Category Archives: Modul ismertető

Superbooth '17 Highlights

Superbooth was busy, as always. Here are some subjective impressions. Disclaimer: This is a list based on our personal opinion. As always, no one has the ultimate knowledge when it comes to art, it only matters to us what made us really happy: each to their own.

Doepfer is carrying on what they had always been good at – it might be a bit slower, though they are pushing out interfaces and modules which offer almost the same functionality for an affordable price. Let it be a keyboard or quad VCO, they are and will be here to stay.

Soundwise though, two highlights can be mentioned – one would be the new/old Nanozwerg Pro from MFB reborn in eurorack format for a ridiculously good price. Another one is the Fold Processor from Tiptop. We could speculate that after Random Source stole the show with their Serge reincarnations, Tiptop decided to put their Serge module concepts aside and develop their own, with the best controls with intuitive feel featuring the sound that are completely taking a modulation concept to the next level. We have no complaints about the Digitakt from Elektron either. Check
out this audio demo
to see if you agree with us.


Interface-wise, let’s begin with the Soundmachines – Arches – one of our customers told us a few years ago that how mad it would be to have a full keyboard full of LS-1 Lightstrips… fast forward to 2017 and he is not alone with his idea any more. The Arches is to be out in September.

Erica Synths also showed us how anti-futurism can be beaten by retro-futurism. A versatile drum sequencer with computer keyboards – its price is yet to be confirmed.

Other fun ideas worth mentioning – click on the links for the videos:

  • High-end audio solutions are not hard to find in eurorack any more – ARREL Audio modules speak for themselves.
  • Expert Sleepers shared some details with us about the Disting MK4 firmware plus introduced us a new module.
  • Eloquencer – a really thought-out sequencer in the pathway of the Malekko Varigate…
  • XOR Electronics is teasing us with a tracker-based sequencer
  • XAOC Devices upgraded some of their modules and their Praga stereo mixer module is soon out for real!
  • 4ms is expanding their line of digital multitimbral modules. The story is unfolding.
See more at Analogue Zone’s Youtube & Instagram channels!

A novel and affordable MIDI to clock design - Erica Synths - Midi to Clock V2 is here

In the beginning it was dark… I was using an MSY2 from Doepfer to sync my QCD with my Electribe MIDI sequencer which is in charge of controlling my Vermona DRM1. Now I could replace it with something monstrous from Erica Synths. The new version of the MIDI to Clock module is out now!
midiclk
Erica Synths – Midi to Clock V2

I used to set the divisions of the MIDI clock with DIP switches on the Doepfer MSY2 which are cost-effective, yet it needs no proof to see that those were not designed for daily use and are obviously less durable. But now the MIDI to Clock deals with that on the front panel with enough immediate divisions at hand. Setting different divisions is no big deal with deeper MIDI-CV interfaces  like Yarns from Mutable or the Shuttle Control from Endoprhines. However this new module has an ultimate winning point: it has both MIDI in and out mode.

What does this mean? You are able to control your MIDI device with clocks coming from anywhere in your modular system (LFO’s, clock modules, stepped random voltage generators, etc.). Forget “setting up and playing”, say hello to “setting up while playing”. Want async or div/mult changes based on your Midi devices or analog clocks (which are more easily bouncing and with a little modulation can have more life which is hard to emulate digitally) at any time with ease? There we have it for a really good price and with great ease: as the module can be switched to “MIDI out mode”! How amazing would it be to send some “analog storms” towards your previously calm and straightforward MIDI-devices?

It is also worth mentioning that the module is very slim (can be housed in skiff cases!), and ivery low current (25mA altogether on the +12V rail).

The built-in Start/Stop function is also available in both modes (It used to be pretty frustrating that with plenty of modules you just had a clock signal which stayed there forever.).
So it is no doubt that it was worth waiting for a gamechanger in live performance and studio routing!

Intellijel - Shapeshifter Gets New Firmware

The Intellijel designs – Shapeshifter has received its new firmware recently. Here is what we can highlight for you.
 
  • Intellijel designs - Cylonix Shapeshifter - a living legend among wavetable euroack oscillators
    Intellijel designs – Cylonix Shapeshifter – a living legend among wavetable euroack oscillators

    Everyone has liked the CHORD mode, in which the type can now be voltage controlled.

  • As more and more wavetable modules are equipped with wavebank selection or wavesurfing as it is called on the Erica Synths – Black Wavetable VCO module, it was time to get it done here as well.
  • The Shapeshifter has always been a complex synth module, which offered you to save your audio paintings: now the preset memory has 100 slots already!
 
The complete updates can be read here.

Drawing Tools for Your Modular Synthesizer

The entry-level question: “What other modules should I get?” The entry-level answer “more VCA’s”. Now here are other cool tools that would basically put any modular synth setup towards a further evolutionary step.
Erica Synths – Black Xfade
black-xfadeHardly any modules can be found for crossfading – yes, you can crossfade between two seperate VCA’s – yes you can do it with any modulation signal and its inverted pair. But come on, it can be much easier with a dedicated module which can even keep the signal at a constant gain! Erica Synths have always been loved for these quirks (e.g. the emphasis de-emphasis circuit on the Black Quad VCA). The audio on the Black Xfade is high-quality and any “weird” or chaotic waveform can be tamed to be less clicky and more controlled.
More tips (approved and recommended by the manufacturer):
  • use it as a waveshaper with original vs. boosted signal.
  • you can also crossfade between two clock or any CV signals.
4ms Company – Shifting Inverting Signal Mingler (SISM)
4ms Company - SISM
4ms Company – SISM

It is hard to begin to talk about this module, because you have to mention at least 4 different terms. Any signal can be turned inside out – boosted up, cut into (two) half(-ves), mixed, “mirrored” .

Apart from that, the MIX SWitch (jack outputs sum of all channels with nothing plugged into their output jack),
For DIY’ers: you can find a PAD breakout header (2×4) on the PCB which can be connected to an external DIY module that enables a pre-set pad (attenuation) on each channel. Any modulation signal of yours can receive its passport to new territories in new and simultaneous forms with this module!
Other good tools people seem to forget about…
You might want to remain simplistic or regard polarizing as an enhancer of the modulation section of your system. A tool that “shifts” and turns signals “inside out”…
Yet, do not forget: polarized audio signal + feedback = new filter curves!
Mutable Instruments: Veils (a quad VCA), Blinds and of course Kinks!
Intellijel: Triatt (a classic one – a more thought-out and feature rich reincarnation of the Doepfer A-138c Polarizing Mixer)
ssf-gndSteady State Fate – GND Cntrl: some users crave visual feedback and precision. I much more prefer numeral feedback than staring at visuals on a small screen. Each to its own… The SSF Gnd Cntrl matches and attenuates / divides audio and CV signals to minute hyper-precision ranges. Ideal for live or studio!
AWM-3 – VC mixer and wavefolder

And finally, something new: these tools are getting more and more varied each year: a new module is the AWM-3 from Vintage Synth Lab. It is an all analog, real-time, complex wave-shaping (triple wave-folder) 3-channel mixer module with added features of compression and multiple mix modes including matrix mixes.

Buchla Introduces the Aux Expander

What a pleasant surprise! Buchla has introduced a wonderful and handy expander for the Easel – in the same cartridge-type fashion as the iProgram Card.

Buchla - Music Easel Aux ExpanderThe card adds a third(!) oscillator to the already complex (carrier & modulator based) oscillator of the Easel. It also unleashes voltage control over the waveshape paramter which had not been CV controlled in the original setup. The low-frequency noise generator also adds more to the modulation palette of the Easel, and you can also control switch settings! It is a very handy  tool that is well-integrated, and it will surely grow on every user.

NAMM 2017 - Day 0

Analogue Zone is live and direct at NAMM, bringing us the latest and greatest at breakneck speed! Here is Day 0 with lots of eurorack news  – yes, literally during the show was still being built.
4ms Company came up with the latest and we guess the almost final version of a sampler with enough ease of use, memory and depth – a great and easy to use sampler that is in harmony with their earlier dual modules that you can get crazy with using their ground-breaking clock modules that made them famous… The new Tapographic Delay could be called a good contestant of the Rainmaker with less width. the price will be in the range of the SMR.

 Qu-Bit Electronix gives us the the Tone – a quad voltage control 24dB lowpass-bandpass filter – probably designed for the fantastically sounding Chord, and the Chance module, a Swiss Army knife of random signals including random rhythmic patterns. The Contour – a more modern take on the quad ADSR concept (coined in first by Doepfer) – shipping next week! Their Mixology has been updated with send-return, size-increase(!) thank god!) plenty of gain, and so on…

Pittsburgh Modular has updated their Lifeforms series with filters (a vactrolesque filter with unstable mode), adsr, mixers with new routings, oscillators …and and yes.. an in-rack mixer 🙂 Also, they have a new line of cases – with enough power till the next century.

WMD came up with a prototype trigger sequencer (an A-157 on steroids in short) Arpitecht, a beautiful quantizer concept.  Also (dj and live) performance oriented tools are a compressor, a filter with stereo width effect have been seen in their rack this year!

Steven Hansleigh from 2hp introduced yet again(!) a few new 2HP modules, including known concepts such as the tiniest Turing Machine, a multiple Clock source module or sample-and-holds which are new in this size. Each user will find at least one cool module to fill up the remaining 2HP space of their racks.
Endorphines were busy with updating their Shuttle Control, and their Grand Terminal is also ready for shipping. The Cockpit which we have seen last year is also an amazing routing and compression mixer tool!

Subscribe to Analogue Zone’s Youtube and Instagram channels for more daily updates!

The Power of Passive

Let’s start 2017 even if we don’t have any busses or mA’s left in our eurorack modular system. Not mention cash… You may already know that passive circuits are more fun than just simple multiples or attenuators.

You must have been in the following situations (so have I):

      • Running out of busses / power in your eurorack system
      • Having a few HP’s of space left, yet you did not know what to do
      • None of the above, but still not having a single passive module in your system (except multiples maybe)

      So I thought to inspire you with some ready-made modules/concepts that are entirely passive and readily available for you…

      1) OR-combination


      or
      doepfer-orcombine-or-15If you have a signal (audio or CV) and another signal
      the output will only show an “on-off” state IF only ONE of the input signals are present.  Anyway, if you got lost somehwere, I can tell you that OR-combination is Ideal for rhythmic variations or audio mangling (that is, cutting the “upper” wave of your audio signal – so-called half-wave rectification). Most OR-combiners  are usually 1 to 3 or 1 to 6 (or 7) setups… Except for Synthrotek’s massive Combine OR which offers you enough OR-combination channels…  (8 times 4) for a while. I have an Intellijel OR in my case but the Doepfer one is pretty cool too.

       

      2) Multiples with switches (or any manual switch basically)

       

      Modulserie A 100; Doepfer Musikelektronik GmbH Firmensitz Graefelfing Amtsgericht München im Handelsregister HRB 97 399 Geschaeftsfuehrer Sibille Heller, Dieter Doepfer USt ID-Nr. DE129329318 Website www.doepfer.de

      My all-time favourite multiple module is the switched one from good ol’ Doepfer. Isn’t it wonderful that you can switch off any multiplication or switch to another channel. Wish someone made a monster version of it with 4-stage toggle switches and more interesting routing! Let your hands become the sequential switch!

      addac301c-500x500Check out ADDAC’s Sustain Pedal Switcher too: it is a tool which accepts sustain pedals’ signals to switch between your audio/CV signal inputs! 

       
      3) Attenuators

      You can never have enough of them (also, you can never have enough mixers and VCA’s). Once you had enough of the barbaric signal levels, you will realise that less is more. What is more, less sounds better. Attenuation is essential to fine-tune any patch. Even Aaron Funk said so. And now I say so, and a lot of people would. Of course you could always find fun to invert and offset input signals too, but hey, that would not passive any more, so I won’t include all those lovely utility modules here…

      pico_atten_1 2hp-trim quad-atten a-183-1Doepfer A-183-1 – dual attenuation on two seperate channels. It won’t get any simpler  than this.
      SSF-WMD – Quad Atten – if two channels were
      not enough
      2HP Trim – Currently the world’s smallest attenuator
      Erica Synths – Pico Attenuator – currently the world’s 2nd smallest attenuator

       

      Finally, a few things I left out deliberately: I could have included ring modulators, but I prefer them buffered hence powered to for more massive sound), passive filters (go check the Bastl one!), too and tons of more DIY euro projects (attenuators, vactrols – also, lovely audio stuff happens too even when you just obstruct any signal with a simple LED!), yet I decided to go for ready-made and available products.

      I hope you will have some passive fun!

      4ms SMR firmware upgrade: Chords & More Scales

      Everyone’s favourite clock and utility module makers, recently turned sound-processing eurorack manufacturer 4ms Company is about to release the V5 firmware update on their Spectral Multiband Resonator module.

      smr-v5firmware

      • The module can be used as a 6 voice sequencer
      • A chord generator (nice move since the recent release of Qu-bit’s Chord module)
      • and can also be used as a “VCO controller” acquring a well-adjusted V/octave control for your (up to six) oscillators
      • Also, you can check out the latest scales that have become available in SMR (as you know it is not only a dynamic bandpass filter, it has always been able to generate scales in self-oscillation since the beginning):

      smr-scales

       

       

       

       

       

       

      We are thankful for this update and cannot wait to try it out! Read our earlier post on our favourite 4ms modules / concepts! Stay tuned for the update on this page!

      The esoteric percussion module has just got better

      Folktek Matter is an intriguing eurorack module, more like a work of art, less like an instrument. Once you solve the basic “mysteries”, you will be able to get the best out of it though. Now, even the cartridges are available which unleash the different play modes.
       
      folktek-matter-patchedIn essence, the Folktek’s  Matter could be broken down into a glitchy percussion sound generator, however, if you take percussion and generation in the broad sense, not to mention that these parameters can be heavily modulated, you can get really far with it. A traditional way of generating sounds is not really featured, like on a more precise drum module for more conventional electronic music. It’s all these clicky and “bug-like” and micro-visceral percussion sounds you loved leftfield electronic music for. 20 different basic sounds, 40 CV ins to mess them up! It would take an insane number of sound generators, VCA’s and modulation sources to obtain this palette.
       
      Listen to this:
       

       
       The new set of plugins and cards (actually this is just set #1, more to come!) can underline and pre-program a specific set of functionalities: resonant lowpass filtering? drone oscillations? a touch interface that interrupts parameters and can act as an audio interface? A DIY plate where you can pre-solder new routings? These are all there in the package for you. A lot of users have been waiting for this moment of ease, as they had challenges of working with the mini wires provided for the mini-patchbay.
       

       

      Some positive feedback... The DSI Feedback eurorack module is out!

      Tuned feedback has always been a desired and fun feature in eurorack, which has been recently explored by only a handful of manufacturers: only in recent times we see new filters with more defined, controllable and unleashed resonance (WMD – Aperture, Rossum – Evolution) and now Dave Smith Instruments has become the latest addition to this league with their Feedback module.

      DSM-03 - Feedback ModuleThe module and the concept is nothing new, however the manufacturer is aiming at people who cannot (or would not like to) afford the more pricey DSI synths, so it is another cost-effective extract from their already succesful system.

      Analogue Zone shoot this video at Superbooth 16, and they had a bit  of fun with the module afterwards, which sounded clean with controls in the meaningful and musical range. Get ready for adding a new resonance-stage to your favourite sound-processing modules, filters, and so on!