We get some questions a lot, so we decided to set up a Q&A page.
Is the Fénix monophonic or polyphonic?
The Fénix is capable of producing a few independent sounds at the same time, but it is essentially a monophonic synthesizer.
The Fénix has two output amplifiers. Use them for stereo sounds, or have independent sounds on each channel. If you need more outputs, simply use jack->banana cables or the front-to-back interface section. Note that all outputs are very hot, so you'll want to attenuate the signals before entering your mixing console.
Why does the Fénix not have Midi?
Some people may not need it, and increases the price considerably.
This way, you can choose if you need a Midi->CV converter, and buy the one that is best for your needs.
MIDI->CV convertors (submitted by Tony Allen)
I live in San Francisco and own a Fenix. I have a quick question to those of you on the list that use midi->CV convertors.
Recently I was almost able to purchase an Encore Expressionist but another buyer beat me out, however, the seller informed me that the Fenix didn't track the Expressionist very well due to voltage issues and that he was using a kenton convertor. What are peoples experiences with the Expressionist, can the unit be tuned internally via trimpots or whatever so that the voltage is scaled appropriately?
I'm very interested in the Expressionist as it has 8cv/gates...
What does the Fénix use - 1v/octave? I don't have a manual and I'm too lazy to meter it.
Thanks for any input you might have.
If the user tried to connect the output to too many inputs, it will load the output enough to cause scaling problems. There is a 100 ohm resistor (I think...haven't look in a long time) in series with each CV output. That can be removed and replaced with a lower value if the user wants to connect to many inputs without a voltage drop across that resistor. Other than that, there should be no scaling problems with the two.
The Expressionist does not have internal trimmers; the adjustment is in software.
> Tony Karavidas
> Encore Electronics
> Designers of "The best MIDI to CV converter on the planet." -Keyboard Oct. 1997
Use the CV1 input of a cv mixer for buffering the cv outpu of the midi convertor
Using unbuffered interface outputs may result in tuning problems.
Buffered models include Kenton, unbuffered models include Doepfer.
Is the Fénix touch-sensitive?
The Fénix has very many CV inputs. If you use a Midi->CV converter that has CV-outputs for velocity, mod wheel, breath controller, pressure or any other Midi-data, you can patch those to any CV-input of the Fenix for more control over the sound.
Why is the resonance of the VCF's not voltage controllable?
We had to stop somewhere, and I don't use VC resonance very often on my Synton 3000 modular.
If you want VC resonance, take an output of the filter and feed it back to the audio-input through a VCA. For VCF 1/2, use a mixer module to mix audio signals.
You can get different characteristics by inverting the feedback signal or by taking a different VCF output.
Why is the power supply only for 230 mains voltage?
We now supply 115 VAC power supplies on request at no extra charge. Please tell us which voltage you use when ordering. Some older PSU's we've shipped can unfortunately not be rewired.
What is the difference between the Fenix and the Syrinx?
The Synton Syrinx is a monophonic lead synthesizer with keyboard. It uses 7 Curtis-chips for VCO, VCF's and envelopes. It has been discontinued for many years and we have no plans to re-issue it.
The patch configuration is fixed with the exception of the filters, that can be configured in four ways using a rotary switch.
The Fenix has no keyboard, no pre-patched configuration and quite a lot more features. Because of its complexity, it is better suited for studio-use than for live performance.
What does the Fénix sound like?
Please read the user reviews for opinions.
It is not easy for us to give an objective account of the sound, but it is fair to say that the Fenix sounds very direct. The sounds can be distorted at various stages of a patch, so it can sound more aggressive than traditional pre-patched synths.
The envelope generator controls are optimized to give good control over the short times. They can produce very short envelopes.
My existing modular kit (Digisound and Doepfer) is all mini-jacks.
How practical is it to patch this to the Fenix?
I have a bought a number of 2-meter banana-cords, cut them in the middle, and put mini-jacks on the new ends. Only connect the signal to the tip of the mini-jack, leave the ground unconnected.
You can buy banana-plugs but they are ugly, and stack across, not on top.
Can the LFO's be made to go slower / faster?
The range of LFO 1 and 2 is a 90-second period (0.011 Hz) to 0.02 second period (50 Hz).
This range can be widened to 200-second period (0.005 Hz) to 0.005 second period (200 Hz) if you apply a voltage (for example from the CV-Mix-1 output) to the CV-2 input.
LFO-3 has a fixed range.
Interfacing the Fénix with other synths
The operating voltages of the Fenix are 0-8 volt for CV -4/+4 volt for audio. My synth uses 0-10 volt control voltages.
The Fénix responds to all popular levels of positive gates/triggers.
The Fénix generates 0-8 volt gates which most synths using positive gates will accept.
Using Fénix 0-8 volt CV's to control external synths means that VCO's/VCF's will be limited to an 8-octave range. If needed, you can amplify the signal to higher levels using a mixer module.
Applying a 0-10 voltage to the Fenix is no problem at all.
Does the Fénix fit into a standard 19-inch rack?
Not in all racks. The 19" specifies only the outer width including the 'ears'. The body-width is less than 19", but the problem is that there is no standard for the maximum body width.
Every case/rack manufacturer has his own norm for maximum inner width.
The Fénix uses a very wide body width in order to space the knobs as wide as possible while still fitting in a rack enclosure.
Unfortunately, the Fenix does not fit in many 19" racks. The mounting options include:
* Using the PROEL MFPROMXU case
* Custom rack/case. Contact us for exact dimensions.
* Building into a desk by making a square hole in the desktop to fit the Fenix.
* Screwing wedge-shaped wood panels to the Fenix mounting ears. Having the Fenix leaning back provides easier access to the controls.
I'd like to replace the transformer. Can anyone tell me the specs for such a transformer?
You can use a standard ring core transformer two times 18 volt / 1 Amp. If you want to build it inside the Fenix case you will have to make a hole for the power lead.
There are 3 wires to the connector, two orange and one black.
Connect each orange wire to one 18 volt wire. The black goes to the 0. Pin 4 and 5 are joined together (These form the 0 connection)
The new transformer inside must have the two18volt windings set in series, the middle tap is the 0 volt. (in this case you can use a 19-0-18 volt transformer.
There are probably two small caps mounted at the Fenix rear power socket. These are for filtering HF signals. Since you want to build in the tranformer inside the case these are probably not needed: These hf signals usually enter the case through the power leads.
I have one warning. Do not build a transformer inside and also use the connections to the external transformer. When connected, the unused transformer will transform the18-0-18 volt back to 110/220 volt and you can touch easely touch the pins of the mains plug that now outputs mains power!
If you place the transformer outside you can use a plug to replace the standard power connector. The HF filtering will still work. Please check the new connector first, some versions can plug in 4 ways. Use only one which fits only 2 ways.
In this case you should use a transformer with 2 separate windings of 17 or 18 volt!!!!!
Winding 1 goes to pin 3 and 4 and the other winding set connects to pin 2 and 5.
Pin 4 and 5 must be connected to the wires which you normaly use when you set the transformer in series.
Never connect pin 4 and 5 together.