Futuresonus PARVA Polyphonic Analogue Synthesizer

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
User avatar
eXode
Posts: 831
Joined: 11 Feb 2015

Post 13 Feb 2015

Futuresonus Announces Parva Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer

Futuresonus is proud to announce Parva, a revolutionary new polyphonic analog synthesizer. Parva combines the classic warmth of an all-analog signal chain with the modern convenience of digital control in an elegantly designed tabletop package.

“I designed Parva from the ground up with the intention of producing a completely new synth while still maintaining the character of the classics from the ‘70s and ‘80s,” said Futuresonus founder Brad Ferguson.

Each of Parva’s eight voices features three digitally-controlled analog oscillators, producing sawtooth, triangle, and PWM waveforms with extremely accurate pitch and rock-solid tuning stability. A pair of two-pole state-variable filters can be configured for a 12dB or 24dB low-pass or high-pass response, or split for bandpass filtering. Four four-stage envelope generators and four multi-waveform low-frequency oscillators feed a flexible modulation matrix, allowing for virtually limitless sound design options.

Parva is the first analog synthesizer to feature a USB Master port, which enables the user to connect any class-compliant USB MIDI keyboard — or other controller — directly, without the need for a computer. Analog potentiometers provide immediate access to the most commonly used parameters, while the high visibility OLED displays on the front panel show additional settings, making it simple to dial in the perfect patch.

From the aluminum enclosure to the custom-machined aluminum knobs on sturdy panel- mounted potentiometers, Parva was designed with working musicians in mind, and built to last. Each unit will be hand-assembled in Austin, TX.

Parva is expected to ship in summer 2015. Pre-orders will begin in February, with the standard polyphonic Parva retailing for under $1000. An expandable monophonic version will also be available for under $500.

Futuresonus was founded by Brad Ferguson in Austin, TX in 2014, and is dedicated to designing high quality synthesizers and effects. For more information about Futuresonus, please email info@futureson.us or visit futureson.us.

Image

User avatar
eXode
Posts: 831
Joined: 11 Feb 2015

Post 13 Feb 2015

The developer is aiming for sub $1000 USD for the 8 voice poly version.

I've collected some of the questions and answers from a gearslutz thread:

Is that OLED screens?

– Yes, those are OLED screens, one display for each section of the synth (oscillators, envelopes, filters, etc). There's an additional screen for global settings and patch save/recall, and the 'A' and 'B' knobs beside it are rotary encoders that allow you to scroll through the menus and select items.

We've tried to design it so "normal" use of the synth can all be done from the analog knobs without diving into menus, but menus are necessary to organize all of the additional settings and options.


Could you give some more insight to the PWM waveforms? Will this be Square only, or will there be more options? Thanks.

– Each DCO begins with a ramp (saw) wave, which is fed into a triangle wave shaper and a PWM shaper. The PWM duty cycle is voltage controlled, and can be set from the front panel and modulated by any of the modulation sources.

Does the sub 1000$ version features all eight voices?

– Yes: 8-voice poly for <$1000, expandable mono for <$500.

Will there be a keyboard version in the future?

– We're focused on shipping the tabletop module right now, but a keyboard version is a possibility in the future.

Are there modulation sources other than the LFOs and envs? Aftertouch, mod wheel, other MIDI CCs?

– Good question -- I'll have to update the blog post. Yes, external modulation sources such as aftertouch, mod wheel, and other MIDI CCs are supported.

Will it have polyphonic AT support?

– Yes, it will have polyphonic aftertouch support. I've been testing it with a CME XKey over USB, but more testing over "regular" MIDI is still required.

I hope this product won't end up as "usb-only", because din-midi connection always makes things easier.

– It has DIN MIDI in and out, as well as USB MIDI and a USB host.

Are the envelopes loopable like on the Prophet VS for instance?

– No, but it's a feature I'd consider adding, and can be done in firmware.

Can the LFOs sync to MIDI clock?

– Not in the current prototype, but will definitely be there before production

What about sound modification: Ring mod, Cross mod, Overdrive?

– There is Filter FM (via OSC3), but no ring mod or cross mod. The oscillator mixer section and the filters can be overdriven somewhat, but there's no overdrive "effect."

What is the range of the LFO's

– The LFOs have a range of 0.03Hz to 500Hz.

Would it be possible (without hardware changes) to make a split LP and split HP mode, i.e. to have a configuration of the two filters in parallel but with both filters set to either LP or HP?

– The filters are wired in series, but it is possible to make them both LP or both HP. Tuned the same, that would make a 24db filter. Tuned differently ... is possible but probably not useful.

The actual filter options are:
12dB Low
24dB Low
12dB High
24dB High
12dB Bandpass
+ the mostly useless options of two lowpass or highpass filters tuned to different frequencies


Is there any plans for a computer patch editor/librarian?

– Yes, but the initial version will likely have a very simple interface (no fancy graphics).

Will there be a mono and detunable Unison mode?

– You can arrange the voices any way you want -- mono, poly, multi-timbral, unison, multi-timbral unison (stack two different patches), etc.

I think I heard something about a drift/slop parameter, if so, will it be per voice or even per osc?

– The drift/slop parameter will be per voice, but will modulate each osc independently.

Is there any chance of the noise generator being used as a modulation source? I love modulating filter cutoff and/or resonance with a touch of noise.

– The LFOs can sample-and-hold the noise source, then modulate the filters, but the noise source can't be used to modulate the filters directly.

Can the LFOs be configured to behave like on old synths where mostly only one LFO was modulating all the voices?

– There is no hardware restriction preventing this, and it will be trivial to implement once LFO MIDI sync is done.

User avatar
mcatalao
Posts: 1669
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 16 Feb 2015

Since this is the Kitchen, and i can say whatever comes to my mind, as long as i don't offend anyone AND HOPING you are not associated with Futuresonus and Hardware does not fire back at me:

Do you know what PARVA means in Portuguese???? :)

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10313
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 16 Feb 2015

mcatalao wrote:Since this is the Kitchen, and i can say whatever comes to my mind, as long as i don't offend anyone AND HOPING you are not associated with Futuresonus and Hardware does not fire back at me:

Do you know what PARVA means in Portuguese???? :)
No (not sure I want to…), but I'm guessing it is meant to mean "little" or "lesser" (Latin). There are many different definitions to this word that wouldn't elicit any abnormal response!

This does indeed look cool IMO - audio examples sound like classic analog, I'd have to listen further to try to recognize any resemblance to other specific analog synths/models. Exode, how would you compare this to other past and present analog synths, sound wise?

Audio examples here:
http://futureson.us/#sounds
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
Noise
Posts: 428
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Lisbon

Post 16 Feb 2015


Parva means "silly" name in Portuguese // Brazillian... 

But I guess it's sounds cool in english.
Albums: BandCamp | Youtubz: Noise Channel
Projects: P1 Easy Remote Mapping | Personal Refill Sale Store: https://payhip.com/noisesystems | Title Generator! untitled.noiseshadow.com

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10313
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 16 Feb 2015

Noise wrote: Parva means "silly" name in Portuguese // Brazillian... 

But I guess it's sounds cool in english.
Not as bad as I was expecting!!!

It's got quite a few more positive meanings, fwiw. Hopefully it won't kill the market for the device in the Portuguese speaking countries!   ;)
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
mcatalao
Posts: 1669
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 16 Feb 2015

selig wrote: (...)
It's got quite a few more positive meanings, fwiw. Hopefully it won't kill the market for the device in the Portuguese speaking countries!   ;)
Well, not if you check it on a Portuguese  dictionary... :)
It is often used for Dummy, naive, Silly, Idiotic, or all these at the same time.

And people also use it when referring to unexpected amazement. 
I hope the synth is more of the second... :)

User avatar
eXode
Posts: 831
Joined: 11 Feb 2015

Post 17 Feb 2015

selig wrote:Exode, how would you compare this to other past and present analog synths, sound wise?

Audio examples here:
http://futureson.us/#sounds
Not sure yet. I think I hear some tonality between Roland DCO synths (JX3P/8P) and Prophet 5. It seems to have some character of it's own.. I need to hear more from it. :)

User avatar
eXode
Posts: 831
Joined: 11 Feb 2015

Post 24 Nov 2015

Futuresonus are well on their way with assembling Parva units for the Kickstarter backers. I'm well interested in this unit.

It was posted some time ago, but here's a multitracked Parva doing Don't Go:


  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 1 guest