The LFO is one the key components for generating sounds within your Eurorack modular synthesizer. The more LFO modules you add to your Eurorack, the more possibilities for sound design are at your fingertips.
Some LFOs can be used specifically for drum sounds, such as the Dreadbox Drips, which uses a variety of waveforms to shape anything from a smooth snare, static snare, electro toms, or 808 sounding kick drums. Other LFOs can be used for a variety of sound design options such as the Mutable Instruments Tides, which also use a variety of waveforms to generate endless possibilities of sound designs.
LFOs can also be controlled by external devices through their CV inputs, which will trigger the way the LFO responds to the incoming signal. They can also be affected by sequencers or CV gates, which will generate a unique musical pattern that you can manually create and alter in real time.
Most LFOs have pretty common controls. The waveform choice will be the starting point for your sound, which is commonly a sine wave, sawtooth, reverse sawtooth, or triangle wave.
You then have the depth control, which will determine how aggressive the waveform is, or how far it will variate across the zero voltage line. Low depth will result in a smoother sound, where full depth will result in aggressive noise, fuzz, or glitch sounds.
The rate will determine how fast the LFO travels across the zero voltage line. Similar to tremolo or vibrato on a guitar amp or pedal, a very slow rate will be a softer pulse sound, where the fastest rate will have a panic effect to it. Some LFOs have the ability to tap tempo or sync the rate of the LFO to a master clock, which can ensure all the sounds within your Eurorack are oscillating at the same rate.
The noise control is to add some grit or ambiance to your signal. This is commonly used to create space around the sound, kind of like reverb, and can make a soft pad sound very “airy”. You can also crank the noise control, and with the addition of a drive circuit, create sounds similar to electric guitars, distorted synths, or aggressive ambient noise.
There is a whole world of LFOs to choose from, each with their own unique characteristics for sound design. To find the best option for your Eurorack setup, be sure to contact your sales rep at Vintage King.