NAMM 2014: Dreadbox (formerly: Freaqbox) Murmux

Photo by Natefrogg
Furniture is not something that always comes to mind when thinking about musical instruments, but I was quickly reminded about the correlation as the striking look of the Dreadbox Murmux line had caught my eye; nostalgia set in making me smile imagining how great the Murmux semi modular would look on top of a Fender BandMaster amplifier in tweed. These synthesizers are hand made in Athens, Greece. The metal and wood casing is quite solid. The knobs feel perfect and strong for my fingers. All knobs and switches and connections are bolted right onto the metal casing. The whole device feels like a real instrument that one could probably gig with quite a bit without issues. There are many voltage control points on the semi modular, making it quite utilitarian and easy to fit into an existing electronic musician's studio. Inputs include clocking for the 4 stage mod, the amplifier level, the filter cutoff, as well as cv and gate for the oscillators. There are so many modern synthesizers employing control voltage these days, as well as classics like the Roland TB303 for instance, if one wanted to they could control the Murmux from their TB303 with ease. I have to wonder how great it would sound with the sliding and accent and then layering the synthesizer voices with each other. This would be an awesome companion for Elektron Analog 4 or Analog Keys owners as well! Don't worry, the oscillators and filter on the Murmux line sounds much different from those inside the Elektron boxes, both are great but quite distinguishable from each other. Using two of the control voltage outs on the Elektron box for sending cv and gate in, and the other two control voltage outputs to run the filter and the amplifier level of the Murmux from the Analog 4, the musician would have a lot of parameter lockable control over the Murmux. There are plenty of outputs to send to your other gear as well: square and saw waveforms, the noise circuit, the 4 stage mod, the envelope generator as well as the lfo,. This would be a great expander for someone with a few more semi modular synthesizers, or to integrate along with a full modular rack system. I get very excited about any modern devices that include control voltage, but I want you to know that all of the Dreadbox synthesizers include a midi in port as well, control voltage is the future but midi is not going anywhere any time soon. Midi is highly accessible and in far more studios than control voltage equipment at this point. These synthesizers can be controlled by methods that most musicians already have access to in their studios. The sound is quite distinct and should not have much overlap with a musician's existing gear. They are all built like a tank and as such should provide many years of sonic fun for those that can afford to spend a little bit more. The Murmux semi modular synthesizer is reported to cost $1345 once it is released.

Dreadbox has posted a nice video that gives a great idea of the sound variations possible on the device, I like the last portion of the video that uses arpeggiations and the mod matrix, that starts here:

Article by Natefrogg  
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