Tag Archives: modularsynth

Analogue Zone @ Superbooth '17

Each year has two crucial moments. One is of course the Winter NAMM show, but nobody would forget spring’s Superbooth either. As every year, Analogue Zone will be live and direct from Berlin.

We collected the expected highlights of this year’s Superbooth, but obviously, there will be more to come. This is just an appetizer, you may want to come back for daily updates to Analogue Zone’s Youtube channel!

xaoc-superbooth-17XAOC Devices is teasing us with new modules: an upgrade with their Tirana microsequencer plus Warna utility module, a dual version of their Sewastopol, a bit modifier, a logic-waveshaper-comparator-sampl-and-hold combo and their Praga stereo mixer may finally see the light of the day too.

Mr. Rossum might finalise the phase modulation sampler the Assimil8or very soon! Their modulation wonder, the Control Forge is already available!

Analogue Zone will be covering this year's Superbooth too!
Analogue Zone will be covering this year’s Superbooth too!

After their quantizer array at NAMM, WMD is showing the latest stage of their digital step sequencer.

Last but not least, Doepfer is also showing a few new concepts, including a new gate module, a signal connector, a micro keyboard, and a precision quad VCO, which has been long-awaited by A-100 users.

…and we have just scratched the surface. Subscribe to Analogue Zone’s Youtube– and Instagram channels for exclusive reports and live streams and stay tuned for more news!

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!

NAMM 2017 series - Live Q&A with eurorack makers & Richard Devine

The Analogue Zone is right there at NAMM 2017, live and direct every day! They are organising a live stream starting in a few hours with eurorack makers and the one and only Richard Devine.

Analogue Zone encourages every one of their customers or viewers to send them their questions to be asked at a live q&a session from NAMM with eurorack makers Dan Green (4ms), Tony Rolando (Make Noise), William Matthewson (WMD) & Richard Devine!

Update: here is the archived stream in 2 parts:


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!

Analogue Zone@NAMM '17

As every year, members of the Analogue Zone team packed up and have arrived to California to bring you the latest and best from NAMM. As it has already happened with Make Noise – 0-Coast, there might be some game changer synth news that you will hear from them first.

Make Noise has said they were coming up with a new module (rumoured to be a new digital collab module with Soundhack), Intellijel has promised 5 new modules both in the 1U tile and the standard 3U height eurorack category, and Noise Engineering has also something new to show. As Make Noise surprised us with the 0-Coast, plenty of eurorack manufacturers may follow their lead!

2016 has ended up with some nice melodies for eurorack (Tiptop Audio – QuantiZer & 2HP – Tune) – WMD is about to enter the quantizer game (of some sort) with their new Arpitecht module.

A1508_HRDoepfer is alive and kicking, coming up with new thru-zero VCO’s and an octal manual/CV controlled sequential switch! (It would not be an exaggaration to say that their A-150-sequential switch modules have always been on eof  their best-selling units).

Subscribe to Analogue Zone’s Youtube and Instagram channels for the latest news!

 

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!

      Two modular systems will accompany a SF novel in Budapest

      On the 4th of December a new tradition might be established. Two Hungarian modular synth composers & performers will be accompanying a classic science-fiction novel for 6.5 hours live.

      stanislav-coverThe idea for the project StanisłAV that came from composers Bálint Baráth and András Hargitai (Banyek) is that just like in the case of silent movies, some background music, timbres and atmospheres would be provided while the novel (Staniław Lem‘s classic, the Invincible which tells the story of one high-tech space ship landing on a planet with a rescue team trying to understand what had happened to its identical brother and its crew) is projected onto a screen behind the instruments. However, all the sounds that are described in the novel will also be performed live. The textures of the visuals (created by Hungarian media artist David Mórász aka micro.D) will also be controlled real-time by the same modulation sources that control the audio.
      An incomplete list of euro gear that will play a key role in the performance:
      Join the event if you are in Budapest.
      Watch the video trailer or listen to the Soundcloud
      trailer
      .

      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.
       

       

      Analogue Zone x Electronic Beats Festival Budapest this weekend!

      This weekend is about Electronic Beats Festival Budapest, and Analogue Zone will be part of it. Workshops, live acts and discounts in their showroom.

      Telekom Electronic Beats Festival has brought a lot of artists to the Hungarian audience, however in recent years they have started organising individual events, workshops where people can learn and meet in between the big performances.
      easel-workshopLike last year’s “Zajszint Workshop” in Auróra, Analogue Zone – the analog modular synth and studio tool specialst store – is back once again at a more central venue showroom-foto(Akvárium Klub) with interactive workshops demonstrating the one and only Buchla Music Easel and 4ms Company’s QCD (Quad Clock Distributor), one of the most innovative clock modules in eurorack.
      They are closing the event with a polyrhthmic techno live act (view more details at the facebook event)
      BTW, Analogue Zone is offering a 5% discount on select products to everyone with a valid festival ticket / wristband who visits and shops in their showroom during the festival! Let’s meet there too!