The EARS FU2 is a 2U rackmount analog stereo audio processor comprised of two dual-mode filters in a single enclosure. Both filter channels are totally independent, and can be extensively modulated by either of two Mod generators, using a variety of selectable sources. Each channel also contains its own VCA section, which is similarly modulatable. Further, a distortion circuit can be switched into either or both channels for gritty, harmonically-dense overdrive effects.
The FU2 far surpasses competitive analog filter units, both sonically and in terms of its flexibility. Based on the same powerful filter chip used in the renowned Voyetra Eight and PPG Wave synthesizers, the unit features a huge, powerful sound with extraordinarily smooth response, from deep lows to brilliant highs. The inherent power of its modulation scheme (two independently-selectable and adjustable mod sources per filter) allows an unprecedented range of effects, from classic lowpass stereo panning filter sweeps to rich phase shifting, stereo tremolo, envelope- or manually-triggered sweeps (via either of the front panel AR Trigger buttons), vocal formant effects, complex non-periodic sweeps and unheard-of sound effects. A cross-modulation circuit allows the rate of LFO1 to be modulated by Mod 2, for “acceleration/deceleration” sounds, and both the VCF and VCA pairs can each be linked together in sync or inverted for effortless, dramatic stereo effects.
The first in a series of fully-analog processors, the FU2 has been designed to provide the user with a level of sound-creation flexibility normally found only in modular synthesizer systems. To this end, extensive reconfiguring of its sound-processing blocks (VCFs, VCAs, LFOs) is possible via numerous rear-panel CV inputs and outputs. MIDI can also be used to control both filter’s cutoff frequency and resonance, trigger the AR generator and control the rate of LFO1 and the level of both VCA’s. Factory set for channel 1, controllers 1-8, channel selectable via rear-panel switch.
The FU2 is hand-wired, using the highest-quality hand-selected and matched components available for the best possible sound. A steel enclosure is used, with a brushed-aluminum, black anodized front panel.
-10 (unbalanced) to +4 (balanced) input range with front-panel level control – XLR and 1/4″ jacks provided. Selectable true stereo or mono-in, stereo-out operation
Two 4-pole, 24db/Octave Voltage-controlled filters (selectable LP or HP)
Two fully-modulatable VCAs with switchable overdrive
Two wide-range (.01Hz-1Khz) LFOs with four waveshapes (Sine, Saw, Square and Sample&Hold) each
Two AR generators, triggerable via front panel buttons, rear-panel inputs or main audio input.
Two Envelope followers, triggerable via main audio inputs or sidechain input
Two seperate Mod generators with six possible sources each, including LFO’s 1 and 2. LFO waveshapes include Triangle, Square and Sawtooth. In addition, a Sample and Hold (Mod 1 only), and an eight-step “counter” mini-sequencer (Mod 2 only), AR generator and Envelope Follower are also available.
Link/Invert switches for VCFs
Linked or independent modulation control over VCAs Brilliant blue stereo 8-LED input level meter
Rear-panel MIDI input for controlling Cutoff and Resonance for both filter channels, triggering the AR generator and controlling LFO1 Rate.
Front-panel MIDI receive indicator
Extensive CV inputs and outputs on rear panel for connection with external analog modules or synthesizers.
The following connections are provided: Filter 1&2 Cutoff and Resonance inputs, Envelope 1&2 Trigger inputs, Envelope Sidechain Trigger inputs, Envelope 1&2 CV and Trig outputs, LFO1&2 CV inputs and outputs, VCA 1&2 CV inputs.
THE ANALOG LAB LEGACY COLLECTION: