What is it?
Dreadbox are well known for developing interesting desktop synths of various flavours but recent times have seen them introduce the Chromatic range of Eurorack modules, that follow the company’s lineup of good sounding, intuitive and well-made hardware.
Latest in this line are the Antidote and the Euphoria, a Karplus Strong string module and Phaser.
Performance and verdict
The Antidote is a plucky string sound generator, based on the Karplus Strong algorithms developed in the ’80s and, while it will never fool you into thinking you are hearing an orchestra, it has a really unique voice, with enough variation and controllability to make it useful for a range of applications.
The basis is that of a noise source and short bucket-brigade delays, with input and output filters as well as pitch and feed controls. Feed is essentially a delay time control so think of that as a string dampening slider.
It’s easy to dial in sounds from short sharp plucks to longer, almost cello-like drones, right through to screaming metallic, that retain a musicality that isn’t unpleasant. CV inputs, each with attenuators, make this simple to find a home in a modular rig, where you can add an LFO to treat the Antidote as a chorus or flanging type effect unit instead.
If that wasn’t enough for a unit of this price point, it also works as a resonator for incoming audio. While it doesn’t offer the abilities of say, Mutable Instruments Rings, it is still capable of adding a new dimension to your patches.
MusicRadar verdict: 7.9
The other new offering in the range is the wonderful Euphoria, an eight-stage phaser. Although Euphoria does a lot more, with extensive CV control, it is reminiscent of MXR’s renowned Phase 90 pedal, as used by Eddie Van Halen and Nuno Bettencourt, amongst others.
This 10hp phaser has a lot to offer, from the good build quality to controls for phase depth and speed of modulation, using its built-in LFO, which has a really impressive range from super slow sweeps to fast warbles.
• Mutable Instruments Rings Resonator Module
Easily grasped, yet deep. A gorgeous and refreshingly unique-sounding palette. Highly musical, versatile, ear-catching, and exceptional value for money.
• XAOC Devices Batumi
A top-quality LFO with a massive frequency range, tap tempo and clock mode, and an optional firmware update that allows you to increase its versatility.
As with the rest of the Chromatic modules, the Euphoria uses small pots of attenuation and sliders for manual control, a setup that I really like and makes for a very playable experience.
Another common theme, as mentioned above for the Antidote, is the extra ability that you get, in this case, a line-level input, making this module a gateway into making Eurorack effects units, without the need for filling valuable hp with a preamp module.
All in all, Euphoria is a great sounding phaser, with easily controlled depth and rate, lending instant vintage vibes to any patch, either with gusto and vigour or with a more subtle approach, depending on your mood and taste.
MusicRadar verdict: 9.1
Dreadbox has really impressed with the Chromatic range of Eurorack modules and these latest additions continue that theme with excellent build quality, a fantastic experience and great sound, all adding to modules at a price that makes them realistically attainable.
- TYPE: 10HP Full Karplus-Strong Synthesis Voice module
- KEY FEATURES: Analog circuit based on a 512stages BBD chip Onboard Noise Generator with a variable decay (pluck) Two Analog Low Pass Filters (one in the input and one in the output) Output Filter can be used as a Low Pass Gate Precision tracking over 5 octaves (from C0 up to B4) Can process external audio signals so that can be used as; Resonator Flanger (requires external LFO); Chorus (requires external LFO) Frequency/delay time range: C0 @16,35hZ (61ms) up to B4 @493,9hZ (2,1ms)
- OTHER: BBD quirks: C0 to F#0 will produce a high pitched noise. Depending on the external input and the LFO source, clicks and peaks might be audible
- CURRENT DRAW: 92mA@+12v , 43mA@ -12v
- DEPTH: 35mm
- TYPE: 10HP Full analogue 8-stage phase shifter
- KEY FEATURES: Warm Vintage sound based on OTA chips Can create phase AM sounds Can be used with lower-level signal inputs (i.e. fretted instruments) Internal voltage controlled LFO with a triangle shape and a wide frequency range (about 1 min into the audio range)
- CURRENT DRAW: 58mA@+12v , 52mA@ -12v
- DEPTH: 35mm
- CONTACT: Euphoria