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Starling Via

Via is a line of modules sharing a common hardware platform. A foundational analog circuit is brought to life by a digital control layer, creating a useful tool for routing and generating signals in your patch. You can transform a Via module into one of its family members by swapping the faceplate and flashing new firmware.


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Details

Details

About the Via hardware platform:
 
The analog circuit at the core of Via allows the module’s digital signal generator to interact with your patch in unconventional but useful ways. A pair of inputs pass through analog sample and hold and VCA circuits, then are mixed at the output.  
 
via block diagram
 
Each module in the Via line was designed to take full advantage of the core circuit, honing in on a particular control method and exploring all of its possible applications. The result is a set of deep, highly playable instruments that you can explore for months or years. 
 
However, DIYers are in a unique position to use the Via modules to the fullest. Build your platform, choose the faceplate that speaks to you the most, and dive into that. When you want to try a different module, those DIY skills (and socket drivers) will make the faceplate swap a breeze. Programming the microcontroller can be one of the most arduous parts of the DIY process, so we made that easy with firmware upload over USB and a dedicated flasher application.
 
Via is open and hackable, with the schematics and source code available.
 
The current options in the Via line are:
 
SCANNER - A 2-input, 4-output waveshaper for exploring worlds of sonic possibilities.
GATESEQ - A rhythm sequencer with the ability to create stepped CV or process audio.
SYNC - A wavetable oscillator based around frequency/phase locking to a clock and a pair of "diviply" controls.
META - A "do-it-all" universal signal generator with nearly endless potential for creative patching.
 
Coming soon:
 
ATSR - It plays like a fully voltage controlled ADSR, but it has some extra tricks up its sleeve.
OSC3 - A workhorse source for subtractive synthesis giving you qick access to phat detune, pitch perfect quantization, chords, and a square wave LFO at the beat frequency of the oscillators.
 

Basic specifications
Width: 12hp with expander, 8hp without
Depth: 38mm
Power consumption +12V/-12V: ~105mA/50mA

Module Details:

SCANNER - Multi-channel Waveshaper

Explore tones full of sonorous pockets and tearing, wavefolded overtones, or transform a slow LFO into a liquid modulation sequence. SCANNER transforms a pair of input signals (X and Y) into 4 complementary outputs by scanning across "surfaces" of possible values. An additional control input deforms the surfaces, allowing you to morph the character of the waveshaping. The main waveshaper output controls a crossfade between two inputs, turning the module into an amplitude processing/mixing node suitable for CV or audio. Patch a gate sequence into the jump input to impose sudden changes on the outputs, and navigate through surfaces with a touch sense interface.

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GATESEQ - Rhythm Engine

Create necklaces of polyrhythms with a pair of interwoven gate sequencers, then build them into your patch with a handy set of built in utilities, working in tandem with your other sequencers to add rhythmic structure to your patch. Set a complex gate sequencer (offering pattern offset, clock multiplication, or shuffle/swing) against a simple euclidean sequencer. Choose a logical combination of the two to create a rhythmic counterpoint. Map the sequences to an analog processing circuit including a sample and hold, VCA gate, and mixing stage. Process other logic, CV, and audio signals in time with the primary gate outputs. Manual and CV control over pattern density provides an intuitive way to play the module and derive more nuanced patterns with modulation.

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SYNC - Clock-synced Signal Source

Lock onto a clock signal and move back and forth between two inputs. Surf through a grid of possible clock multiplications and divisions (frequency ratios) with performance controls and CV to create musical gestures. Use an audio-rate clock to create just-intoned harmonies, overtones, and subharmonics, or patch in a low frequency clock to generate tempo-synced modulation signals. Complex clock inputs give chaotic (but often useful) results. You can use the module as a signal generator with manual or CV control over the output range, or you can apply clock synced amplitude modulation to signals passing through the module. Auxiliary outputs provide provide a suite of synced signal sources and enable clock multiplier/divider style gate sequencing, and touch sensors allow you to find the right response for your patch configuration.

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META - Flexible Slope Generator

Generate a flexible path from one voltage to another and back. Any input is fair game, be it fast, slow, or totally still. In one patch, create an envelope to modulate the cutoff of a filter. In the next, shape the amplitude of a sound source passing through the module. The next day, you might use it as a sound source. A touch interface gives you control over how the path is traversed. A preset store/recall system can be used to keep programming to a minimum. Dial in the signal that you were missing, or patch it blind and explore a vast space of happy accidents.

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Via Parts Kit
The PCB has all the SMT already populated, so the Via Parts kit is very straight forward. You just need to install headers, pots, jacks, LEDs and knobs. Final assembly is straight foward and well documented with a video walk through

The cross-platform Viaflash app allows you to download the latest firmware and flash it to the hardware over micro USB from Mac, Windows, or Linux. It even lets you save your presets when flashing a new module.

When ordering, you will need one of each of the following: 

Via PCB Set
Via Parts Kit (optional, as you can source your own parts if you'd like from the BOM)
Via Faceplate Panel (choose the module that appeals to you the most and start there, you can always install a new panel and reflash if you want to switch it up)


 

Specs & Downloads

Specs & Downloads

Manufacturer Starling
HP 10
Depth No
+12V No
-12V No
+5V No
Additional Resources Starling Website Build Guide Programming Firmware BOM
Schematic

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