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Waveshaping and Utility

  • Crossfade anywhere from warm soft clipping to 4-stage wavefolding.
  • Designed for instrument and line level inputs.
  • Optional high-pass filter before the drive reduces bass and adds clarity to polyphonic material.
  • Blend knob to mix in or boost your dry signal.
  • Gate can be used at high gain settings or for creative effects.

State-Variable Filter

  • Sculpt your sound with a musical 12dB/octave state-variable filter.
  • Shape-shift continuously from high-pass, to band-pass, to low-pass, or anywhere in between.
  • Crank the resonance to create a self-oscillating voice.
  • Pair the filter with Sparks’ modulation options to explore a wide range of texture, movement, and rhythmic effects.

Low-Frequency Oscillator (LFO)

  • Map the LFO to any parameter or multiple.
  • Mapped parameters act as attenuverters, letting you control the intensity and polarity of modulation with a single knob.
  • Morph between waveform shapes: sine, triangle, sawtooth, square, sample and hold, random ramps, or anywhere in between.
  • LFO speeds range from 10 seconds well into audio rate.
  • RANGE instantly doubles or quadruples the LFO speed.
  • SPIN shifts the left and right LFO channels out of phase to create stereo movement.
  • Waveforms can be synchronized to MIDI clock.

Envelope Follower

  • Map the envelope follower to any parameter or multiple.
  • Use the intensity of your input signal to modulate controls for auto-wah, swell, ducking effects, and more.
  • Classic, Compressor, and AR envelope styles.
  • Adjustable attack and sensitivity to calibrate the response to your playing.

SID Chip-Inspired Synthesizer

  • Play Sparks as your instrument using a MIDI keyboard.
  • Recreate warm and gritty lo-fi sounds of the SID Chip — the iconic synth engine behind the C64 home computer.
  • Switch between waveform shapes: sine, triangle, sawtooth, pulse, and 23-bit Fibonacci LFSR noise.
  • Modeling of ADSR envelope, hard sync, and ring mod.
  • Controls for bit depth, pulse width modulation, pitch modulation, and glide.
  • 4 voices of polyphony with optional mono mode.
  • +/- 5 semitone pitch bending.
  • Synth voices are mixed with your input audio and run through the waveshaping and filter controls. The synth is disconnected from the analog signal path when not in use.

Presets, MIDI Control, CV

  • Save patches with 6 onboard presets, or up to 32 using MIDI.
  • Presets can be activated momentarily or latched for performance effects.
  • All parameters are fully controllable via MIDI, CV, or an expression pedal.
  • Directly compatible with your favorite MIDI controllers — no external MIDI box required.
  • Internal jumpers available to switch between TRS MIDI Type A (default), B, or CBA.
  • CV control up to 500Hz.
  • Free Max for Live device to control Sparks with MIDI in Ableton.

Sound Clips

Specs

  • Input/Output: TRS stereo
  • Processing: 100% analog signal path
  • Microcontroller: 170Mhz mixed-signal ARM processor
  • Power: +9VDC, 2.1 mm, negative tip PSU
    • Boosted to 18Vpp internally for increased headroom
  • Power Supply Protection:
    • Reverse polarity protection down to -20VDC
    • Over voltage protection up to +14VDC
  • Current Draw: ~280mA
  • Frequency Response: 24Hz – 20kHz
  • LFO rate range: 0.1Hz – 1kHz
  • Input Impedance: 1MΩ
  • Output Impedance: 1kΩ
  • Bypass: Ultra-low-noise buffered bypass with +18dBu of headroom
  • Dimensions: 12.1 cm x 6.6 cm x 6.2 cm
  • Manufacturing:
    • 100% lead-free
    • Circuit boards fabricated in China
    • Circuit boards assembled in Minneapolis, MN
    • Enclosures drilled, painted, and printed in the USA
    • Final assembly and testing performed in Minneapolis, MN

User Manual

Firmware Updates

There have not yet been firmware updates for Sparks.

If there are, we will link to the files and update instructions here.

Extras

Coming soon!

Download our Max for Live device to control Sparks with MIDI using Ableton.