Dave Smith Instruments today began shipping the DSM01 Curtis Filter module, their first product for modular synthesizers. The module takes its name from the filter chip originally designed by the late Doug Curtis, which has been an integral part of the sound of Dave Smith’s instruments from the classic Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, all the way up to recent synths such as the Evolver, Mopho, Prophet ʼ08, and Prophet 12.
The DSM01 features a switchable 2/4-pole, resonant low-pass filter, as well as its own VCA. It is a standard 8HP wide, Eurorack-format device with interconnections made using 3.5 mm phone jacks. A carefully designed set of inputs and parameters allows voltage control of filter frequency and resonance. Filter slope is selectable between -12 dB and -24 dB. The module’s VCA features two separate outputs for the filter—one pre-VCA and the other, post-VCA. A unique feature of the filter is a Boost function that introduces harmonic distortion into the signal for more aggressive coloration.
“Having the widest tonal palette possible has always been the goal for modular users,” said Smith. “This product is our first—but significant—contribution to that world. We wanted to give modular users easy, affordable access to the classic Curtis filter sound, which I’ve always found very versatile and expressive.” The Curtis sound has often been described as saturated, brash, and powerful, and has also been fundamental to such vintage instruments as the Oberheim Xpander, Rhodes Chroma and Polaris, and Elka Synthex.
“The DSM01 packs a lot of sound-shaping power into a small package. We think modular users are going to get a lot of sonic mileage out of it,” said Smith.
The DSM01 Curtis Filter module is available now with a MAP of $179.
Download a high-resolution photo of the DSM01 module at www.dsisynth.com/photos.htm.
Price and specifications subject to change.