A different breed of synth
Anushri is a monosynth like no other. In addition to its analog VCO/VCF/VCA and digital modulation sources, it includes a fun and immediate note sequencer with step-by-step recording, and a gritty 8-bit drum machine with a truly original control interface.
Just like its elder sister the Shruthi, Anushri is not designed for industrial assembly but is instead sold as a kit – you can assemble it, modify it, expand it and service it without any specialized expensive equipment. Open source firmware and schematics give you full access, control and ownership of its circuitry and code.
A mighty synth
Raw analog power…
Anushri’s audio generation and processing chain is analog. The main sound source is a VCO with sawtooth and pulse-width waveforms, coupled with a sub-oscillator – a simple formula that made the success of the Roland SH-101 and MC-202. Following the VCO comes a multimode VCF, whose 12dB/octave slope provides a refreshing change from the rounder and cleaner 24dB/octave Moog-style filters. The band-pass and high-pass modes provide additional filtering flavors. Anushri’s secret weapon of sonic destruction is a switchable fuzz circuit inserted between the VCF and VCA – which bring a heavy dose of nasty distortion.
… with a digital twist
We did what no other synth manufacturer dared trying before: enrich the VCO with an auxiliary digital oscillator, which can be used as a FM source, a sync signal generator, or – if you don’t mind having some digital signal flow in the audio chain – an additional detuned audio source for fattening the VCO sound. This brings many of the sonic benefits of a dual-VCO setup, while keeping the construction simple enough for a DIY project.
More than synthesis
Built-in sequencer and arpeggiator
Anushri’s built-in arpeggiator easily transforms chords into complex basslines and acid patterns with accent and slides. But the real fun starts when you use the built-in sequencer. Its interface is refreshingly simple: press rec, input notes on the MIDI keyboard or press the rest/tie buttons, press rec to finish, then start. The sequence can even be transposed from the keyboard.
Built-in drum machine
Anushri comes with a truly original rhythmic section. Original in sound, using 8-bit analog-style synthesis with integrated bit-crusher (What? A 707 sampled through a Mirage?). Original in interface, since it is “programmed”, or rather sculpted with knobs rather than x0x style switches and LEDs. How does it work? 2 knobs control morphing through different structures of drum patterns, and 3 knobs control how sparse/dense the pattern is for bass drum/snare drum/hi-hat, allowing you to create fills and variations at the twist of a knob.
…to the modular world
In addition to its standard 6.35mm audio output / input, and MIDI connector (with sequencer/drum machine output), Anushri comes with twelve 3.5mm I/O connectors on its front panel, for easy integration with a modular setup. Filter the drum section through an external unit, route the VCO CV to a second VCO and bring back the signal to the mixer; or add extra modulations on VCF, VCA, VCO frequency and pulse-width…
Anushri can be easily mounted behind a 42HP Eurorack panel, and accepts power from a standard 2×5 pins connector. A rack-mounting kit is available – including a gorgeous aluminium panel, Rogan knobs, and even a MIDI/audio I/O expander.
…and to your own creations?
With its open source software and hardware, the availability of CV connections and extra shift register pins on the PCB, and its case/board layout leaving enough room for mezzanine expansion boards, Anushri is a good project for developing mods. Another VCO? An analog drum section? Extra trigger/gate I/O? Surprise us!
Buy it now!
Olivier Gillet, Mutable instruments SARL 2011-2013. Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a cc-by-sa 3.0 license.