To sync my studio computer with my Eurorack modular set up I use an Innerclock Sync-Gen IILS. It’s a beautiful and amazingly built module but by no means is it inexpensive. Expert Sleepers also has a group of modules and software you can use. This week Mutable Instruments released CVpal. It is a CV to MIDI module kit (you have to build it yourself) for 40 Euros. I bought one to get my Macbook Pro in sync with a second “spare” row of modules I have. I am really excited to see how inexpensive this is. If you add 11 Euros to your order you they will send you a small plexiglass case for the module making it self contained. Once I have it put together I will report back here to let you know how well it works.
“The CVpal features a large palette of control modes – monophonic with velocity and extra square oscillator, monophonic with clock outputs, duophonic, dual monophonic, or even quad trigger conversion! Its 12-bit DAC with an 8-point software calibration curve makes it more accurate than more expensive products. A simple stand-alone case is also available for the CVpal – making it useful outside of the modular – with a stompbox or a desktop analog synth for example.” – mutable-instruments.net
For more info: mutable-instruments.net/modules/cvpal
Hexinverter has released his companion module to Jupiter Storm called Galilean Moons. It’s a dual EG and VCA with some tricks up it’s sleeve. It’s intended to create percussive sounds. Galilean Moons is 18HP, uses -65mA, is 30mm deep and costs $299.
“Galilean Moons is a dual amplitude transmutator. It transmutates the amplitude of incoming signals through the use of voltage controlled envelopes and VCAs. It is designed primarily to create voltage controlled percussive sounds when fed with a sound source (in particular, its sister module, Jupiter Storm), but can be used for all sorts of other tasks in your modular system as well as to generate typical synth sounds.” – hexinverter.net
For more info: hexinverter.net/galilean-moons
I was really happy to be able to get one of the first Intellijel Metropolis sequencers. I set up last night and got it working in my own way. In the video you can see I have it synced to Ableton Live and my Roland TR-707. The sound source is a Wiard Oscillator running through a Analogue Solutions aka Medic Modules Defibrillator which is a filter but also adds some wicked heft to any source. By changing the Pulse Count on the Metropolis you can get some amazing creative patterns. Changing the Gate Mode then emphasizes notes even further by holding the Pulse Count either in a solid unbreaking sound or repeating pulse. You can see me mess with those parameters in the video. Finally I control the entire sequence’s pitch using a Flame Tame Machine Quantizer’s CV out. There are many other features this thing has I didn’t touch here including clock division, internal quantization, shuffle, stage skipping, presets and more. The Metropolis a really nice. It’s a true Moroder/EBM machine.
“We worked out an agreement with Ryk earlier this year to create an the only official Eurorack adaptation of his brilliant sequencer design. It has taken many months to procure all the special parts and the design has already gone through several hardware revisions.” – intellijel.com
For more info: intellijel.com
I love the videos Trash_Audio posts of their synth road trips. I like the clip next clip editing style and they always look like they are having a ton of fun.
“Some synth spotting: Richard Devine’s Star Destroyer eurorack modular, EMS SYNTHI, NIN’s Alessandro Cortini’s DSI Prophet-12, Madrona Labs SoundPlane, KORG MS20 Mini, Octatrack, Buchla Music Easel & More.” – Matrixsynth
For more info: trashaudio.com
Here is more madness from Gieskes. You could say the Voicerec1b is sort of a toy Phonogene? Ok well maybe not but someone out there is collecting all of Gieskes work for what will be an interesting live performance I am certain.
“On the start of a recording there is a beep sound.” – gieskes.nl
For more info: gieskes.nl/eurorack/?file=voice-rec-1
I really liked Arturia’s Minibrute a lot. I think it has a unique character. The new Microbrute is even more compelling. It’s smaller so it will fit on my desk and easier to take around. It has an interesting Mod Matrix that allows some Eurorack connection goodness. It has a cool sequencer that’s syncable with my Eurorack stuff. The price is great: $300.
“Packed with mixable waveforms, a new sub oscillator design, the famous Steiner-Parker multimode filter, super fast envelope, syncable LFO and the new step sequencer, not to mention the patchable mod matrix the MicroBrute is a landmark new synth at an incredible price.” – Arturia.com
For more info: arturia.com/evolution/en/products/microbrute
I’ve been diving deeper and deeper into my modular learning how to use the modules with each other. Daren from Control helped me with the patch above. With this patch I have an 8 step sequencer with two rows running. The first row is controlling the pitch of an oscillator and the second a filter cut off and resonance. You will need to use some multiples or Tiptop stackables to make this work. Holding a touch key on the Pressure Points holds the sequences on that step. Adjusting the ADSR’s release really effects the sound. Try adding a sine wave LFO into the ADSR’s Sustain CV control (if your ADSR has one) for some random spikes in the filter opening. Instead of clocking the Pressure Points with a straight clock use something like a uStep and send a few steps a break and then a few more steps for interesting patterns. Lastly try a VCA on the third Pressure Points row for volume control of each step. Enjoy!
“Pressure Points is a controller module, an analog sequencer that is played by hand. Touching the gold plated copper wires (aka Touch Plates), you become part of the circuit, generating a gate signal (Gate OUT), a control signal proportional to the amount of pressure applied (Press OUT) and the 3 Tuned Voltages for the activated Stage.” – Make Noise
For more info: makenoisemusic.com/pressurepoints
So you don’t own a modular but you want to play with one? Check out a web based modular called TrueGrid. Pretty cool huh?
EDIT: Some people let me know this only works in Google Chrome.
“TrueGrid is a fully functional modular web synthesizer which let’s you create, listen and share modular synth patches.” – modulargrid.net
Play now: modulargrid.net/racks/synth
Like many other electronic musicians lately I have been obsessed with my Eurorack modular. A few modules I own really stand out. Three of my favorites are from a company called Synthesis Technology. Synth-tech as people call them is Paul T. Schreiber. If you look at his resume you will see he is an experienced audio engineer. You can hear his expertise in his modules. Enjoy a one hour Wire to the Ear interview with Paul as we discuss Chris Randall, MOTM, an $18,000 home stereo, the end of Blackberry, Tandy Radio Shack, the power of digital, patents and stealing designs, Eurorack power issues, the upcoming E370 Quad Morphing VCO/E371, E102 Digital CV Processor/Quad Temporal Shifter and what would Paul eat as his death row meal.
“So a lot of people grew up drooling in music stores. I drooled in the stereo store and I wanted to have this stereo system that cost $18,000. So I told my wife…” – Paul T Schreiber
For more info: synthtech.com facebook.com/ptschreiber, ctrl-mod.com/synthtech and analoguehaven.com/synthesistechnology
A few months ago the Intellijel Plog caught my attention. It’s a Logic module which I can’t actually explain but in very quick terms takes signals, changes them and outputs different signals/gates according to “logic” aka math. You can then use the outputs in interesting ways. The complexity of the module scared me a little so I moved on. The Abstract Data ADE-31 Logic Boss is another Logic type of module. Its creator Justin Owen from London emailed me yesterday and we have been chatting about the module. One thing I really like about the ADE-31 is it’s without any programming/preset buttons. It’s one I/O panel prime for simple experimentation. It’s modules like this that first really made me want to get into modulars. Watch the video above for more details. $225 available at Analogue Haven.
“Multi-stage, switchable logic and pattern-generation module combining utility and performance-oriented features. Up to 4 inputs and 12 simultaneous outputs in a unique cascading architecture with CV switching and linking between the 2 stages. Perform basic logic utility tasks, create complex patterns and create rhythmic variations via on-board or external CV control. LED status on all inputs and outputs for clear status indication. Power-supply protection. Shallow, skiff-friendly build.
Logic Types (Stage 1): NOR/OR, NAND/AND. Logic Types (Stage 2): NOR/OR, NAND/AND, XNOR/XOR. Inputs (Logic, CV, Audio): 4x AC/DC, Up to +/-10V Max. (3.5mm). Inputs (CV): 1x AC/DC, Up to +/-10V Max. (3.5mm). Outputs (Logic): 12x DC Logic +10V (3.5mm)” – abstractdata.biz
For more info: abstractdata.biz/ade31