The superbly-named Space Brain Circuits has announced its first synth, the DarkSky-4. It looks like it has a decent spec for the price and certainly has a sound right up there with its name.
Space Brain Circuits hasn't been around for long, having so far distributed its 4-voice MIDIVolts MIDI-CV controller and PolySequencer through Etsy. DarkSky-4, then, is the company's first foray into hardware synthesis and it looks like it might be a very decent debut.
Dar Sky-4 is a desktop semi-modular synth with up to four voices of polyphony. You can choose the number of voices (1, 2 or 4) via three play modes, and play chords with a Poly mode or fat mono sounds with Unison.
Each voice has a saw and square waveform – the latter with pulse width – and the levels of these are adjustable with two mix dials. The signal then gets duplicated to be sent to two low pass filters, A and B, which can then be combined back into a mono signal or kept split as a stereo out.
As a stereo synth, you can get some beautiful and wide effects via the synth's extensive modulation options. Check out this video for some examples.
The modulation comes by way of an LFO with a square or sine wave and adjustable rate dial. This LFO can be applied to the pulse width, frequency modulation and filter parameters via dedicated level dials. Envelope modulation can also be applied to the filter and FM parameters.
A patchbay allows DarkSky-4 to be connected to external modular gear or enables more in-depth modulation. It includes 6 CV ins for pitch and cutoff, oscillator 3+4 sync in and LFO and envelope outs.
While DarkSky-4 has a fairly basic layout and signal chain, the stereo flexibility certainly gives it a distinctive and fat sound. You can buy it through the Etsy website for around €666/£491 (plus tax and postage).