Erica Synths Sample Drum + Plasma Drive: Live-Friendly Sampling And Reinventing Distortion

It might be that February 23rd is the birthday of Erica Synths founder and visionary Girts Ozolins (see our interview with him), but the Latvian company always seems to have some cool new products around this time of the year.

In 2018 the buzz was all around the Graphic VCO, a long-awaited and powerful oscillator. This year, it’s all about the launch of Sample Drum and Sample Drive, two very different yet equally inspiring modules. Both modules will be available in a few days, on February 25th.

Splice Rent-to-Own

Sample Drum, The Live-Friendly Sampler

Erica Synths Sample Drum, eurorack module

Sample Drum is 14HP eurorack sample player/sampler module with straight-forward, intuitive interface, functionality and great sound quality, designed with live performance use in mind.

It is composed of two identical parts and allows you to playback, record (yay, this is not just a sample player!) and slice up samples or loops directly in your modular system.

For processing there are different play modes, tuning functions (including 1 V/Oct pitch tracking), virtual VCAs plus AD envelopes and realtime effects. Three freely assignable CV inputs per channel guarantee a lot of expression during the performance. 16bit mono wav samples are loaded into RAM (32MB / ~ 5 minutes of sampling time) from SD card (16 GB SD card with factory preset samples comes with the module) for instantaneous playback response. All settings can be saved and recalled during a live performance.

Price and Availability

Price (VAT excl.) 300€. Available on February 25th. Learn more here.

Plasma Drive – Reinventing Distortion

Erica Synths Plasma Drive, eurorack module

Plasma Drive is the Erica Fusion Series module developed in collaboration with those brilliant minds at Gamechanger Audio.

Gamechanger Audio is Latvian company committed to exploring the uncharted territories of music electronics and creating devices that provide real value while stretching the imagination of both musicians and engineers. In their Plasma Pedal they managed to combine Tesla coil with a lots of Rock and Roll and the result is one of the worlds heaviest sounds with plenty of unique features and the potential to become the new standard of distortion.

Similar as Plasma Pedal, Plasma Drive gives you a new and previously unexplored method of achieving signal clipping in 16HP. Instead of using LED circuits, transistors or vacuum tubes to produce overdrive, the Plasma Drive boosts audio signal to 3000V and transforms it into a series of continuous high-voltage discharges in a xenon-filled tube. In essence – you are playing a lightning bolt of electricity, and the electrical discharges produced by your instrument are instantly converted back into an analogue audio signal, producing a quick, responsive, and extremely heavy distortion with tons of unique character!

Splice Sounds

The eurorack module Plasma Drive brings sounds of the Plasma Pedal to the next level. As per eurorack standards you’ll find CV control over distortion level and dry/wet mix, as well as octave up and 1 and 2 octaves down tracking oscillators that add even more harmonics to the original signal. Tracking oscillators can be switched on/off manually or via trigger signals.

Price and Availability

Price (VAT excl.) 310€. Available on February 25th. Learn more here.

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