We’re pleased to confirm that ‘The Merlin’ is now real and in direct response to feedback and suggestions from Exclusively Analogue customers. In keeping with the aviation link the ‘Merlin’ is named after the iconic Rolls Royce engine that powered a number of aircraft including the Spitfire, Hurricane, Mosquito, and Lancaster.
The aim of Merlin is to provide a powerful analogue synthesizer with maximum flexibility and at a competitive price (approximately £800 depending on format). Part of the flexibility comes from making it small enough to fit into the Eurorack format but without compromising usability. To this end all of the jack sockets are on the bottom to avoid patch leads crossing the controls which is a common drawback of a lot of Eurorack modules. Merlin is available either as a self powered 19″ rack mount module, a self powered desktop module, or in Eurorack format able to utilise an existing power supply.
‘Out of the box’ it just requires a CV and Gate input to work and is pre-patched to form the classic Analogue Synth routing. The 54 mini jack sockets enable the user to create numerous alternative routings – input signals and control voltages or output signal and control voltages. The format is ‘classic’ with 2 Voltage Controlled Oscillators (VCOs) providing Sawtooth, Square, Sine and Triangle waveforms. There is also a separate Noise Source and an External input. There are 2 LFOs – one Voltage Controlled and the other normally dedicated to Pulse Width Modulation. For interesting modulation there is a Sample & Hold and that’s normally clocked by the VCLFO and sampling the Noise Source. A Ring Modulator is also provided to allow creation of complex waveforms.
The heart of any Analogue synthesizer is the Filter and ‘Merlin’ has a powerful Multi Mode Filter. The Voltage Controlled Filter (VCF) is based around the SSM2040 design and has 24dB Lowpass, 12dB Lowpass, High Pass, and Band Pass outputs thereby giving a broad spectrum of sound modification. The standard filter frequency modulation options are available (Keyboard CV, FM, and selectable positive or negative Envelope) plus the Resonance (Q) can also be modulated which most filters do not have. There are also 2 Envelope Generators – one for the VCF and one for the Voltage Controlled Amplifier.
The picture shows the first Merlin in a rack unit and as a comparison a collection of Eurorack modules have been included on the bottom to give you an idea of how ‘Merlin’ might be added to an existing system or as a starting point for a system that can be expanded by adding modules.
We are currently at the testing phase of the prototypes and should have some sound and video files available soon. At this stage we are taking expressions of interest with the opportunity to be one of the early owners once production starts.