Metasonix, the maker celebrating the mad science of tubes for making wonderfully-terrible noises, reveals to CDM that next week they’ll unveil a new Voltage Controlled Oscillator. Behold, videos! From top:

“A prototype R-55 thyratron VCO is controlled with a Makenoise Rene sequencer, with an R-54 VCO tuned to track along.”

“A prototype R-55 thyratron VCO tunes along with an R-54 VCO, both driven with the same CV.”

Analog: you can scare small children with it. In a good way.

And as if you needed another reason to visit their booth at NAMM – or follow along as we visit them virtually here on CDM – Metasonix will have this prototype at the Big City booth. Big City Music, a California treasure trove of boutique music hardware and analog goodies, is a place I’m always willing to evangelize. Metasonix writes CDM:

“This is a prototype, the finished ones will be slightly different.

If people want to see more, the R-55 will be on display at NAMM, at the
Big City Music booth (6735). I won’t be there but Josh can demo it.

They are expected to ship May 2012.
BCM is getting an exclusive distribution on these and the quantities will be limited. ”

  • Tube Chauvinism is where people too L33T for Analog chauvinism end up.  I'd love to hear good high resolution samples of this, but I'm skeptical that there exists great music out there that hasn't been realized for lack of tube oscillator.

  • KarlPopper

    Gotta have good audio when demoing an oscillator. At least there isnt any background shredding from the next booth over at the NAMM show.

  • Pneumatic

    Would love to hear with better quality audio 🙁

  • datafrsng

    is that Korg Kaosillator built in? ( second vid, bottom right)

    • drrn

      Sure does looks like one.

  • Random Chance

    Funny, Oskar Sala had sawtooth oscillators based on Thyratrons in his original Mixturtrautonium. When some students built him a solid sate version of the thing he was quite pleased. From the sound samples it seems to be more like a sound effects device than a proper VCO with accurate tracking over a large range and reasonably clean waveforms (for some values of clean, there are nasty overtones and then there are those that make sense musically even if you are not Merzbow or Throbbing Gristle).

  • Cat-A-Tonic

    I don't know about this one, but the TM-3 is awesome. Run audio rate material into it for optimal tracking… or maybe use one of those magical R-60 doohickies. TM-3 is still the beefiest oscillator pair I have encountered.

  • 5meohd

    not impressed. I guess my taste for experimental sound design only goes so far… I am still interested in hearing more though.. maybe it has a place playing with others?