Best new Eurorack synth module 2023: Make Noise/Soundhack Spectraphon | 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 Eurorack synth module 2023: Make Noise/Soundhack Spectraphon

After another bumper year of Eurorack releases, as documented in our monthly round-ups, where do we start? Personal favourites this year included Knobula’s excellent Chord Pilot, part of the London brand’s ongoing efforts to bring user-friendly polyphony to modular. ALM’s ever-reliable output included the excellent TAZM-O oscillator, inspired by Serge Tcherepnin’s New Timbral Oscillator from the mid 1970s. Intellijel’s Sealegs offered a versatile and fresh new take on delay effects. And, of course, the ever-consistent Erica Synths kept on keeping on, with highlights including the brutally effective SSL-inspired Stereo Compressor, and characterful Black DJ VCF.

However, if forced to pick our – which is, let’s be honest, precisely the reason we’re all here – we’d have to opt for the Make Noise/Soundhacks Spectraphon, another collaborative effort between two forward-thinking brands who have previously given us the Morphagene Tape Slice module and Erbe Verb reverb. The Spectraphon is an oscillator of sorts, but that undersells it to an almost criminal extent. It’s not an easy one to explain, but the Spectraphon is almost like a complex oscillator based on two digital signal generators, which can either draw spectral content from Arrays of up to 1024 spectra, or analyse and resynthesise incoming audio signals in real time.

There are so many options and different ways you can approach the Spectraphon, from treating it like a digital FM synth or almost like a vocoder, through to complex cross modulations and experimental reinterpretations of existing sounds. To get the full sense of what the Spectraphon can do, we thoroughly recommend clicking through to our full review and checking out the embedded Spectraphon 101 video, which gives a much more comprehensive sense of its incredible creativity. The Spectraphon is unlike anything else around, but it’s a seriously impressive debut showcase of the power of Make Noise’s new DSP platform.

Read our full review here.

Greg Scarth

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