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Introducing the updated Red Dwarf EX v3.0 Semi-Modular system. This concept provides a basic 'synthesizer shell', into which a variety of oscillators, filters, and effects modules can be put together by the user, within certain structural limitations. Using the modulation and signal routing from that device as the basic 'shell', the user can insert any two sound sources and any two filters in the SLOTS provided to create his own 'custom' design..

As most know, there has been a strong resurgence of interest in virtual analog synths, trying to recreate the analog hardware beasts of the past via software. As software synths have become more developed, designers have attempted to produce accurate copies by analysing specific design characteristics of the "real thing", and mimic them in software modules.

For Creamware (and now Sonic Core) Scope users, this has produced the standard complement of oscillators and filters, as well as some special modules imitating the Juno and Waldorf oscillators, as well as a Juno Filter module, plus several other generic varieties of filters.

To have access to these in a musical device, one had to depend on Creamware or 3rd party designers to produce a dedicated device containing the desired modules, or delve into the Modular system provided with each Scope board. The more recent Modular II/III system has enhanced that experience significantly, yet a problem with a modular system remains, in that it can become "user UN-friendly" in terms of the user interface and how the various parameters are presented and adjusted, simply because of the 'screen real estate' required to display a large modular configuration ('patch' in Scope terms).

Synth designers know that there are two critical 'sections' in designing a synthesizer - the sound SOURCE (oscillators, noise, external signals), and the sound MODIFIERS. I like to further separate the MODIFIER section into two sub-sections - things like FILTERS, and the MODULATION capabilities that modify these (source & filter), and modules that are considered EFFECTS & EQ, which can significantly enhance the sound (though not at the 'core' of the basic sound's structure.)

The frustration for many has been that they want the flexibility of something like a modular system, but in a more compact and easy-to-use layout. And, the devices that ARE easy to use often times don't have the exact selection of sources, filters, or effects that the user wants, when he has certain sound design goals in mind.

Enter the Red Dwarf EX Semi-Modular system, first introduced by me in January, 2001. This concept provides a basic 'synthesizer shell', into which the same variety of oscillators, filters, and effects modules as mentioned above can be put together by the user, within certain structural limitations.

Using a basic outline of modulation and signal routing, the user can insert any two sound sources and any two filters in the SLOTS provided to create his own 'custom' design. Even more important, EACH preset can be contain different modules for these slots, as well as for the effects, providing for a much more flexible device.
It's even possible to obtain some unusual routings, such as placing an oscillator block into a filter slot, using the oscillator slots as sources of modulation, etc., or for the ultimate in flexibility, use a Modular insert to 'drop in' your own custom configuration of oscillators or filters, using the Modular 1 or 2 modules.

Of special note for SCOPE/SP owners - ALL of the effects in the SP package can be used with the Red Dwarf, and not limited to the effects racks.

Zarg Music has introduced several other synthesizers that have this 'semi-modular' capability. In addition to the Red Dwarf EX, there are Ambient RD, Dark Star v3.0, Rotor 48RD, Rotor Jr., and Solaris.

Since the Red Dwarf concept is similar to the Modular system (in fact, many of the "atoms" are the same as used in the Modular 2), I have kept the same names for ease of identification. However, there are a few enhanced and "special case" modules as well, and it's also important to know that there are some major 'ease of use' differences with these modules. Also, the RD Module Pack is sold separately (currently EUR 65.00 - now updated to series II), as the modules can be used with any of the semi-modular devices from Zarg Music.

Here is the RD Module Pack series II list:

CEM Oscs-Pair
Filtered Noise
Morphing Pulse
Morphing Pulse-Pair
Morphing Saw
Morphing Saw-Pair
MultiMode Osc
MultiMode Oscs-Pair
PWM Osc-Pair
Saw Up
Saw Oscs-Pair
Sine Osc
Sine Oscs-Pair
Spectral Osc
Spectral Osc-Pair
U Know Osc
U Know Osc-Pair
U Know Sync Osc-Pair
VS32 Osc
VS35 Osc
VS Mix
VS 32s-Pair
VS 35s-Pair
Waldorf Osc
Waldorf Pair
WaveTable Osc-Modular

Gated Multimode LFO
Gated Triangle LFO
Sine LFO
Random Signal Generator

(please note: most all of the oscillator
modules can be used in the LFO2 insert)

Bandpass 24 dB Filter
CEM LP 24 dB Filter
Comb Filter
Formant Filter
Free Filter Bank
Free Filter Mod
Highpass 6 dB Filter
Highpass 24 dB Filter
Lowpass 6 dB Filter
Lowpass 18 dB Filter
Lowpass 24 dB Filter
LP Retro 24 dB Filter
LP Vintage 24 dB Filter
Multimode 12 dB Filter
Tube Filter
U KNOW Filter



AD Vintage Env
ADSR Vintage Env
AHD Vintage Env
Multi-segment Env
ADSR Pitch EG1
ADSR Pitch EG2

Free Filter Bank-insert rack version
EQ 3 band 12 dB
EQ 3 band 24 dB
Stereo Cross Delay
Stereo Cross Flanger
(note: any of the mono
or stereo insert effects
that you already have should work fine
especially all SCOPE/SP effects)

Y connector
Y connector Oscs
Modular Oscs&Filters
Modular Gated
Modular RD Insert
RD Dual Osc Insert


Despite the overwhelming flexibility of the Red Dwarf Semi-Modular system, there are some restrictions to the current design. For example, at the moment, oscillator sync between the two osc slots is not possible (but is available in some oscillator pair modules). Also, use of any of the FM modules from the Modular 2 series is not possible.

Price is EURO 125.00. To purchase, click here.
Price includes RD series II modules (a EURO 65 value!).








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