The functional range of the Squaver P1 can be roughly divided into control and synthesis sections.
The control section
Audio signals are fed to the instrument via a 6.3 mm jack plug. The connector is followed by a preamplifier, which allows musicians to boost signals by up to 40 dB. Signals can be prepared for CV extraction via two filters. In detail, there is a three-stage high-pass circuit (16 Hz, 80 Hz, 160 Hz) with a slope of -12 dB per octave and a continuously adjustable low-pass (80 Hz to 6.4 kHz) with a slope of -24 dB per octave plus automatic tuning. The Squaver P1 analyses audio material with the help of the so-called ACO chip, an in-house development of Sonicsmith. Additionally, there is an envelope follower. The following control voltages can be tapped off the unit:
- Pitch CV signals in the range of 0 V to +8 V. (1 V per octave)
- Gate and trigger voltages with a signal strength of 9 V. (Threshold for gate / trigger activation: -48 dBu)
- Envelope follower signals with a fixed decay time of 43 milliseconds. A potentiometer allows users to attenuate and / or invert control voltages generated by the envelope follower.
Furthermore, there is an expression pedal input, whose signals are converted into control voltages ranging from 0 V to +9 V.
There are dedicated mini jack outputs for pitch, expression and envelope follower signals. Gate and trigger voltages share one stereo socket. (L = Gate / R = Trigger)
A side-chain input can be used to feed a second audio signal into the Squaver P1. The audio input is followed by a two-stage level section (0 dB / +15 dB) and another envelope follower with a shorter decay time (9 milliseconds). It can be used as an alternative to the instance described above, the bipolar attenuator remains in the signal path. The side-chain can be (de)activated with the help of a foot switch.
Main and side-chain inputs feature thru outputs, which allow users to tap off audio material in front of or behind the level adjustment stages and feed it to other equipment.
The synthesis section
The ACO chip not only serves as CV extractor, but is also part of the synthesis system. More precisely, the component produces sawtooth and variably wide pulse waveforms. A mixer makes it possible to crossfade between both waves. For pitch adjustments, there are coarse and fine tune potentiometers. Both parameters can be modulated via CV inputs. Additionally, it is possible to influence the tuning via the expression pedal connector. Another control voltage input allows musicians to modulate the pulse width. The envelope follower is usable for this task as well. The pitch CV inputs can be (de)activated quickly via a foot switch.
Furthermore, there are two sub oscillators, which produce square waves one and two octaves below the main oscillator. Users can crossfade between the sub oscillators. A third mixing stage combines main and sub oscillators.
Results of the oscillator section can be ring modulated with external audio material. Afterwards, a VCA was placed in the Squaver’s signal flow. It can be controlled via the selected envelope follower or external CV signals. The multimode filter is switchable between an edge steepness of -12 dB or -24 dB per octave. Users can choose between high-pass, band-pass or low-pass mode. For manual adjustments, there are cutoff and resonance potentiometers. Additionally, the filter frequency can be influenced via the selected envelope follower, a CV input and the expression pedal mentioned above. On top of that, there is a second expression pedal connector just for the multimode circuit.
Finally, input material influenced only by the high-pass filter and the preamplifier can be mixed with synthesis signals. Via a foot switch, it is possible to (de)activate the Squaver’s synthesizer. For final volume adjustments, there is an output potentiometer.
Audio output (6.3 mm)
Audio input (6.3 mm)
Side-chain input (6.3 mm)
Main and side-chain thru outputs (6.3 mm)
Two expression pedal inputs (6.3 mm)
Pitch CV output (3.5 mm)
Envelope follower output (3.5 mm)
Two-channel gate and trigger output (3.5 mm)
Expression pedal output (3.5 mm)
Gate input (3.5 mm)
Ring modulator input (3.5 mm)
CV inputs for coarse and fine tuning, PWM, filter and the VCA (3.5 mm)
Connector for an external power supply
(Tip = positive / Ring = negative)
Dimensions: 20 x 19 x 6
The Squaver P1 is powered by 9 V DC power supply.