PWM, a new UK synth maker, debuted at this year’s Superbooth with Malevolent, an analog synth that encourages modular-style play.
Malevolent is an analog monosynth with two VCOs, two envelopes, an LFO and a 2 pole multimode VCF. Its analog signal path was designed by the Bristol module makers Future Sound Systems.
The modular style patch is Malevolent’s USP, so you’ll find a lot of buttons but no switches here (well, other than the one for the power supply). This approach manifests itself in a handful of “standardized” patch points located across the top of the synth – which you are encouraged to route to plug-ins. There are 19 inputs and 19 outputs in total, and you have five patch cables to start creating.
To go into detail, VCOs are based on a 4046 core and offer sawtooth, triangle and pulse waveforms. PWM claims to have made efforts to ensure that the waveform shaping behaves “non-uniformly across the pitch spectrum” for more characteristic sounds before the filter step.
The VCF is controlled by an opto-FET and has been designed to produce interesting interactions with the oscillators. PWM says to “expect subharmonic locking, easy self-oscillation, and even phasing when using multiple status inputs from a single source.”
Meanwhile, there’s a 32-note keyboard with velocity sensitivity, a built-in arpeggiator, vibrato effect, and a multi-function joystick for pitch bends, portamento and more.
Malevolent is bus powered via USB-C and also has an input and output for MIDI routing. The internal clock automatically synchronizes with CV / gate or MIDI.
For a better idea of what Malevolent is capable of, check out the demo below:
PWM is led by Paul Whittington, formerly of Evolution Electronics, M-Audio, Avid, Focusrite and Novation.
Malevolent is priced at £ 500 / € 580 and is available for pre-order now. However, no word on its date of shipment.
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