The Swarmatron is a hand-built instrument that was introduced at NAMM in January 2010. As of April, 2013, only 45 Swarmatrons have been produced. Pre-order wait time is currently approximately 4 to 5 months. If you would like to pre-order, please contact us (sales at bigcitymusic dot com) and we will be happy to put you in the queue.
The Swarmatron was created to produce eight tones tuned approximately to one note, each tone slightly different in pitch to produce a complex and natural choral effect.
The current "Fine Tune" version has controls which allow more accurate tuning when connected with external CV sources. Earlier Swarmatrons can be upgraded with Fine Tune controls.
These eight oscillators can be played with a single ribbon controller (variable resistor) to move the pitch center up or down.
The span control expands the sound of a swarm of eight notes spread just a few cents apart into a wide chord of equidistant pitches spread over the entire spectrum. The player can "taffy pull" the resulting chord by using the span control and pitch ribbon in tandem.
Swarms of sine waves evoke swarms of angels congregating. Swarms of sawtooth waves evoke the swarming of bees. The sound of a host of voices, earthly or unearthly, has a unique character recognized by the ear even when they are folded together in unison.
Frequency Modulation Option:
The Frequency Modulation feature allows one or more of the Swarmatron's eight voices to frequency modulate the overall pitch as well as the spread (swarm) of the 8-note cluster. The proportion of pitch frequency modulation to swarm modulation is adjustable, as is the overall modulation amount. In addition, the phase relation between swarm modulation and pitch modulation signals can be inverted, and the modulation feature can be switched on and off with a toggle switch without disturbing existing frequency modulation settings.
FM option is $500 extra when ordered before Swarmatron is built, or $650 as an upgrade to an existing Swarmatron.
From: How To Destroy Angels on Vimeo.