Plankton Electronics' Nutube-powered distortion effects unit, Spice, is now on Kickstarter

Plankton Electronics has launched its Spice distortion and saturation effects unit as a rackable desktop device on Kickstarter. There are also three different Eurorack modules inspired by the unit.

The big selling point here is that Spice and the Nutone module both feature Korg's Nutube technology in two of the analogue circuits.

Spice promises to add a wide variety of colouration to your sound. The saturation can range from subtle to “hardcore fuzz with feedback”.

The effects unit will offer six main functions. First up is a pre-filter with high- and low-pass filters, while the digital section will feature bit distortion and sample rate reduction. 

An analogue section has seven analogue circuits, including a three-state variable filter with resonance. 

The unit finishes up with a mixer that includes dry and wet controls, an envelope follower and a feedback section with three independent feedback channels.

All the functions bar the feedback section are accessible independently from each other. The I/O section features eight CV inputs. All eight parameters have an LED to show the current state, while the Bit Rate section has a seven-segment display.

Spice is now on Kickstarter, with just over a week to go, so you'll need to get pledging fast if you want this effects unit to become a reality... and we know you do.

Product prices start at just €25 for the ENVF PCB and panel, going all the way up to €1,040 for the full pack, including the desktop version of Spice, plus assembled versions of the Nutone, ENVF and Spice VCF modules.

Spice features

  • Rackable (38HP Eurorack) modular desktop unit.
  • 8 CV inputs with led level indicators.
  • 6 main functions: Prefilter / Digital / Analog / Mixer / Envelope Follower / Feedback
  • Prefilter: High Pass and Low Pass filters to shape the sound before being processed. Both controllable via fader + CV input.
  • Digital: 12 bit Bit Crusher + Sample Rate reducer. Both controllable via potentiometer and CV inputs. It also offers an analog input control with led clip indicator and a low pass filter to smooth the output signal. All the code will be Open Source 
  • Analogue: 7 analog distortion circuits selectable with a rotary encoder + a sweet resonant state variable filter. Drive and Cutoff parameters are controllable via potentiometer and CV inputs. 2 of the circuits use the new Korg NU-TUBE.
  • Mixer: Dry and Wet controls to mixed the processed signal with the clean one of the input. Both controllable via fader + CV input.
  • Envelope Follower: A dedicated envelope follower with gain control and normal and inverted outputs to convert an incoming signal to an envelope. With its output you can control any of the CV parameters and shape the processed sound in many creative ways.
  • Feedback:  a triple feedback section that sends the Wet input to the Prefilter, Digital and Analog sections. It's capable from a subtle resonance to a collapsed hardcore self generating tone. 
  • Semi-modular architecture with prepatched sections that can be restructured using patch cables. Each section (minus the feedback) can be used as an independent function from the rest.
Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.

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