I would dare to say the only thing electronic drum wise out there better than a real Roland TR-808 is the Tiptop Audio Eurorack drum modules. The reason I say that is each module actually gets the sound right but is also controllable in a creative modular environment. It’s not just the sound they get correct. It’s also the pressure or chest feel. Tiptop gets it right. The fact that you can then take these sounds a throw them into Euclidean sequencers, Echophons, Plague Bearer’s etc is just fantastic. They just released the MA808 which emulates the TR-808s Maracas. $99 USD.
“The MA808 is Roland’s TR-808 Maracas sound generator adapted for modular
synthesizer use.” – tiptopaudio.com
TipTop Audio has released another in their line of Roland TR-808 modules for the Eurorack system. I own all of them so far and they are all stellar. I believe I read Gur used to repair or clone real 808s so he really knows what he is doing. This time the Rimshot and Clav are covered in the new RS808 module. The sound is right and besides the flexibility of being in the modular environment the module has slightly more variation than the original.
“The RS808 is the TR-808’s analog Rimshot and Clavs sound generator in Eurorack format. It’s a low-cost module that brings back that classic sound, but with even more variation and control, continuing to expand your Tiptop Audio modular drum machine. The RS808 comes with two switches that give a total of 4 different positions: two are the classic Rimshot and Clavs sounds as found on the original, and two are unique to the RS808 module adding a range of snappy “click” sounds the circuit is capable of producing. Two control knobs were added, each have different effect for the selected sound. In general, these controls can be categorized as Pitch and Snap as they control the frequency of the oscillator and decay of the envelope generator. The RS808 is an exact reproduction of the original circuit which sounds like a fresh machine coming off the assembly line back in the 80’s.” – tiptopaudio.com
Tiptop Audio continues its quest to recreate the Roland TR-808 and TR-909 in Eurorack format. Toms909 is the latest addition to this amazing range. I have most of the drum modules already and they are spot on plus more. So if your ready to get your Jeff Mills on these are available now for $400 USD.
“The toms909 contains all three of the tr-909’s original low, mid and high tom-tom circuits adapted for use in the eurorack modular synthesizer format. the module was tested to sound like a fresh machine coming off the assembly line back in the 80’s. to add flavor to the beast we have extended each tom’s tuning range so it’s easier to dial soft bass drums on the lower ends and high pitched toms on the other. in addtion to that all three toms are voltage controlled, letting you play the tom’s pitch with cv sequencers…” – tiptopaudio.com
The Trigger Riot is one of three new sequencers from Gur at Tiptop Audio. If you read this blog you know I am really enjoying the TTA drum modules. Very simply you hook some modules to the Riot and as you change knob positions you get different patterns of all sorts. I’ll be getting this one for sure.
“From a conceptual view, the Trigger Riot generates 16 clock streams consisting of multiple time manipulation functions (division, offsets, etc) that interact to create the trigger output, and direct access to each parameter via individual knobs allows for quick manipulation. The 8 outputs are the sum of those manipulated streams per row. The outputs of the module are arranged as either a 4×4 matrix, where each of the 16 knobs affects both row and column, or as a set of independent outputs for each row or column. This allows forming 8 complex musical interactions in a ‘Matrix’ mode or 8 independent streams in ‘Independent’ mode and is switchable from one to the other on press of a button for some unexpected results. Since each of the 16 knobs represents a real time tweakable trigger generator/modifier the Trigger Riot is extremely playable and can result very complex patterns with only few knob turns; patterns that would otherwise take much longer and in some instances be almost impossible to produce using grid based step sequencing. Patterns can have unique time signatures that can repeat or be randomized through probability, time shifted and phased, divided, multiplied and counted, it’s unbelievable how complex this module can get with minimal input.” – Gur (Tiptop Audio)
For years nothing beat having a real Roland TR-909 or 808. Today I would say the Tiptop Audio modules are even better. Just listen to the Tiptop 909 high hats with some Synthesis Technology E355 LFO destroying them on and off. Such pleasure for someone like me.
The HATS909 is the TR-909’s original Closed and Open Hi-Hats circuits adapted for use in Eurorack modular synthesizer format and was tested to sound like a machine coming fresh off the assembly line back in the 80’s. Improving on the original, we have added some great new features that expand the sound palette of hats that can be produced with this small, powerful module. The original TR-909 circuit is made with a combination of low-fi 6-bit samples that pass through a series of analog elements to provide envelope and filtering to the source sound. The HATS909 module allows for manual and voltage control of the sample’s tuning, which provide anything from crushed hats and short ticks to the original sound and anything in between. A modulation with external control signals or for adding AM or FM synthesis in the audio range from external oscillators, other drum sounds, or just about any sound source. HATS909 also offers a switch for a direct tap to the output of the original sample, bypassing all other internal analog processing, giving you the pure source sound for synthesis any way you want with your own modules.” – ctrl-mod.com
My brother got me a Blue Lantern Asteroid BD for X-mas! Here’s two videos and a direct recording for you. It’s teamed up with some Tiptop Audio 808 modules and a Metasonix R-54. No other effects were used. Everything is being triggered by an Innerclock Sync-Gen IIls. I think they all sound fantastic!
“Introducing the new blue lantern modules analog drum kick. This design was sitting in my pc for over 2 years, and i am barely getting around to releasing it. Shame on me. This drum kick module can cover a good range of analog drum kick sounds. I included the essentials in bass drum control and sculpting. You can go from chi-town muddy drums to Detroit techno drums really easy. The key feature i included is that the decay will go long (almost infinite) when fully clockwise. there is a trimmer to adjust and fine tune the decay knob. I already calibrated for the best setting.” – Blue Lantern
Most people believe it’s very expensive to get into modular synthesis. The Eurorack format has really taken off and there are actually many affordable modules and as seen here even racks. There are also now Eurorack modules that are unique to the format. Modules like the new Make Noise Echophone and Flame Talking Synth just blow me away. Consider this option: Instead of getting the MF-104M Analog Delay for $680 grab a Tiptop Audio Happy Ending Kit ($149) and an Echophone ($399) for $550 and have something in my opinion more interesting and expandable.
“Tip Top Audio has now given people no excuse to dive into the modular world. At an incredible price tag of $149, a full 3U row of space and the best power the modular world has to offer – this is absolutely the cheapest way of getting a professional brand name rack.” – Trash Audio
Check out this fantastic case for modular synthesizer modules from Tiptop Audio. It’s all aluminum, comes in black or silver and fits in the overhead luggage compartment in any airplane. $1100 with power supply.
Nick Ciontea is living in Chicago, IL. Here he happily performs a sequence using some very nice modules. I like how the rack is a little too high for him as he twists dials. That, the beard and the sound make this a good Saturday synth video.
“all modular, beat repeat and reverb in ableton, tip top oscillators, harvestman, tiptop, makenoise filters/lpg, rene and z8000 sequencers” – Nick Ciontea