SSL 1530 Tube VCA/Timbral Gate (Dotcom/5U)
What happens when you apply 1950’s era Soviet technology to a modern analog synth? You get the new SSL 1530 Tube VCA / Timbral Gate module – a wild blend of vacuum tube warmth and distortion, along with an incredibly useful VCA that is so much more than the sum of its parts.
The 1530 uses miniature pencil-sized vacuum tubes that were developed and refined by the Russians over 60 years ago. They are exceptionally low current and low voltage devices – so there’s no need to generate the traditional high-voltage power supplies that are required for most other vacuum tubes. Very cool stuff!
While it’s a surprisingly good VCA, it really shines when it’s over-driven – rounding and folding the input waveforms like nothing else available. In some modes, it’s prone to whacky self-oscillation that can be made to lock onto the harmonics of the input waveform in cascading howls. Totally adjustable and controllable.
In conjunction with and licensed by Ken Stone (CGS), Synthetic Sound Labs has further expanded on Ken’s designs to include several other circuit enhancements to make your Russian dreams “Come True”.
SSL has added LEDs behind the tube to visually emulate the warm glow of the filament, and pulsating blue LEDs that simulate tubes as they are being driven by control voltages. A custom acrylic window shows off the effects in true retro fashion.