Investigations into the SSF ZPO Eurorack Analog Oscillator
I’ve been drawn to SSF ever since I discovered their Positronic Transient Gate early on in my eurorack modular synth adventure. Long story short, the PTG is an unsual vactrol-based dual envelope generator coupled with built-in VCA’s and gain. It creates some of the most organic sounding envelopes I've heard, and as a sound design tool, it’s an all time keeper for me.
The PTG led me down a Steady State Fate rabbit hole. First it was a line of modules they did in collaboration with WMD, in particular their DPLR delay module that's capable of some seriously psychedelic stereo textures and atmospheres. Then I got both of their absurdly great Entity drum modules, the Bass Drum and Percussion. More recently I’ve gotten into the incredible Stereo Dipole Filter, which sounds as good pinged as it does doing wild stereo filter sweeps! They have a really fantastic and diverse line of modules that has greatly influenced how I make my music with my modular synth system.
I first got in contact with the maker, Andrew Morelli, when dealing with an issue with my beloved random module, the URA. I was impressed that Andrew not only got back to me within an hour of reaching out over email, but that I had a properly calibrated module back into my hands within two days of receiving it!
Later, when we were both at the Machines in Music Festival in Queens, we caught up in person. Soon after we became proper friends when he hung out at the wonderful O+ Festival at a show my band Paperhaus was playing at BSP Lounge in Kingston, NY, close to SSF homebase in New Paltz.
Not long after, I helped set up the first modular meet at Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center in Wheaton, MD, bringing Andrew to debut his Stereo Dipole Filter. I got to spend a lot of time picking his brain that weekend, talking music, politics, physics, "the electric universe," and way more than I could ever hope to share in one post. But I also got a preview of some modules he was working on. Which brings us to: the ZPO, or Zero Point Oscillator, which really stood out to me as something special. You don't see a truly fresh take on an analog oscillator everyday!
Fast forward 5 months later to today, I have a final prototype of SSF’s new take on analog thru-zero FM. I’ll be putting it through its paces over the coming weeks and months, recording tracks and videos so you can see it's timbral and functional possibilities. Check back to learn more about this incredible module and hear/see what this thing can do!