Erica SynthsPico System III - Desktop
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Erica Synths Pico System III
Erica's Pico System III is their most affordable and most portable miniature modular system yet, making sound and workflow of classic West Coast synths more accessible than ever. Featuring two VCOs with FM and waveshaping, modulation oscillator, random voltages, sequencer, looping envelopes, two LPGs, a voltage-controllable BBD delay, and 1970s-style preset card patch memory, the Pico System III is a full-fledged, powerful modular synth in a petite desktop format. And of course, it adds a distinct spin, bringing a touch of grunge to this classic workflow.
Those familiar with the classic Buchla Music Easel will note several striking similarities between its signal flow and the Pico System III. However, being that the signal flow is fully modular, the Pico System III allows for deeper experimentation with novel patching. Two oscillators and a dedicated VCO controller/VCA form a pairing not unlike the traditional "complex oscillator," while two resonant lowpass gates offer a classic plonky, rubbery response. The BBD circuit provides voltage-controllable delay with up to 400ms of delay time, making it perfect for everything from flanging and chorus to echo effects.
Modulation sources include two voltage-controllable looping envelope generators, great for constructing generative patches and constantly moving textures. The Modulator provides sine, pulse, random pulse, S&H, and noise, great for a variety of modulations, and the Sequencer provides a choice of 2-, 3-, or 4-stage operation.
The left-hand voice card slot provides the possibility of "saving" signal routings between modules, making it possible to change your entire patch within seconds. Experiment with using resistors to attenuate levels between modules, or use Erica's preset cards to get a sense of what is possible.
Bringing a taste of West Coast flexibility and sounds to an incredible price point, the Pico System III is no doubt one of the most interesting standalone modular synths available.
Pico System III Features
- West Coast modular system in a tiny desktop format
- Buchla Music Easel-style voice architecture
- Preset voice cards in the style of the Buchla 208
- Four-step sequencer
- Two VCOs with FM and various waveshaping options
- Modulation oscillator/LFO with additional Noise, S&H, and Random Pulse outputs
- Two looping, voltage-controllable envelope generators
- Two Lowpass Gates with resonance control
- BBD delay with up to 400ms delay time
- Three mixers for modulation, audio mixing, and output level management
- Includes Five factory preset voice cards and five DIY voice cards
- Includes one Hosa stackable patch cable and 20 additional patch cables
- Includes User Manual with several pages for patch notes
- Dimensions: 240 x 140 x 80mm
- Power: 12VDC (universal adapter included)
With deep FM, two lowpass gates, looping envelopes, and loads of modulation options, the Pico System III is easily capable of generative soundscapes, but the addition of PWM, resonant filters, and an extra LFO make it easy to create even more conventional synth sounds with astonishing depth.
Like the Music Easel, the Pico System III can use preset cards to store patch "presets"—in this case, allowing you to save entire patch routings on physical program cards. The system comes with several preset cards and DIY cards so that you can create your own presets.