collective can lay claim to some of the most full-on analogue devices on the market right now.
That’s why the company’s latest synth (opens in new tab), Bassline DB-01, has us especially excited. At first glance this might look like another analogue 303-clone – with a single analogue oscillator and resonant, envelope-controlled filter it’s sure to tick all those acid house boxes – but dig into the specs and there are some interesting and unique features here.
First up, is the inclusion of the switchable low-/band-pass filter from the company’s Acidbox range. This Polivoks-inspired 12db filter packs a serious resonant punch, and sounds particularly great when driven hard. To make the most of this, the DB-01 has a one-knob overdrive that promises “even more destructive sound”. There’s a BBD-based detune effect too, for adding extra thickness to your bass sounds, while a transistor-based sub oscillator promises to punch things up even further.
A syncable LFO can be used to generate both oscillator FM and filter modulation, and the VCA, filter and oscillator pitch each get their own modulation envelope. There’s an onboard sequencer too, with up to 64-steps, plus an additional modulation track for controlling the VCF, plus randomisation tools and an arpeggiator. The sequencer buttons can also be used as a keyboard, making use of both preset and user-defined scales with micro-tonal capabilities.
On the connectivity front, the Bassline DB-01 has MIDI in and out, CV/gate in and out, an additional CV input for the filter, plus analogue clock connections.
It all looks very tempting to us. The price point of €490 (excluding VAT), does put it above some other analogue bass machines, but the abundance of interesting features makes us think this Bassline synth will have a character all of its own. The DB-01 is due for release this spring, checkout the Erica Synth site for more.