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Intellijel Designs Inc is a Canadian company that develops and manufactures electronic music devices and specializes in modular synthesis products in Eurorack format.

The Intellijel brand was founded in Vancouver thanks to the efforts of Danjel van Tijn. He had a deep passion for analog synthesis modules and together with other people who were interested van Tijn created his own business. And since analog synthesizers at that time were as popular again as they ever been the first manufactured and released series of 50 modules was sold out within a few weeks. David Dixon is the chief developer of the company.

Dixie series of oscillators happened to be quite popular. The first 4HP model featured a powerful VCO and LFO. The oscillator could generate 6 waveforms: triangle, sine, sawtooth, pulse, square, and a unique shape of zigzag. Tracking accuracy is 0.1% within 8 octaves. Dixie Ctrl released in 2012 was an additional control module for Eurorack format synthesizer systems. Dixie II oscillator module (2012) featured high accuracy and classic VCO and LFO (this time - 6HP), as well as a large number of simultaneous waveforms. However, despite its great potential the module was characterized by convenient small dimensions. Dixie II + released in 2015 appeared as an extended version of Dixie II model which was perfectly compatible with other modules and became the irreplaceable partner of Rubicon oscillator.

Rubicon, the module with analog VCO, was released in 2012 and according to the tradition of the brand it is compatible with synthesizers in Eurorack format. Rubicon had FM synthesis capabilities based on the famous DX7 synthesizer by the famous Japanese brand Yamaha. Rubicon resulted from David Dickson's yearly experiments with printed circuit boards - he once began work on the introduction of the newest approach - TZFM - thru-zero frequency modulation. Thus Rubicon is represented by a switchable linear as well as an exponential TZFM for the first time used in a modular synthesizer. Among features it’s worth to list 12 waveforms, symmetry control, soft and hard synchronization, pulse-width modulation and exponential FM with assigned attenuators.

The unique and funny vector mixer module and Planar panner (2012) allowed only with the help of several audio and CV sources many manipulations (CV joystick can be used to modify signals processed by VCA). This made it possible to quickly achieve complex sounds which can be easily controlled and altered. The CV input will seem very useful when coordinated with the CV recorder: for example, you can record the modulation of the X and Y outputs, turn off the joystick and play the modulation into X and Y inputs - this will reveal the benefits of the quad pan function.

The Quadra-module of the 4-channel envelope generator (2012) includes four parallel envelope generators. The Quadra function has 3 modes: AD (Attack, Decay), ASR (Attack, Sustain, Release) - in some sources referred to as AHR with a middle link "Hold" - and Cycle (loop the envelope). An additional Eurorack control module Quadra Expander 2012 included VC Attack and Decay, Quadrature modes, EOC outputs and analog OR circuits.

Intellijel Atlantis released in 2013 was the module inspired by the architecture of Roland SH-101 which became the favorite synthesizer of Intellijel for providing an example of how a rather ascetic structure could produce such an impressive variety of sounds. Atlantis uses oscillators like the VCOs Dixie used to incorporate. The instrument has a switch labeled "Link" which allowed VCO pitch to act as the offset of the primary VCO. The filter section included filters in the style of the cascaded 12 dB multimode Roland with LP (including the LP Boost function for more saturated tones that do not sink in resonance as opposed to the original filter in SH-101), BP and HP modes. Between Mod VCO, Primary VCO, a subwoofer and a resonant filter, you can simultaneously apply up to 4 different pitches. The global modulation bus offers 4 VCO waveforms, noise and sample&hold. The VCA output offers a two-stage clipping scheme.

The creators of the Korgasmatron filter (2013) were inspired by Korg MS20 model with a dual multimode filter and a unique resonance adjust. Filters can work either in series or in parallel. Dixon created a completely new scheme based on ssm2164 VCA chips. This design is able to imitate Korg but in some ways it’s even more variable. So despite the name it's not a copy – it’s a self-sufficient creation. Korgasmatron II model increased the capabilities of the previous version by including 6-mode filters and an expander for CV control. Korgasmatron II Expander came out with the advanced capabilities of Korgasmatron II including inputs for each filter and VC resonance.

Cylonix series (2013) included Cylonix Shapeshifter (a module featuring two wavetable oscillators for Eurorack modular synthesizers). Cylonix Rainmaker (Eurorack format module for high quality stereo); Cylonix Cyclebox II (VCO complex); Cyclebox Expander (improved Cyclebox II with smaller dimensions). Cylonix Shapeshifter is based on FPGA board maximizing its capabilities. Each VCO allows you to choose from 128 banks of wavetables (and each has 8 individual waveforms “built” from 512 samples). Oscillator 1 can operate in chord mode which activates 8 copies of the oscillator simultaneously offering a detuning function. In addition there are 8 synchronization modes with the possibility of internal subwoofer synchronization.

Mutamix by the brand is a 6-channel CV/audio mixer. The instrument has fully digital control. The X-Mode function made it possible, thanks to the voltage passing through 6 channels, to consider the instrument an outstanding sequencer.

Step sequencer and module for Eurorack systems – Metropolis - was also released in 2013. The developers were inspired by the model RYK M-185 (Roland System 100m sequencer). Metropolis has many extra improvements and features. The instrument included 8 “stages", each with its own assigned gate mode, pulse count and pitch value. Each of them can also activate the slide function (similar to the portamento function in TB-303) or skip. Sequencer settings are “tweaked” and adjusted with sliders and switches, there is also a full control menu and auxiliary modifiers allowing the musician to work in different modes. The sequencer has 10 modes and among other features there are: quantization in any key (with a choice of 30 scales), a master clock with BPM control or a detector (when it comes to an external clock), a built-in clock divider that can also be used to synchronize the stages and two assignable AUX inputs.
We should also mention some special micromodules: μAtt, μMod, μFade, μVCA, HexVCA, μStep, Plog and Flip flop. These modules are not considered standalone because they rely on the potential of other modules of the system.

Recently Canadian companies have begun to play a significant role in the revival of modular synthesizers. So the legionaries on the music market at the moment are two quite popular manufacturers: Modcan - the first company which reintroduces modular synthesizers to the MIDI equipment market and, of course, already familiar to us Intellijel. The Vancouver brand is now one of the fastest growing and respected companies producing their own line of modules.