PWM’s Malevolent is a characterful analogue monosynth with modular DNA

The vintage-looking instrument is the British synth-maker’s first product.

PWM, a new British synth-maker, made its debut at this year’s Superbooth with Malevolent, an analogue synth encouraging modular-style play.

Malevolent is an analogue monosynth with two VCOs, two envelopes, an LFO and a multi-mode 2-pole VCF. Its analogue signal path was designed by Bristolian module-makers Future Sound Systems.

Modular-style patching is Malevolent’s USP, so you’ll find plenty of knobs but no switches here (well, besides the one for power). This approach manifests in a smattering of ‘normalised’ patch points located in the upper section of the synth – which you are encouraged to route to external modules. There are 19 inputs and 19 outputs in total, and you get five patch cables to get started creating.

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Going into more detail, the VCOs are based on a 4046 core and offer sawtooth, triangle and pulse waveforms. PWM says it put effort into ensuring the waveshaping behaves “non-uniformly across the pitch spectrum” for more characterful sounds before the filter stage.

The VCF is controlled by an opto-FET and was designed to produce interesting interactions with the oscillators. PWM says to “expect sub-harmonic locking, easy self-oscillation and even phasing when using multiple state inputs from a single source.”

Meanwhile, there’s a 32-note keyboard with velocity sensitivity, an onboard arpeggiator, vibrato effect and a multi-function joystick for pitch bends, portamento and more.

Malevolent is bus-powered via USB-C and also has an input and output for MIDI routing. The internal clock automatically syncs to either CV/gate or MIDI.

For a better idea of what Malevolent is capable of, check out the demo below:

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PWM is led by Paul Whittington, formerly of Evolution Electronics, M-Audio, Avid, Focusrite and Novation.

Malevolent is priced at £500/€580 and is available for pre-order now. No word yet on when it ships, however.

Learn more at 1pwm.com

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