In Greek mythology, Erebus was born of Chaos and into darkness, in more modern times Erebus V3 was born in Athens by the fanatical sound sculptors Yiannis Diakoumakos & Dimitra Manthou co-founders of the boutique electronics company Dreadbox. Dreadbox specialises in handcrafted electronics for the more experimental musician looking for modular analogue synthesis and strong patchable analogue effects. The Erebus V3, upgraded from the less feature-laden Erebus V2 while still maintaining the extraordinary price is an Alice through the looking glass rabbit hole of sounds and possibilities. The success of Dreadbiox is in large part to the focus they pay to only a small range of products. Each element of the Erebus V3 is inspected by a human, the tails of the circuit board components are snipped by hand. The beauty of such craftsmanship is that while each unit is painstakingly engineered to be the same as any other unit the tolerances within the electronics mean your unit is unique to your environment.
3 Oscillators, 35 Patches and a million possibilities
The first noticeable difference between the Erebus V2 and Erebus V3 is the additional oscillator on the Erebus V3. Osc1 & Osc2 are very similar in design with two waveform choices, an option to fine tune to +/- 11 semitones and a mix slider when both Osc1 & Osc2 are in use. Osc3 has a choice of 6 waveforms including an option to generate white noise. The options to control the oscillators are many and depending on the mix, level and patching can be controlled independently or in conjunction with other elements of the unit.
Triple Ring Modulator, LFO & Echo
The Erebus V3 has a Triple ring modulator, this allows osc1 to modulate the frequencies of both Osc2 & Osc3 creating stunning soundscapes. The Triple Ring sliders each control the amount of modulation to Osc2 (triangle wave) & Osc3 (sine wave). The LFO when not patched will affect the frequency or pitch of all the oscillators but can be patched to modulate other elements of the Erebus V3. There is also a dedicated Echo panel, this rather understated section has three controls, mix, feed and time. These simple controls allow you to create reverb, chorus, lo-fi echo, tape echo, pitch shifting modulations, or a standard delay.
VCF, VCA and Envelope
The Erebus V3 like its predecessor is equipped with a voltage controlled amplifier and frequency modulator. Both elements are patchable to other panels on the unit and provide an outstanding range of sonic possibilities. The VCA has sliders for attack, decay, sustain and release giving you an amazing amount of control. The Envelope is also controlled by the same sliders and like the other panels is patchable to create a swathe of the tones and sounds.
The Patch Bay & Clock
The second most noticeable change between the Erebus V2 and Erebus V3 is the much larger Patch bay. The Erebus V2 had 15 patch points, whereas the Erebus V3 has 35 patch points. The inputs have 4 voltage controls for even further dynamic control of the elements within the Erebus V3. The unit has patchable Sample and Hold, analogue switcher, VCA and clock. The newest addition to the Erebus V3 is a controllable and patchable Clock. This allows you to control time and frequency of other elements on the Erebus V3 or use it as a fourth oscillator. The clock can be manipulated to produce digital sounds when sampling certain waveforms within the unit. The Erebus V3 has an autotune feature to avoid drift in the tones it creates. This can happen with electronics when exposed to different temperatures and varying humidity.
Unison, Duophonic, Paraphonic, Midi out and Midi Thru
The Erebus V3 has a simple interface that belies a complex underbelly. The machine can control the signal from one note, two notes via the multi oscillators or when patched correctly is paraphonic. The 3 oscillators can each modulate a different tone while running through one output. This allows for a depth and resonance that is both mesmerising and unique. When you patch on the fly the possibilities are limitless and the range of sounds mind-boggling. The backplate features a 1/4 inch jack in and out and midi thru and midi in for attaching other modules and midi controllers. The midi channels are controlled with the dip switches also found on the back adding a further layer of options to the already loaded machine.
Dreadbox has created a beautiful and wonderfully designed analogue synth. The sonic possibilities are almost endless and if you are looking to start or grow a modular synthesiser rig this is the place to begin. The Erebus V3 is a solid unit with so much more compared to V2 without the unit becoming more expensive. There are a plethora of resources online for the novice to learn how to experiment and explore the numerous possibilities within the Erebus V3. If, however you are well versed in analogue synths this is a fantastic machine that will only improve your musical ideas and soundscapes. The Erebus V3 is the flagship synth of a small but perfectly formed boutique brand created by people with an absolute passion for creating only the best musical electronics. This analogue synth won't break the bank but is reassuringly priced as an above entry level synth.
Manufacturer Dreadbox Model Erebus Dimensions 35 x 18 x 5.5cm Weight 2.38kgs Sound Engine Analogue Polyphony Unison, Duophonic & Paraphonic Note Range +/- 11 semitones Sound Sources 3 Oscillators (6 wave forms) Power Source 15V DC center pin 2.5mm positive (included)
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