Tag: Touell Skouarn

Touell Skouarn – Interview and module announcement

Strakal Silisiom

Touell Skourn is an expert for distortion, fuzz and overdrive in eurorack – both with or without tubes. Now there is a new module announced the Strakal Silisiom. It features two different Fuzz circuits sharing the same controls and the possibility to morph between the two circuits (CV controlled). The all analog cicuits are built around russian nos silicon transistors. The 8hp module will be available at the end of September. Here are some sound examples:

Touell Skouarn Strakal Silisiom


TouellSkouarn was founded in 2010 in Plougastel-Daoulas, near Brest. All modules and stompboxes are named in Breton language (brezhoneg) and are made by hand using discrete high-quality components aimed to distort and scream louder than the ocean waves washing the cliffs on the coast of Brittany, France.

After Alex4 had taken part at SynthFest France, a cozy and engaged meet up all around electronic music spiced with workshops, demonstrations and concerts in the culturally rich city of Nantes back in 2019, Gael Loisson of TouellSkouarn invited one of their product specialists to visit him in his house in Brittany. This was a good opportunity for Tom to get to know Gael better and talk about all sorts of music related stuff. Getting in touch personally is still the best when it comes to build solid relations. Finally Gael agreed to record a little interview where he talks about his musical background and his way of working.

NAMM 2018 – Touell Skouarn

Two new Touell Skouarn modules were introduced at the NAMM show 2018. Strakal Orsel is a tube distortion circuit with voltage controllable gain parameter. The sound character is angry. – No, wait… The sound character is brutal. – No, wait… What comes after brutal? Anyway, with feeding some rather boring drum sounds to the module, we created unbelievably harsh, screaming results. Afterwards, we transformed a softly played acoustic guitar into a wall of sound. In fact, some other exhibitors came to the Touell Skouarn table to check out what the f*ck we were doing. The module utilizes military grade NOS tubes to process sound. They are driven conservatively, meaning the components don’t heat up that much. – No chance to burn your fingers! Thanks to two feedback loops, the sound can be varied quite nicely. Without an input signal, the Strakal Orsel is usable as a weird noise generator. The CV input makes it possible to utilize the module as a dirty VCA. Compared to the Strakal Brulu, the new module sounds more warm and smooth. – Even though it is an angry bastard.touellskouarn 01_s_rThe second novelty is the Skroenjal, an experimental drone voice. It consists of a Strakal Orsel, a Skorn da Bask triple VCO with low-pass filter and a Heklev effects unit. In contrast to the individual Skorn da Bask module, the circuit built into this synthesizer voice features a separate output per oscillator. Thanks to this, it is possible to use one (or more) of the VCOs for modulations.

Both the Strakal Orsel and the Skroenjal will become available in spring 2018.

touellskouarn 02_s


What about … Verzerrer? (distortion / overdrive / fuzz)

What do you expect your modular synthesizer to sound like? Warm, bright and clean, maybe? What about harsh, destructive and aggressive? If that is your goal then a dedicated module for this task should be in your rack. In this post we are talking about some candidates that are specialists for distortion, fuzz and overdrive. And to be honest, warm, bright, harsh and aggressive do not exclude themselves. They might not always be achievable at the same time but it is all in these versatile distortion, overdrive or fuzz modules.

Let’s do a little excursion first. What is the difference of distortion, overdrive and fuzz? We won’t b looking into too much technical details but focus more on the sound. It is possible to say that an overdrive effect is gentler and less aggressive than a fuzz effect, with distortion being somewhere in-between. With overdrive you get a warmer sound that can be related to the sound of overdriving a tube amp – and it will become harsher by turning up the input volume. Distortion circuits usually sound pretty much the same with different input volumes. The result is more distinct and richer with overtones. To get even more overtones from an effects module you should choose something like a fuzz effect. These work on your input signal to bend it close to being squared. Despite these basic characteristics it is very common to find quite some overlap of overdrive, distortion and fuzz in single modules or pedals – not only in a technical sense, but mostly in the audible results.

For more information on this topic, and some historical background on the evolution of these effect types as guitar pedals there can be found an abstract from the book “Guitar Effects Pedals: The Practical Handbook” online.



Vermona modular – VCDrive

(distortion and overdrive)

The Vermona VCDrive might be the most gentle and exquisite module of those presented here. It sound palette goes from mild and warm saturation to a classic distortion sound. The amount of drive can be modulated by the CV input, which gives you more creative options than using a guitar pedal for your distortion duties. The small form factor and high built quality make the Vermona VCDrive an interesting option for all kinds of saturation, distortion and overdrive tasks in your rack – except maybe total destruction of your signal.

TouellSkouarn – Strakal Brulu Koavonek

(new-old-stock east-german germanium distortion and fuzz)

The Strakal Brulu Koavonek has been on the market for some years now and has gained a loyal fan-base. This a good indication of the quality of this module. It is a pretty unique sounding circuit that has a deep lively sound to it due to the coupling of fuzz and feedback. It is on the wilder side of the available distortion modules and wants to be played. The feedback encourages to play with the different parameters and to ride on the edge of the Strakal starting to scream. All in all the Strakal Brulu wants attention and immediately starts a conversation with you.

Animal Factory Amplification – Pit Viper


The Pit Viper is a circuit by the Indian manufacturer Animal Factory Amplification. Coming from developing guitar pedals, Animal Factory Amplification entered the eurorack market with the Pit Viper – an uncompromising overdrive module. It features an expressive input stage, soft- and hard-clipping, lots of tone-shaping like four different filter types and saturation options. With all these options there is a lot of sonic potential to be explored, and because of three CV-inputs the results can be very complex. And if you feel like the Pit Viper has bitten too deep into your signal there is the handy dry/wet knob to dial in just enough of the processed signal you like. … and, one important note from the manual: Please keep the Viper away from cats! – If there is not a cat in your studio, please adopt a four-legged friend!

ZVEX Modular – Fuzz Factory

(germanium distortion and fuzz)

ZVEX is also more a guitar pedal company than a modular manufacturer. With its long tradition in making distortion, fuzz and overdrive circuits they finally adapted an all-time classic the Fuzz Factory to eurorack. The Fuzz Factory comes with a traditional ZVEX design, these little paintings that made their pedals so easy to spot on crowded pedal boards. The original Fuzz Factory was one of the first self-oscillating germanium distortion pedals when it came out in the mid-1990s and has gained lots of fans since this time and it is used by many professional musician in studios and stages around the world. The eurorack version now lets you play with this classic effect that really comes to life with all the new CV inputs – all parameters, except the level switch, are voltage controllable, providing for a magnificent, non-static sound.


Whatever your goals are for mangling your original clean signal – these are some of the specialists in classic overdrive, distortion and fuzz territory that has been covered by guitar pedal companies for the last 50 years. There are of cause other ways to achieve similar effects or way more complex effects. Especially within modular synthesizers there a lots of ways to overdrive or clip signals or go even further and wavefold and waveshape your signal. But this is another topic with lots of different options.


This is by no means a complete overview of the available modules or a full review of the modules discussed. The what about… texts are here to give you new ideas and maybe another perspective on things. All these modules offer more features than we have talked about in this post. For further information please click the provided links or – even better – visit the shop and ask the SchneidersLaden experts in the showroom.


STROMKULT is our platform for updates and news on SCHNEIDERSLADEN and SUPERBOOTH, selected electronic musical instruments and events related to modular synthesizers, sequencers, competent drum machines, analog modular systems, midi tools, controllers, converters and related products of all kinds. You can find all kinds of events related to these topic in our EVENT CALENDAR. Also on this site you will find lots of videos from SUPERBOOTH – the world’s largest trade fair for electronic musical instruments, news about events and workshops at SCHNEIDERSLADEN.

Herr Schneider started in 1999 with SCHNEIDERSBUERO as a sales and marketing platform for the smallest manufacturers and inventors of electronic musical instruments. Products were shown online, in our showrooms and at the original SUPERBOOTH – workshops and countless reviews have been featured in magazines all over Europe.

These very special instruments and tools are now often available from specialist dealers all over Europe and can be purchased directly from our webshop SCHNEIDERSLADEN worldwide.