Laboratory Frequency Shifter

Manufacturer: MRB

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The Laboratory Frequency Shifter is a fun and useful module providing weird and wonderful effects. Not to be confused with a pitch shifter which preserves harmonic ratios, a frequency shifter shifts all frequency components by the same amount (which destroys the harmonic relationships). For example, a 200Hz sawtooth wave has frequency components (harmonics) at 200, 400, 600, 800…Hz. If it is pitch transposed up a fifth (3/2 ratio), the harmonics are now at 300, 600, 900, 1200…Hz -- ratios between the harmonics intact. However, if that same 200Hz sawtooth is shifted by 50Hz, the components are now at 250, 450, 650, 850…Hz -- ratios destroyed. This yields clangorous sounds reminiscent of ring mod effects and the sounds of single-sideband radio.

Shift is mainly controlled by the RANGE and SHIFT knobs. There is a built-in LFO (with its own output) which can make the shift amount waver from its setting. The shifter also has a built in delay loop with feedback. Repeating echoes through the delay experience frequency shift each time around making the sound continuously rise or fall. Shifting down, a drum sound with quick delay and feedback crashes into the ground -- a great effect. Everything is voltage controllable.


Jun 18, 20

The Frequency Shifter

The MRB Frequency Shifter is a remarkable tool for creating advanced musical instruments while at the same time being an incredible effect processing block to creating new and hybrid instruments. The possibilities are tremendous and the only limitation with this module is your imagination.