The SSL "FX Capacitor" is one of the oddest hardware reverb processors on the planet.

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Hi, everyone, welcome back to the show. This week's episode is a demo on a very peculiar reverb unit called the FX Capacitor from Synthetic Sound Labs.

SSL is known for modifying computer chips into odd musical uses, be it a Votrax voice chip for its Scat Talker phoneme generator or a digital answering machine chip for its SampleCorder. They're all wonderful products, capable of bizarre sounds with a unique low-fidelity sound that is immediately gratifying. You've heard their modules used on a lot of different music you enjoy. (My likely guesses: Boards of Canada, Depeche Mode, others) I've been curious about the FX Modulator, as it applies the same concept to studio effects, using a Spin Semiconductor at its base.

What is compelling about the FX Modulator, however, is the patch points on the dial: There's control voltage for nearly every setting, with no menu diving, just a select dial for each effect and send any voltage or sound into three parameters and feedback inserts. What this allows for is adding a waveform to the shape of a reverb tail or other really wild noises. I've never encountered a reverb unit similar to it. You'll need a proper Moog power supply to get going with something like this, which is addressed in this week's introduction. Then, lock into your DeLorean for a complete half hour discussion of the FX Modulator itself. If you'd like to skip ahead, there's a seven minute sample of all the odd sounds in this week's Side A.

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Thanks and have a good week, Ethan