Acid Rain Technology | Introducing Chainsaw

Acid Rain Technology | Introducing Chainsaw

We return to Acid Rain Technology’s lineup with a post on Chainsaw, a super-compact, semi-polyphonic oscillator with a beautiful supersaw sound.

First, a rundown of the basic feature-set. Chainsaw includes 3(!) v/oct inputs to flexibly control the pitch of 21 simultaneous waves. 7 continuously morphable waves are stacked per voice for enormous pads, basses, and leads. Wave shapes vary from saw to square, with CV control over morphing. The voices can also be detuned, again with CV control. Linear FM is available but without a depth or index control, although that can easily be solved by placing a VCA before the FM input. All of this leads to discrete stereo outputs, allowing for immersive soundscapes and flexible processing paths. Mono output is quite impressive, or you can always run one output through a VCA/attenuator and back in to the FM input for some chaotic feedback patching.

In terms of use Chainsaw presents myriad opportunities. Chainsaw is perfect for small systems and focused instruments where chords are a priority. We paired one with a Make Noise Pressure Points in this system for interactive chord sequencing and playback. Pairing Chainsaw with a quantizer or a harmony-aware sequencer makes for some great fun. Chainsaw’s diminutive size also makes it a prime candidate for filling in space or for cramming another voice (or 3) into your rack. Chainsaw makes a wonderful detuned bass or lead and does a very convincing hoover impression. 

Not only is the sound on point, but Acid Rain have done a wonderful job of laying out Chainsaw’s panel. 4 HP is a tight gap, but the graphics and physical layout are clear and intuitive, while also being very playable thanks to full sized, reasonably spaced knobs. One clever piece of UI is that the pitch knob moves in semitones, with fine control accessible with a click. A long press will tune the module to C1, very convenient when you need a reference to match your hell-patch against or for tuning other oscillators.


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