Erica Synths have added to their EDU line in collaboration with electronic musician Richie Hawtin and created a synth to captivate and inspire youth and professionals alike. According to Erica Synths, Bullfrog is based on a classic subtractive Synthesizer voice and layout.
Don’t be fooled by Erica Synths’ term of an “Educational Musical Instrument”, as Bullfrog is fully featured with analog synthesizer voicing with a sprinkling of modular patch points and the surprising aspect of this synth is a bonus port for swapping voice cards.
The audio-rate oscillator, noise generator, mixer, filter, VCA + delay, modulation section with two loopable envelopes, and s&h generator make up the synth voice. Since each of these elements is patchable, the synth qualifies as semi-modular.
Bullfrog makes no sound of itself. You have to patch it first. Or you put in one of the swappable voices cards. There are also built-in speakers and a divider section.
The Voice Cards
It is more than simply a traditional-looking semi-modular synth. In the semi-modular engine, as mentioned before Erica Synth has disguised another engine. You can transform Bullfrog into a different instrument by switching out the voice cards.
You can add functions like a high-pass filter or a 5-step sequencer, turn it into a sampler, an acid bassline synth, or a groovebox with drum sounds just by changing voice cards. According to Girts Erica Synths, new cards should cost around AUD $38.00, depending on the functionality. It does come with some voice cards, including:
- sampler/looper: it allows you to sample via a microphone or the internal synth. Then, you can playback it with the characteristics of tape, including loop/gate functions and ring mod.
- groovebox turns bullfrog into a groovebox with drum sounds
- acid bassline transforms your synth into an acid bassline Synthesizer
- sequencer: it adds an analog-style 5-step sequencer to the engine
- electric organ: with this, you can get a mini drawbar organ.
- highpass filter
Richie Hawtin says
The Bullfrog is a synthesizer dreamed up by Erica Synths and I to inspire and welcome a younger audience into the world of electronic music. Although first considered for someone’s first steps into synthesis the final robust design will also fit comfortably into anyone’s studio and/or performance setup. I can’t wait to see where the Bullfrog leads a curious new generation.
Erica Synths Bullfrog will be available via their website and music retailers in early August 2023.
More information here: Erica Synths