Exploring the Capabilities of the Steady State Fate Zephyr Through-Zero Oscillator

The Steady State Fate Zephyr Through-Zero Oscillator is a powerful analog VCO that combines features from two of its other popular modules, the Spectrum VCO and the Zero Point Oscillator. This 10hp module is built around the SSI2130 and designed in honor of the founders' daughter Zephyr Rose. The Zephyr is a perfect synthesis of the two popular modules, with the added advantage of new features that make for an even more complex and versatile VCO.

The rotary switch in the module allows for the selection of an 8-octave range, giving users unmatched trackability and octave switching capabilities. The module also features a variable response TUNE control, which has FINE, Coarse, and LFO modes to give even more flexibility when setting the frequency. The frequency range for the module is around 3.5Hz to 29kHz for audio use and about 8mHz to 70Hz for LFO use.

The Zephyr offers a dedicated SINE, TRIANGLE, and SAW outputs with a THD of 0.3-0.6%, which offers an unmatched sine output in terms of quality. The module also has a PWM Pulse output with two types of PWM (EDGE and CENTER), which allows users to create complex waveforms. Additionally, the SUB out offers one or two octave blending affected by PWM control and type. The module's Voltage controlled Z-WAVE output blends a VC wave folding and overdriven SINE output with the PWM pulse, giving users a lot of flexibility in sound design.

Further, the Zephyr has a dedicated normal FM input with attenuator, which gives both AC coupled linear or DC coupled Exponential response. The module also features a Hard Sync with universal response to any waveform input, taking creative sound shaping to a whole new level. The multi-mode ZMOD input includes an attenuator and INDEX VCA CV input with modulation depth Index up to 1.5. The ZMOD modes include true Through-Zero Phase Modulation, ZYNC (hybrid reversing sync with linear TZPM), and FLIP (hard waveform reversal), adding vastly to complex waveform generation.

In conclusion, with its wide frequency range, complex waveform generation, and numerous modes, the Steady State Fate Zephyr Through-Zero Oscillator is a must-have for anyone interested in exploring the capabilities of through-zero oscillators. The Zephyr offers the perfect blend of the excellent trackability and octave switching found in the Spectrum VCO and the complex waveform generation of the Zero Point Oscillator models, all in one 10hp module. This is undoubtedly a module to watch out for in the world of Eurorack modular synthesis.

Example Usage

To use the Steady State Fate Zephyr Through-Zero Oscillator, first, you need to patch the outputs to a mixer or filter module. Next, adjust the octave switch and frequency range controls to set the desired pitch. You can also experiment with the TUNE control to fine-tune or coarse-tune the frequency. To add modulation, patch a modulation source into the FM input and adjust the attenuator as needed. You can further shape the sound by using the ZMOD input with the attenuator and INDEX VCA CV input, which offers various forms of phase modulation. Don't be afraid to experiment with the different waveforms and PWM pulse output to discover new sounds.

An intermediate-level usage example for the Steady State Fate Zephyr Through-Zero Oscillator could be creating a unique percussive patch by using the ZMOD input to apply Through-Zero Phase Modulation to the Triangle waveform output. By using an LFO to modulate the ZMOD input and adjusting the INDEX VCA CV control, you can create varied percussive sounds with a range of tonal qualities. Experimenting with different settings on the Zephyr can yield a wide variety of percussive and rhythmic sounds, making it a versatile module for both experimental and traditional musical settings.

Further Thoughts

One of the unique features of the Steady State Fate Zephyr Through-Zero Oscillator is its ZMOD input with an attenuator and INDEX VCA CV input, allowing for modulation depth index up to 1.5. This creates a vast range of modulation options that makes Zephyr perfect for creating complex and evolving sounds beyond the standard oscillator waveforms. For example, by routing a complex LFO signal through the ZMOD input, the Zephyr can create unique textures with through-zero phase modulation or even flip hard waveform reversals in real-time. The result is an endless array of sonic possibilities that makes the Zephyr a powerful tool for sound design and experimentation.