| the synthesis technology e340 contains 8 sine and sawtooth vcos with unique modulation capabilities. the term 'cloud oscillator' was first used by ambient musician robert rich when he was recording his 'bestiary' cd. he wanted to define a new type of "buzzing, swarming cloud of sine waves" and after some experimentation, was able to create such a timbre using 24 individual motm modules. now, 8 years later, the technology is available to have this new range of sounds in a 14hp wide euro module.
in its basic form, the e340 is a 2-output, wavetable vco that is generating 16 waveforms at once. modular users quickly discover that in order to get the large, fat notes multiple oscillators are needed that are slightly detuned. this can get expensive quickly, and then you have to deal with the tracking differences, additional mults for the cables and mixers for the outputs. the e340 combines all of these, eliminates the tracking errors and adds the added dimension of being able to control just how "buzzy" the cloud can go. if spread and chaos are set to '0', the e340 behaves like a standard analog vco, but with a very pure sinewave output (less than 0.3% thd) and a standard sawtooth wave.
simple detuning can sound really good, but the e340 adds 2 controls never seen on any modular: chaos and chaos bandwidth (bw). once you set the degree of detuning using the spread control, you can then add 'animation' to the detuning by dialing in chaos. the chaos randomly 'wiggles' every vco's pitch, while the chaos bw controls the 'speed of the wiggle'. this adds the "swarming of bees" effect at the extreme settings, and in the low settings the subtle pitch changes are similar to a slow-speed leslie effect.
if monster bass lines and sawtooth leads (like the old roland supersaw jp8000 setting) are what you want, the e340 delivers like no other vco. you can select 2, 4 or 8 detuned sawtooths and vary the relative phasing under voltage control. and like the jp8000, the e340 has sync input as well.
> tech specs
size: 3u x 14hp (128.5mm x 70.8mm)
power: 14-pin doepfer (55ma for +12v, 25ma for -12v) and 4-pin motm (45ma for +15v, 15ma for -15v)
cv input range: -5v to +5v
audio output: 10v pk-pk nominal (varies based on relative vco detuning/phase shift)
coarse/fine - initial frequency of the vco when spread is 0 (no detuning)
fm: attenuates the voltage on the fm jack 0-100%
spread - the relative detuning of the vcos (range is 0 to 200%)
chaos - adds in filtered noise to the detuning of all vcos
chaos bw - increases the frequency content of the chaos voltage
1v/oct - 1 volt/octave control for the initial vco pitch
fm - frequency modulation input (dc to 8khz)
sync - resets all vcos when the input signal exceeds 0.6v
spread - the cv is added to the spread panel control
chaos - the cv is added to the chaos panel control
chaos bw - the cv is added to the chaos bw panel control
saw out - sawtooth cloud output
sine out - sine wave cloud out