For the last few decades, the System-100M has been a quiet pillar in many of your favorite electronic jams. From Yazoo/Erasure to Throbbing Gristle and the Human League, it's provided countless textures, sequences, blips and bass, but has never fully got the recognition it deserves. This epic modular synth has somehow fallen beneath the sonic cracks of the more iconic synths (Moogs, Arps and other Rolands from the same era) that we’ve come to know and love.
Perhaps this is because the System-100M lies in a no-man’s-land - It’s not the fattest or most abstract or most (insert synth hyperbole here) but it is certainly not thin or conventional sounding in any way shape or form. In fact, the brilliance of this instrument is that its sounds and textures seem to fill the gaps between most electronic instruments.
Because of this, these instruments and loops are unlike anything else on our site - they are certainly on the more experimental side of things but completely useable at the same time. They feature some of our most complex and interesting modulations to date - with experimental FX, wild leads, juicy Roland bass, acidic squelch, disastrous percussion, general mayhem.
The architecture of the System-100M lends itself immediately to experimental sample design. It has a very unique filter that always sounds like it has a little dirt running throughs its circuits, and 6 modulation inputs allow you to further carve your sound. Because the synth is capable of so many different flavors on its own, we decided to keep external processing to a minimum, in favor of pushing the synth's own modulation capacity. In essence, we didn't want anything to cover up the vibe of these killer 70’s Roland filters.
Continuing our modulation adventures, we ran two low range LFOs into the filter’s mod inputs then a third into the the second filter to give some sequences a convincing phaser effect. We also stuffed white noise and a couple high frequencies into the filter, and, by dialing in the right balance, achievedt some seriously funky and crunchy 8-bit-like overtones.
But even though the System-100M is a stand alone monster/beast/chupacabra, we thought we could get even crazier with some external modern modulation. We quickly found that, when interfaced with third party modules (like a Make Noise MATHS or 4MS Envelope Generator), a whole new demon is born. With the advent of these type of time shifting, clock shuffling, LFO mangling devices, we were able to harness the full potential of the System-100M’s relatively primitive, but unique, modulation capabilities.
We’ve provided you with 30 super-modulated instruments - probably some of the craziest ones on this site - and a bunch of loops to give you an idea of the actual hardware sequencing of the 100M in action. All of the sounds captured in this pack were dynamically modulated in the analog world, and the instruments are further modulated in their respective DAWs, really bringing the analog modulations to life. We gave a huge amount of thought to the software modulation that would best bring these instruments into the modern world - so don’t be afraid to use that modwheel!
If you’re looking to expand your sonic horizon and stand out a bit from the crowds, these instruments are for you. You’ll get insanely modulated (but completely useable) FX, strange leads, 70s modular bass, sharp pads, brash percussion and more.