Intellijel DesignsCascadia Desktop Semi-Modular Analog Synthesizer

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Intellijel Designs Cascadia

Embark on illustrious sonic journeys with Cascadia, Intellijel's first standalone, semi-modular synthesizer packed with analog and digital elements and highly configurable to your own needs. Intellijel's track record stands for itself: powerful sound sources, flexible control voltage generators, versatile utilities, and robust build quality are all found here in Cascadia. A culmination of all their work up to this point in time, Cascadia manages to pack so much inside yet stands on its own as a definitive product in the Intellijel catalog.

Whether your first synth or one of many, Cascadia contains practically everything you need to create and process sounds from start to finish. Of course, not only oscillators and filters but thorough MIDI-CV conversion, full audio I/O including a headphones output, and even a dedicated effects loop for getting your favorite pedals in on the fun. There are very few things that Cascadia doesn't have, yet its selection still feels curated and considerate of common patching needs.

As a semi-modular synthesizer, you don't even need to pick up a single patch cable to create great sounds with Cascadia, but its 100+ patch points always give you the option. Internally normalized connections provide a great starting point for your sounds, and at any time you can grab a cable to customize a patch to your liking. Intellijel has even gone to great lengths to provide clear illustrations on the panel to remind you what signals are connected to which points.

Cascadia begins sounds with two analog oscillators, denoted VCO A and VCO B. The primary oscillator, VCO A, offers a variety of waveforms, over eight octaves of tuning range, and support for sophisticated modulation such as through-zero FM. VCO B, on the other hand, serves a more utility role with optional operation as an LFO instead of a sound generator. That said, it still offers impeccable tracking and performance and can serve as a vital player in any patch no matter its purpose.

Summed in a mixer along with a noise generator and two optional input sources, VCO A is then routed into Cascadia's primary VCF. A glorious and multifunctional filter, this primary VCF always offers four-pole lowpass and highpass outputs, but you can also select one of eight different modes for the main output. These include various slopes of lowpass, bandpass, and highpass filters, as well as notch and phaser modes. Of course, there's plenty of resonance for lush sweeps and pings.

Cascadia also features a Buchla-inspired wavefolder, meaning you can both remove and add harmonics to your signals. Add in the ring modulator and a secondary filter tied to its own VCA for lowpass gate sounds, and you'll find more West Coast synthesis inside of Cascadia than you might have originally expected.

Cascadia's main outputs are at the top, but that's also where you'll find the dedicated Effects Loop. Whether you've got a crusty old fuzz pedal, the latest digital delay powerhouse, or pristine rack effects processors, Cascadia can incorporate them into your patches. What's more is the inclusion of an Expression Output, which contains a digitally-controlled potentiometer to recreate the way a pedal would respond to an actual expression pedal. Any signal from Cascadia may be patched into the Expression Source jack in the Utilities section to control your pedal: burst envelopes, envelope followers, random voltages, and more.

Intellijel's digital CV generators are highly regarded in the Eurorack world, and Cascadia is no different. Envelope A offers extended ADSR envelopes, supplemented by a Hold stage for extending either the peak voltage or an incoming trigger source. Envelope B on the other hand provides envelopes, LFOs, burst generation, and even chaotic random voltages in the new Low Frequency Vacillation mode. This envelope is even more configurable with the Intellijel Config App, available for Windows and Mac computers, where you can customize the burst shapes and more.

Cascadia's Utility functions are packed into the middle row, allowing you to create more complex and controlled versions of your signals. Triple LFOs with divided rate controls, buffered multiples, sample and hold, slew limiting and envelope following, plus an assortment of other features allow you to build power patches on your Cascadia.

Cascadia is not just a semi-modular synthesizer, but an entire canvas to build sounds and music upon. Rivaling even some full modular systems, there's no shortage of sounds to be explored within Cascadia.

Cascadia Features

  • Premium desktop semi-modular synthesizer
  • Fully analog signal path
  • Digital envelope generators, MIDI-CV conversion, and alternative noise sources
  • Over 100 patch points
  • Two analog oscillators
  • VCO A supports thru-zero FM, hard/soft sync, eight octaves of tuning, variable pulse width
  • Sub-oscillators tied to VCO A
  • VCO B operates in audio or LFO frequency ranges with eight octaves of tuning
  • Independent pitch and sync inputs for VCO B
  • Multi-channel mixer pre-filter
  • Multi-mode VCF with dedicated lowpass and highpass outputs
  • Main VCF output modes: LP1, LP2, LP4, BP2, BP4, HP4, NT2, PHZ
  • Wavefolder, ring modulator, and VCA / LPF
  • Drive and soft-clipping on main output
  • External Effects Loop with Expression Output
  • ADSR envelope with assignable hold stage and variable timing
  • Envelope B with multiple functions: envelope, LFO, and Burst
  • Free-running, Synced, and Low Frequency Vacillation modes for Env B as an LFO
  • Triple LFO with X, Y, and Z outputs
  • Division rate switches on Y and Z LFOs
  • Utilities include Sample and Hold, Slew Limiting / Envelope Following, Summing, Attenuverting, Buffered Multiples, and more
  • Onboard MIDI-CV converter with assignable behaviors
  • Intellijel Config App available for Mac and Windows computers offers deeper customization
  • Balanced 1/4" Audio I/O
  • Powder-coated enclosure
  • Includes oak wooden side panels, optional metal panels and rack ears available separately
  • Includes 14 patch cables, USB-A to C cable, and power supply
  • Dimensions: 348 x 246 x 66mm / 13.7" x 9.7" x 2.6"
  • Power: 15VDC (PSU included)
Product Demo Videos
Intellijel Cascadia - First Explorations
Intellijel Cascadia: An advanced, performance-oriented, semi-modular synthesizer.

Cascadia is packed with a mix of classic East and West Coast synthesizer blocks. Normalized connections let you get straight to the sounds inside. Or, let your imagination run wild and patch any of the modules together however you choose. Make small tweaks to the architecture, or re-route the entire synth to your liking—the choice is yours!

A massive semi-modular system in a small case with the footprint of a laptop. Cascadia has MIDI in/out/thru/USB, Eurorack compatible signal levels and pro-level audio I/O to interface with the rest of your studio or get your studio started.

- Performance-oriented,  "East and West" Coast modern analog semi-modular synthesizer 

-101 jacks (plus 10 on rear), 34 sliders, 16 knobs, 28 switches, 36 leds and 5 push buttons

-Two precision analog VCOs  (VCOA has TZ-FM with INDEX VCA, PWM and SOFT/HARD sync options)

- Eurorack compatible signal levels

- Cascaded 4-Pole multimode filter with extensive modulation options and unique modes

- ENV A: Versatile ADSR / AHDSR envelope generator with HOLD function and dynamic level/time control

- ENV B: Complex, beat syncable,  multimode function generator with Envelope, LFO, and Burst generator modes

- Triple analog LFO with linked, divisible rates and CV control

- Comprehensive and precise MIDI to CV and GATE implementation with additional synced/tapped LFO and CLOCK outputs 

- Six channel waveform mixer with asymmetric soft clipping 

- Extensive utility section that includes Noise, S&H, Envelope Follower, Attenuverter, Buff Mults,  Summer,  Inverters,  and connection to a digital potentiometer based guitar pedal expression control interface.

- Analog ring modulator

- Parallel “West Coast” style wavefolder

- Auxiliary VCA and 4-Pole Diode Ladder VCF combination for additional dynamics

- External effect send/return loop with line or guitar pedal levels and wet/dry mix

- Global output drive circuit with bypassable asymmetric soft clipping

- Balanced 1/4" line inputs and outputs plus a dedicated headphone output

- Very Compact (fits in a backpack) and durable powder-coated enclosure with bespoke oak wood sides.

- Comes with 14 assorted patch cables, USB-A to USB-C cable,  and an international power supply.
Intellijel Designs Cascadia Desktop Semi-Modular Analog Synthesizer Reviews