Best new effects unit 2023: Benidub DS01E | Juno Daily

As 2023 draws to a close and we look ahead to 2024, we’re bringing you our picks of the best new gear this year, from drum machines to turntables.

Best new effects unit 2023: Benidub DS01E

Sometimes the simple ideas are the best. Spanish effects specialists Benidub make great dub sirens and great echo units, so why not combine the two? The result is the Benidub DS01E, an endearingly creative little box which proves more than the sum of its parts.

We sometimes wonder if dub sirens are a bit misunderstood. The name gives the impression they’re just for dub music, but the DS01E works for all kinds of other things. Yes, at heart it’s derived from the classic 1970s NJD SE-1 design. That means it’s a simple, transistor-based synth circuit which is then modulated to create a range of tones and siren effects. This feeds into an echo section based on the Spin Semiconductors FV-1 digital signal processing chip with code written specifically for the DS01E. This proves surprisingly hands-on, allowing you to warp and twist the signal into various echoes and swirling self-oscillation with feedback. Of course the DS01E works well for live performances of dub and its various offshoots, but it also works in the studio as a generator of transitions and risers, or over DJ sets of various genres to generate instant special effects.

What’s best about the DS01E is the way it almost demands that you mess with it. Those pleasingly tactile knobs, switches and buttons draw you in and before you know it you’ve lost yourself in the sound. We love it as a classic dub effect but also as a way to inspire yourself. It’s one of the most intuitive, hands-on, weirdo sound generators we’ve seen in a long time.

Read our full review here.

Greg Scarth

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