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Metasonix | TS-21 HellFire


The TS-21 Hellfire Modulator is an analog, tube-based distortion rack-module. The Hellfire has many useful applications for musical instruments but was designed especially for synthesizers! That is, you can use it to add some really gritty and unpredictable distortion to your synth and bass lines.

The Hellfire has 3 unique sections: a pentode preamp with VCA input stage, a metastable pulse-width modulator (PWM), and an LFO-controlled waveshaper/switcher based on a unique TV vacuum-tube. With about 5 tubes, this analog technology can give your sounds a unique and "aggressive" edge!

All input/output jacks and control knobs are located right on the front of the 2-space rack-mount unit. A small view-window is at the center of the unit through which you can see the tubes glowing. Distortion can be introduced during the preamp stage. The PWM and Beam controls can then be used to fold, distort and mangle up your sounds with unpredictable but surprising results. The built-in LFO creates a pseudo-panning effect with adjustable rate and stereo beam width using the L1, L2 and SPEED controls. For a gritty new take on analog distortion the TS-21 is an expensive but tempting offer.

ModelTS-21 HellFire
Engine TypeDistortion
Voices (max)1
LFOWaveshaper: based on "Sheet-Beam Modulator" vacuum tube. PWM circuit: based on 6BQ7-family dual triode tube, produces different pulse shapes, noise bursts, or violent oscillation. Bypass-able.
Envelope (VCA)Pentode Preamp
Key typeN/A
CV-gateCV input to VCA and Beam/PWM
Produced:2000 - 2000
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.

Manuals, patches etc.


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