Ring Modulator/Frequency Shifter One of the FwS Series of analog effects made in England by DACS, FREQue (pronounced “freak”) is a dual ring modulator and frequency shifter, with two built-in oscillators, priced at $1,295. The two ring modulators can be used separately, each with its own oscillator and set of music program tone controls called Weight and Edge.
Two rings are useful for modulating the same mono source and panning the two processed outputs left and right. You can also route the second modulator’s oscillator to frequency modulate (FM) the first oscillator. This produces a more complex and quirky effect that’s especially wacky on percussion instruments. Perhaps one of the unit’s most useful processes is frequency shifting. When the FREQue button is engaged, the two ring modulators’ outputs become frequency shifter outputs: The first ring shifts up, and the second ring modulator shifts down. The amount of shift is determined by the frequency of the oscillator, which ranges from 0.2 to 16k Hz. This is not like using a Harmonizer: You can shift all the frequencies of a kick drum down to the subsonic, where only elephants, whales and submarines will hear it.
Some of this unit’s other effects that I recommend are: auto panning and intense tremolos, FM generation of complex waveforms, modification of harmonic structures and filter-type sweeps that I use to trick up boring synth pads. I liked the unit’s FREQue mode for frequency shifting the pitch of live percussion instrument recordings. And as a ring modulator, the FREQue is the best, cleanest and most versatile I have used, with less leakage of the modulator signal at the output.
DACS, distributed by Independent Audio: 207/773-2424; www.independentaudio.com.