The Eowave Quadrantid Swarm is a standalone hybrid digital/analogue synthesizer that features a percussive element to give it a very unique sound. It has a flexible VCO with 8 models, a 3-channel mixer, two 2-pole filters, an LFO with eight waveforms, an Envelope, a VCA and a spring reverb. The eight touch keys can be used as a mono keyboard, polyphonic keyboard or an eight-step sequencer.
The Quadrantid Swarm has MIDI and CV/Trig connectivity. Its normalised pre-patching allows you start creating immediately, but its semi-modular design allows you to use patch cables to explore the potential of this instrument. It comes with a power supply, several patchcables and a MIDI-to-minijack adapter cable.
The VCO section is Digital, while the filters, the VCA and the spring reverb are analogue. It is, frankly, nuts.
- The Swarm offers 8 different VCO models and an additional percussive sound – Organ, Strings, Drone, Reed, Metal, Chiptune, Grain & Noise.
- Each VCO model has 3 parameters: Freq, Spread & Character – more info about these do in each specific VCO model can be found in the MANUAL
- The Percussive sound has one parameter – Perc – which determines the length of the percussion decay
- Freq : controls the base pitch of the VCOs. It can be modulated by the CV in input associated to it’s attenuator
- The Signal coming from the VCOs is fed into a 3-channel mixer, where you can mix the main VCO, the percussion VCO and an external signal.
- By default input 3 is connected to the Spring Reverb output.
- The two 12dB filters are connected in serial.
- Filter 1 can be switched between Low-pass & Hi-pass. Filter 2 is low-pass only.
- You can control the individual frequency and amount of resonance for each filter.
- An extra attenuated Modulation input can be used to modulate the Filter’s frequency.
- By default Filter 1 modulation is connected to the envelope , and filter 2 modulation to the LFO.
- The VCA has an audio input, a control and an audio output.
- By default the internal envelope is normalised to control the VCA.
- If you want to generate drones, you should connect a constant positive voltage 0-10V to the VCA input. You can also use very long attack and release times with a slow sequence.
- The Spring Reverb has an audio input, a control and an audio output.
- You can externally control the amount of reverberation via the mod input. By default the Reverberation output is connected to the third input of the mixer. That allows you to create some feedback effects.
- This offers 2 modes of operation: AR and AD.
- In AR mode (attack/release) it can be controlled by a gate, and have a period of sustain which reflects the length of the inputted gate.
- In AD mode (attack/decay) the envelope continues up to the end of it’s cycle regardless of the length of the gate/ trigger. So, even if it receives a short trigger it will run through its entire attack & decay stages. Also, if a long gate is received, it will not sustain once it finishes its attack stage, but will simply decay down to minimum even though the gate is still high.
- The LFO section is pre-patched to control the cutoff of filter 2.
- It features seven selectable waveforms : triangle, sine, ramp down/ up, and 3 different random modes.
- The 8th selection is actually the sequencer’s CV out (allowing the sequencer to be patched to other compatible devices).
- Speed is set using the ‘speed’ knob.
- An additional square output has been included, and whose pulse width is determined by the LFO waveform. For example, the random mode won’t give you a perfect square.
- A slew limiter (with CV signal in and out) enables you to smooth off the LFO waveforms. By default the main LFO output is connected to the slew input.
- The internal sequencer offers you 8 steps. On each step you can control the CV and the gate.
- To activate a gate, simply press on the touch keyboard, and to change the pitch use the individual potentiometers for each step.
- The voltages produced are internally connected to the VCO’s frequency CV input, and the gate output to the envelope.
- If you want to control an external device or module from the internal sequencer you need to use the SEQ setting on the LFO, which will then output the voltages produced by the sequencer in a 0-5v range.
- In this mode the sequencer’s speed is controlled by the LFO and not the Sequencer’s clock.
- The sequencer clock has its individual output.
- To sync the sequencer to an external clock , use the clock input.
- A trigger signal at the reset input reset the sequence to step 1.
- The start button enables you to start and stop the sequence.
- By default the QS responds to MIDI channel 1.
- To change the MIDI channel simply press SHIFT while powering up the unit. Send a note on the new midi channel, and then press START to validate your choice. The new MIDI channel will be stored in the internal memory.
- By pressing the 8th key (noise) you can also activate the external MIDI clock. It will be available at the clock output. You can divide this clock using the clock potentiometer.
- The Swarm responds also to MIDI CC (Continuous Controllers) for a couple of parameters. The CCs are added to the current value of the potentiometer. Further details can be found in the MANUAL