Tag: what about…

What about… some modern classics?

Oldie but Goldie? There are certainly some modules that drifted out of focus, especially to new users of modular synthesizers. Today we will be retrospecting on modules that have been around for a long time and are still available. Looking back at the beginning of the eurorack format,  it was quite easy to keep track of new developments – there was Doepfer from Germany and there was Analogue Systems from the UK. Both are still around and offer most of the modules they produced until today. And now it is even possible to put AS modules into a Doepfer System (the now “standard” eurorack) without buying an extra adapter, because AS modules are now available with compatible bus connectors – the Dual-Bus.

Analogue Systems

There is the great sounding RS95e – a VCO that is always a good choice for thick vintage sound, an excellent choice for an oscillator with lots of character. Other often recommended modules by AS are: The Analogue Systems RS-510e which is based on the legendary EMS Trapezoid Generator and the excellent sounding RS-110 Multimode Filter – both great analog designs with a special twist! The RS-110 for example offers an open feedback-loop! The socket Res-Out and Res-In act like an insert i.e. they allow you to process the audio signal in the feedback loop by other audio processors like filters, distortions, delays, frequency shifters etc.

Doepfer

Doepfer also offers great filters, often very affordable compared to competitors and always real workhorses. For example the A-124 Wasp and A-106-5 SEM filter are not only two of the cheapest filters available, but also great sounding choices. They are based on vintage designs (obviously) and really do a lot of things right – these will most likely never leave your rack again, they are great sounding multimode-filters, cheap and small, while not being too fiddly. The Wasp is a great dirty and unstable design that gives your sound a lot of liveliness and power. The SEM is a smooth sounding and vibrant filter that works great (not only) for basslines.

WMD

And there are more manufacturers that have been around for a while – for example WMD. Ever heard of the micro-Hadron-Collider, Synchrodyne or Geiger Counter – great names and great modules! All by WMD. These three modules have been available for several years now and all offer something special. What sets the uHC – a dual state-variable-filter – apart from most other VCFs is the integrated voltage controlled mixer. It can be used to create different and new filter modes – Wide Notch, Dual Bandpass, etc. It is also great for blending separate sounds together using both filters split and it allows cool frequency modulation of the mixed signals. The Synchrodyne is very interesting due to a combination of building blocks, which no other manufacturer packed together into one module. It contains most parts of a traditional synth-voice, but it goes a much different way. There is an analog sawtooth wave oscillator with a waveshaper, a “switched capacitor” filter and a PLL circuit which drives the cutoff frequency of the filter. HERE is a video of one (of many) possible uses of the Syncrodyne, this is so unusual that I had to add it. The WMD Geiger Counter is… another thing of its own…I wanted to say, but then there are about 5(?) different incarnations of this bit-crusher design! Only one of them is a eurorack module though. What they all share is a modern high gain preamp that drives an 8 bit computer, creating sounds which range from nice to unbelievably alien. Give. It. A. Try.

Lots of normalizations and patch-points are typical for WMD modules, resulting in very complex, powerful and – in the end – rewarding designs. There are of cause more manufacturers and modules that deserve to be in this post, but let’s keep some for next time.

 


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.

What about … Sequencing short gates – TRIGGER

Trigger are shorter than gates but not at all less important, there are dedicated use cases for both. So what are triggers and gates good for? An ADSR will always stay behind its potential if only used with triggers. Because of the circuit that is responsive to not only the rising edge of an input signal but also utilizes information from the duration the input is receiving a signal. In an ADSR it is the Sustain stage that using the information of a longer input signal. Nevertheless there are lots of applications that don’t use the information of the gate length and only respond to a rising edge of a voltage. This is the case with AD envelopes, clock dividers, sync inputs on VCOs and LFOs and most drum modules. Today we are having a look at trigger sequencers. These are often designed to be sequencing drums, with features that are known from sequencing musical events outside the eurorack world.

For this text we are looking at very simple concepts as well as much more complex ones. Three different approaches in different price, size and user interfaces. All feature 4 to 8 tracks with corresponding outputs.

Keep it simple and efficient: Delptronics – Trigger Man (v2)

The Trigger Man is a small and handy trigger sequencer with eight tracks, each with eight steps. It features a Euclidian mode and a step sequencing mode, both operated with the two push-encoders. The outputs can not only output triggers but also gates in different lengths, to do this each output can be configured independently. To get some variation into the static 8-step sequences you can set the global mode to pattern chain mode and connect up to 100 patterns in a row, or set the multifunctional CV socket to either select the active pattern, to shift the pattern or to control the sequence complexity, depending on the mode of operation. Lots of triggers in a small space and a very fair price. Here is a short video of an early prototype of the Trigger Man, but the video shows all the basic functionality and gives an idea of the fast and versatile pattern generation possibilities of this module. You can store the patterns and settings, so that you are able to switch your rack off and turn it on the next day and continue your work, but there is no dedicated memory for more than the eight current sequences. However it is the most fun to quickly run through the Euclidian sequences and find new interesting combinations anyway, it is fast intuitive and rewarding – so what else are you wishing for?

The performer: Shakmat Modular – Four Bricks Rook

The Four Bricks Rook is a 32-step trigger sequencer dedicated to drum triggering. And it brings pretty much everything to the table you could wish for when not looking for TR-Style step-sequencing. It offers four tracks that can be filled with triggers in several ways. One interesting and not so often found thing in eurorack is unquantized tap input recording. What might be a (my) too complicated description of a simple thing, is very useful for bringing some human imperfections to the perfect timing of your machine. If these imperfections is not what you are looking for it is also possible to quantize what you tapped in by hand. There is a huge memory for the rhythms you created and you can use them and re-record them in very interesting ways – and everything can be done while playing back the sequences. Watch the video below to find out what exactly is possible with this module, as it is way too complex to describe here. This really is a very versatile performance orientated module, even the stored sequences can be utilized as performance elements, but again…watch the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=348&v=txyTRj8SyRY

The shiny one: The Steady State Fate / Erogenous Tones – GateStorm

The GateStorm is a very complex module with a big screen to show you what it is doing at all times, which helps a lot with the multitude of possibilities. In general, the GateStorm is a 8-track trigger and gate sequencer. But the number of CV and gate inputs give a hint of the enormous creative potential that is hiding behind the big colorful screen. Well, it is not really hiding because the screen shows you pretty much everything that the GateStorm is doing in real time. The eight outputs can be seen as two different groups. Group one is for complex trigger and gate sequencing, and group two is for more static sequences, for example clock divisions and multiplications. What makes these outputs way more interesting than simple clock dividers is the fact that the outputs can have a user selected probability (and more). That means that you can control how reliable a clock pulse is generated, very good to keep patches alive. And additionally these outputs can be fed through four different logic lanes. And now it should be clear that even the so called ‘simple outputs’ are way more versatile and complex than many other trigger sequencers. And all this is even controllable with CV through the six CV inputs with attenuators that can be routed to lots of parameters (even more than one parameter at a time). To describe the complex outputs short: Set your sequence lenght, gate length, activate individual gates and and and. It really is too much to be discussed here. Watch the video below and all the other introductiory videos online to get an idea. This is a module for anyone who likes to get a visual feedback of what he or she is programming, anyone who needs lots of CV control over his gate sequences and clocks and anyone who likes colorful screens.

What has to be said about all these modules is that they have more functionality than can be described here, so watch the videos, or even better: come to Schneidersladen showroom and check them out in person.

And of course there are way more options than these! Find them here.


This is by no means a complete overview of available modules nor a full review of the discussed modules. The what about… text 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.

What about … Multi Effect Modules for Eurorack

Effect units are as common in recording studios and on stages as instruments are. Usually there are specialist units that excel at one specific task and multi effects units that are capable of providing several effects. These units often combine reverb, delay and technically related effects like chorus and flanger. In eurorack it is also possible to find these versatile digital effects units that open up new dimensions of sound – because you can control them with CV, other than their predecessor. But why are there (mostly) the same few effects in most units? Why is it harder to find an effects unit with compressor, saturation, reverb, delay and ring-modulation? Well, there certainly are effect units, mostly outside of eurorack format, that feature all these effects in one housing. But if you are looking, for example at distortion and compressor effects, there might be a simple reason for making them analog – it is easier to make and sounds better. This is not supposed to be a discussion about analog or digital, only a description of what seems to be a common thing – reverbs and delays can be designed more diverse and versatile on a digital basis. And analog designs excel at effects like distortion and compression. This definitely is a simplification and generalization – that said, there are of cause brilliant analog delays and reverbs – maybe even the most iconic delays are analog, and there are perfect digital compressors.

So why does it make sense to combine reverb, chorus, flanger and delay effects in one unit? Maybe it is because they are all time based effects. This means that they somehow take small bits of audio and play them back delayed in a certain way that is determined by a specialized algorithm. Because the basic idea behind these effects is basically the same they can be combined more easily and share the same user interface.

Actually, all this is only guessed and not important, the sound is important. And the little small extra bits of thought that went into the development of a module, which sets one model apart from the others. And these are the things we are looking at now. Therefor we will discuss four different stereo multi effect units in eurorack format.

 

Radikal Technologies – RT-1701 EFFEXX

We are starting with a real monster. The RT-1701 is big – due to the different effect sections and one special feature. For the different sections can be set to different combinations, which changes the signal flow. In general you get an input section with a dedicated overdrive circuit, then two effect processors with reverb, several delays, Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Rotor, String Filter and a Pitch Shifter. And as if this was not enough, you can utilize the String Filter as a Karpulus Strong oscillator that tracks 1v/oct; all you need to add is noise, an envelope and a VCA.

The overall effects quality is superb. The algorithms can compete with high class rack units, are widely adjustable and with the flexible routing you get a variety of possibilities for sound design. A specialty of this module is the so called snap-shot function. The big knob in the middle of the module and the eight LEDs around it represent the effect algorithms and eight memory slots for snap-shots. First it seems like these are only memory slots for your favorite settings, but the magic happens when you start blending from one snap-shot to another. Take a saturated delay and slowly transform it to a mild phaser – and by transform I don’t mean one effect fades out while the other fades in. It is more a morphing from one to the other – and that with up to eight different effect settings in a row – controllable with CV. Put some of the excellent reverb on top and you are most likely creating something lively and gorgeous.

Flame – FX16-CV

The Flame FX16CV is a more simple effects module with a significant smaller footprint and price. It features 16 effects with CV-able effect selection. This alone makes the Flame module interesting and versatile, but you also get three CV-able parameters with each effect. Lots of fun for a good price. And different Flame FX modules are on the market for some time now and have constantly been updated with new functions – the FX16-CV is the most advanced so far. At first glance it seems like you can only use one effect at a time, a closer look reveals this is not really true as most of the effect programs use at least two different effects in a combination with each other. Most feature an additionally reverb or filter effect that adds to the chorus, flanger, tremolo or the other effect types. These combinations make the FX16-CV so powerful. Most times you are using it, it will sound like more than one effects unit and you will soon begin to appreciate the predetermined effect combinations.

Erica Synths – Black Hole DSP

The Black Hole by Erica Synths follows a similar approach, it is a digital stereo effect processor with 16 custom effects. These are split up into two banks. The different effect programs are called patches, because there is mostly more going on than in a simple delay or reverb. Most of the patch programs come in preconfigured effect combinations, like a delay into a flanger or a high-pass filter with saturator into a reverb. Or they are more complex algorithms, like a granular delay for example. These combinations lead to very expressive results and always provide you with interesting results, especially when modulated! Because it is important to note that every knob on the front panel has a dedicated CV input. And if you like the Black Hole DSP but can’t find room in your rack, there is also the Pico DSP – a 3 hp effect module inspired be the Black Hole DSP.

1010 Music – FXBox

The FXBox is a beats of it’s own. The huge touch screen is a good indicator for where the strong point of this module lays. It is instant fun to play with the different effects just by touching it. It is easy, fast and intuitive. You can activate different effects at different times during a sequence, just like you program a step sequencer. Or activate one or more effects continuously or momentarily while you press the respective area on the touch screen. This might be the most “hands-on” module of the ones we are talking about here. The effects are combinable at will. Each algorithm features up to four parameters, which can be adjusted via the module’s rotary encoders or the touch display. It is even possible to edit several values at once. And once you get bored of the effects (don’t expect that to happen!) you can change the firmware of the FXBox and transform it to a sampler – the Bitbox!

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.

 

What about … Sampleplayer?

Sampleplayer should not to be confused with samplers. The main difference is, sampleplayer can only play back samples that are somehow stored inside the module. Sometimes this storage is an internal memory that is more or less fixed and you have to work with the samples from the memory. However, some sampleplayers have an exchangeable memory, either a chip, a USB connection or an SD card. When using sampleplayers with exchangeable sample memory you are free to create your own samples from any source, whether it is your synthesizer, field recording or basically anything else … and some of you might have heard of the concept of sample libraries. There are rumors that some of these exist somewhere in the internet.

The other type of sampleplayer is equipped with fixed samples, so you can’t change them. What first seems like a drawback often is due to the fact that the other aspects of the module are tailored to work best with these type of samples. (One of) the first sample based instrument ever produced was the Mellotron, which used this exact principle of fixed samples and a tailored interface to create specific sounds. The first module to be discussed in this text is one of these specialized sampleplayers.


WMD – Chimera

The WMD Chimera comes with preloaded samples from metallic surfaces and objects. These samples are processed in a granular way to create metallic, industrial and futuristic soundscapes, WMD calls the processed samples surfaces. The controls and parameters of this module are all tailored to create sound of a specific granular type, while giving you a lot of possibilities to bend these samples to your likings. The result is a unique module with lots of possible applications. As it already features morph and density parameters, two envelopes, a multi effects processor and a dedicated button to play the it’s sounds directly, the Chimera is instant fun and doesn’t need much more to sound interesting. Nevertheless there are eleven inputs to fill the Chimera with life.

 

Tiptop Audio – One

The Tiptop Audio One is a small sampleplayer with exchangeable SD cards that function as sample memory. In contrast to Chimera the One follows a totally different concept. While Chimera has eleven fixed samples preloaded that are also granualised, the One comes with an SD-card slot that is even hot-swapable, this means you can change the SD cards while your synthesizer is turned on. This is a really helpful feature, for example for playing live. Even samples with more than one hour are no problem for the One. Technically the One is built to provide excellent audio quality and ultra-low latency – two very important aspects if you want unaltered sound and the feel of an analog circuit. The only way and the most important way to change the sound of a sample is to change the speed at which it is played back. Therefor the one features a CV input that can be used in different modes that change the behaviour of the input. The same applies to the gate input. This is the perfect sampleplayer for all those who are looking for the best audio performance and simplicity in exchanging samples.

 

Erica Synths – Pico Drums

The Pico Drums by Erica Synths is a basic sampleplayer with the ability to trigger and play two samples at the same time while outputing these at a shared output jack. The audio quality is 12bit / 44kHz – the 12bit is very common for many vintage samplers and provides you with a direct and pronounced sound. To get your own samples onto the Pico Drums you have to connect it via USB to a computer and use a google app in the Chrome browser to transfer them to the module. The samples can then be modified from the user interface, you get independent control over Pitch, Decay and Level for each drum. Also the CV input can be configured to take care of these parameters and the sample select. A very versatile and hp-saving module for a very good price.

 

Møffenzeef Mødular – GMØ

The GMO follows a totally different approach. Sound quality is also a very important point if you want to describe the characteristics of this special module. But this time it is not about high fidelity but dirt and noise. Møffenzeef Mødular created a module that is based on a 12bit audio resolution just as the Pico Drums. BUT it plays the samples at only 16384 Hz, therefor it has a way more lo-fi character! The module uses the best elements of granular and wavetable technologies and is entirely voltage controllable. Eight samples are on board and your own ones can be uploaded. To play with these samples you can manipulate the playback speed in a huge range from 0.01% to 300%, by what the sound can range from arcade style noises at low speeds to odd order harmonics, distortion and side-band modulation at very high rates. And you can determine the start and endpoint of the sample, by hand or by the dedicated CV input.


All these sampleplayers are perfect for playing percussion sounds and drumsamples. But due to their modulation capabilities or their maximum playback time they can also be used in very different ways and create entirely new and unheard soundscapes. Whether you are into high fidelity and low latency or harsh and lo-fi sounds that can be mangled until the original sound turns into something completely new there is a variaty of diffenrent concepts available in eurorack-world – it is great to have so many different choices these days.


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.

What about … filterbanks?

Shaping sounds is something to get lost in. Turning knobs on a new module for hours, without noticing how time flies by is something most synthesists have experienced before. The number of options to shape a sound are almost unlimited. Here we are looking at one obvious way to sculpt sound – filtering.

When you take the concept of a filter and implement it several times into one module it results in something that is called filterbank. This type of circuit consists of a number of filters most times sharing one input and one output. The input signal passes the filters that are wired in parallel, this is why filterbanks are perfect tools for precise work on the frequency spectrum of a sound. Each filter usually has a fixed frequency that can be cut or boosted, either voltage controllable or not.

It is not easy to define fixed cornerstones for filter banks, because the available options are so different in their functionality. Therefor we have a look at some of the concepts that are on the market today, covering a price range from ‘yeah I didn’t plan to get one, but I’ll give it a try’ to ‘uff, maybe one day’.


Filterbank klein


Doepfer A-128 Fixed Filterbank

The Doepfer Fixed Filterbank might be the most basic implementation of a filterbank. One input, one output, fixed frequencies and no voltage control. It won’t break your bank, is pretty hands-on and will definitely bring something new to your sonic repertoire. With 15 fixed filters, one low-pass at 50 Hz, one highpass at 11kHz and 13 bandpass filters in-between, there is a lot of potential for precise sound design. The Doepfer excels in feedback loops for example. Using it in the feedback loop of a spring reverb or delay is a great way of controlling and shaping the character of these effects. Or use it with your noise sources, or literally any other sound source to cut unpleasant frequencies and leave room for others.

ADDAC 601 VC Filterbank

The ADDAC filterbank is a lot more complex than the Doepfer, but features “only” eight filters bands. Each band features voltage control of its amplitude and a separate envelope follower, which lets you extract voltage control signals from your audio input – a very handy feature. There are two audio inputs but a total of 12 audio outputs – one for each band (post a VCA), one for the even, one for odd frequency bands and an output each for the dry and wet signal. The ADDAC Filterbank is a very versatile machine to sculpt any audio material and additionally to extract control voltage to either spread across your system or modulate the filterbank itself. Cross-patching the envelope follower outputs to the amplitude CV inputs should be fun, as well as feeding the even/odd outputs back to the second audio input.

Verbos Electronics – Bark Filter Processor

Even more sophisticated is the Verbos Bark Filter Processor. It basically features everything the ADDAC offers plus a bit more – first of all those nice faders that some other Verbos modules feature as well. This special filterbank is based on the Bark scale, a psychoacoustic perceptual scale of pitches with 24 ranges of frequencies. The module’s twelve frequency bands represent roughly ‘every second band’ from the Bark Scale: <100Hz, 300Hz, 510Hz, 770Hz, 1.08kHz, 1.48kHz, 2kHz, 2.7kHz, 3.7kHz, 5.3kHz, 7.7kHz and >10,5 kHz. The 24 frequency ranges in the Bark scale are graded in 24 Barks and doubling of the Bark value means that the corresponding tone is perceived to be twice as high.

Each filterband of the Bark Filter Processor corresponds to one of the faders, the levels of the filter bands can be set and modulated in a number of ways – manually with the fader and/or with a CV which is injected into the socket below the fader. On the other hand there is the scan function which dynamically controls several bands, independent of the faders: “Frequency Scan” sequentially scans through the frequency spectrum, with Center and Width determining the center frequency and bandwidth; “Spectral Tilt” either emphasizes the low or high harmonics. Especially these functions, the look and feel and the special selection of frequency bands set the Verbos Bark Filter Processor apart from other Filterbanks.

Sherman Filterbank 2 – classic version

This is not a eurorack module, but something that can give you a similar experience with lots of in and outputs are available to interact with your other machines.

An absolute classic – available for about twenty years and still able to gain more interest. The different versions of this machine cover all kinds of applications; there are rack-mounted versions for mono or stereo, tabletop models and the latest edition – the Sherman Filterbank 2 Compact.

The Sherman has a different structure than the eurorack filterbanks described above. While only featuring two (multimode) filters it also offers envelopes, noise, FM input for external audio – LFO or other CVs, VCA overdrive with additional AR envelope generator and a ring mod input. This is a lot to play with. The combination of the different sections remind a bit of resonators or even whole synth voices, only without VCOs. But with the two multimode filters with adjustable cutoff frequency and resonance, overdrive capabilities and playability, this is a really interesting tool for shaping sounds. And the Sherman Filterbank is an instrument in itself, by using it without an input there is a noise source active that you can run through the rest of the circuit. This piece of hardware really is a tool that wants your attention, but it pays back with massive audio adventures.

Sherman

You want to hear the Sherman Filterbank on stage? Here is a video from SUPERBOOTH17!


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.

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.


 

fuzzzz


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

(Solid-State-Overdrive)

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.

What about… classic and less classic analog VCOs

A square wave is a square wave and a sine a sine – right? Yes … but on the other hand – no, not quite. Even with classic analog VCOs, that output classic waveforms like saw, square, triangle and sine there can be significant differences in their circuits, structure and sound. And as VCOs usually are the basis for your sound it might be worth to think a bit about what a VCO can do for you and what character your VCOs should have. Writing about the different sound of VCOs is a bit difficult as it is a pretty subjective topic. Anyways here are some thoughts about analog VCOs that all have something special and add a nice trick or two to your rack.


VCOs lang


Classic Sound

The first two examples are special because of their history, quality and big vintage sound. The AJH MiniMod VCO is what you could call a real classic VCO, no fancy functions just good sound and solid engineering. And this is what makes this VCO so special. As it is designed after an earliest revision (Mk1) of the famous Minimoog the sound of these VCOs is classic, big and beautiful. The tracking has been improved and the built quality is excellent. What you get is the sound of the Minimoog, even with the special “sharktooth” wave, that was unique to this synthesizer and is now available in eurorack. The NTO is the most advanced VCO ever designed by Serge and the Random*Source – Serge New Timbral Oscillator (NTO) is an adaption for eurorack that has been developed in close cooperation with Serge. It features all the basics you would expect from a classic VCO and this it is – a VCO that has the word vintage written all over its sound. And with the NTO you buy a part of synth history, as the original design was first implemented in the famous TONTO synth that Stevie Wonder was using in the early 1970ies. The TONTO has been the most advanced polyphonic (modular) synthesizer that existed worldwide for a long time and the NTO was the most advanced VCO. The Random*Source version features excellent tracking and an output for the voltage controlled waveform.

 

Frequency Modulation

The Liivatera – Through-Zero VCO has its specialty already in its name. The Through-Zero term is related to a special behavior wenn frequency modulating the VCO. In a nutshell – it sounds better. The FM sounds are brighter and usually more pleasant to the ear. The technical side of things is a bit more complicated than in the usual FM circuitries and therefore not often implemented in VCOs. But the Liivatera VCO has another trick up its sleeves – the reversing sync input is something not to be found on many VCOs. The syncing behavior is switchable between rising, falling and rising & falling edges of a signal – plus: the trigger threshold is voltage controllable. With these options you get a lot of variety in sync-sounds. The Liivatera VCO is a very nicely engineered VCO for an excellent price point if you consider its functionality and quality. The through-zero technology you get with the Liivatera can also be found in the even more advanced Rubicon by Intellijel or the simpler Doepfer A-110-4.

The next VCO to be discussed is a unique design. The Berlin based artist and designer of electronic musical instruments Christian Günther has developed a special analog VCO with two sperate 1v/oct inputs that can be selected at audio rates – the CG Products – XR22 VCO (Finetune). This opens up new sonic territories as the two frequency control circuits can be switched and controlled in different ways. This adds a very wide range possibilities to an otherwise standard oscillator – this is a way more complex module than it appears. The description of the circuit seams to be easy to understand, but the complexity of the sound that comes out of this module is huge and demands some time to learn and experiment – but its worth it.

 

Different sizes

The next VCO is a future classic by Doepfer. The Doepfer A-111-4 Quad Precision VCO. The A-111-4 is a very interesting addition to the wide Doepfer range of products. What makes this one special is that its compiled of four individual precision VCOs and a mixing stage. This module is the perfect starting point for polyphonic setups or really massive analog mono voices. With the size of one more advanced VCO the A-111-4 maybe the most analog VCO per hp in eurorackland. With the mixing stage this VCO makes a great starting point for massive mono voices that only go through one filter/VCA … or tune the four VCOs to form a chord … or play a massive drone … a lot of interesting things can be done with four VCOs in such a small space!

The next VCO maybe the complete opposite of the Doepfer. It is huge. The Harmonic Oscillator by Verbos Electronics is as big as it gets when you look at single Oscillators. When you go through the features of the Harmonic Oscillator, and start on the left side – everything appears very common and “normal”. Different waveform outputs, tuning knobs, CV inputs. But right next to these basic features the interesting part of the Verbos VCO begins. The fader control the first eight harmonics of the fundamental tone – each with its own output, the level of which is controlled by the corresponding fader. Directly below the faders there are two sections for playing with the eight harmonic channels and their sum output. The first one scans through the harmonics from low to high or from high to low, by setting the width you can control the overall effect of this feature in an very intuitive way. Next to this function there is the spectral tilt section which lets you emphasize the low or high harmonics. The Harmonic Oscillator gives you a very interesting package of standard functions and functionality and playability that you won’t find elsewhere.


 

To create sound in a modular environment isn’t hard. Take an LFO, envelope or function generator, like a Befaco Rampage or Make Noise Maths and loop it fast enough – like this you get an audio oscillator and there are tons of other ways. But to have a dedicated module for this gives you more flexibility for frequency modulation, sync options, different waveform outputs and all the other little bits described above. Through-zero modulation, harmonic overtones, or a dual frequency modulation circuit – these are only some of the available options you will find in eurorack VCOs these days. And if you are searching for that special vintage and all-time classic sound, you are also able to find this in modern VCOs with classic and classy sound.

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.

What about…Voice-Modules for eurorack

 

It is one of the best things about modular synthesizers – you can mix and match all elements of your instrument. Your dream is to combine a wavetable oscillator with a classic Moog-design filter and a tube-VCA? – No problem, go for it! But sometimes all you want is another simple analog subtractive voice. Or maybe you have something like 30hp of space left in your case, so why not throw a complete analog mono synthesizer in there? And often these modules are the perfect entry point for the mysterious land of modular synthesis, not only because you have everything on hand that you need to start making music – but also you can be sure that the single components work well together. With single modules you sometimes happen to combine modules that are not the perfect companions as a filter might expect 10V to fully open the cutoff, but your envelope only produces 8V…and so on. So with full voice-modules you can prevent some of the typical modular synth trouble shooting. Therefor a synth-voice module is often a good starting point for beginners and an easy and pleasing thing for experts to add another voice to their system. Just add a sequencer of your taste to the module and you are good to go! Here are some thoughts on typical analog mono-synths in eurorack format.


synthvoicesmall


Acidlab – M303

Sometimes all you need is a bass synthesizer – and the most famous one might the Roland TB-303. So why not put something like a TB-303 in your rack? This is where the Acidlab M303 comes into play. A good sounding, affordable all in one bass synthesizer that reminds of a TB-303 sound wise. All you need to do is add a sequencer and you’re good to go – ACID! And the M303 offers a lot more flexibility than a standalone version. With inputs for its filter and VCA you are able to process totally different sound sources than the original saw- and sqaurewave, if you want to.

 

Eowave – Domino (Module)

This miniature synthesizer is also often referred to as a kind of 303 inspired synth. But is has more of its own sound, a pure analog, rough and strong sound that can go into 303 territories but is way more flexible…with 12 patch points, when it comes to integrating it into more complex patches. And have you seen the size of it?  – To have a full analog mono synthesizer in ->10hp<- ! is kind of ridiculous – in a good way. It features saw- and square waves just like the M303 but lets you blend between the two and the filter is different as it is a -24db ladder design.

 

MFB – Nanozwerg Pro

This little analog synthesizer features a sub-oscillator and noise circuit that the M303 and Domino are missing. It also features a multimode filter and additionally two ADSRs and an LFO – and it is the cheapest in this series. This is a challenge that MFB has mastered many times before – building incredibly affordable instruments with lots of functionality. And often they are surprisingly good sounding, as the Nanozwerg Pro proves. It makes no compromises: Noise, Sub, LP- BP- HP- Notch-Filter, Saw, Square, Triangle and Pulse waveforms, 2 x ADSRs, LFO, octave switch AND MIDI-input! You are missing something? Well, good news is: you will have saved a lot of money by buying the Nanozwerg Pro, so there will be something left for whatever you feel is missing.

 

Intellijel Designs – Atlantis

The most sophisticated of the modules we are discussing here is the Atlantis by Intellijel. With 27 patch points, noise and a loopable envelope this is not only the best equipped of the four modules discussed here but also the most flexible. The Atlantis comes close to a synth voice that is built from separate modules when it comes to the feature list and patch points. Additionally pretty much any function of the Atlantis can be used independently, which contributes to the feel of using separate modules when working with the Atlantis. And what about the sound? The architecture of this module is inspired by the SH-101. And it sounds close in particular settings. The Atlantis is a great mono-synth and can sound huge.

 

Doepfer – A-111-5v Synthesizer

Only 100 units will be available of the module A-111-5v Mini Synthesizer Voice. This special edition is only possible since Dieter Doepfer found 100 of the special-IC CEM3394. This module features a VCO, a 24dB-Lowpass filter, a VCA, an ADSR-envelope generator and two LFOs. The special thing about this module is its linear filter FM. The A-111-5v can be seen as the eurorack version of the Dark Energy MK I! And it features the CEM-chip that is responsible for the powerful and pleasant sound of the original Dark Energy. Now Doepfer is doing a limited run of A-111-5 Synthesizer Voices with this legendary chip.


In the end it is a matter of taste whether you rate one above the other, at least most of the time. When only having a few hp left in your live rig the Domino or M303 might be a good choice. On the other hand you might have ended up with a rack full of digital modules that you want to complement it with a more veratile analog voice, then the Intellijel or Doepfer might be the right module for you. Whatever your considerations are, this article has hopefully given you some insights in a few of the available 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.

 

What about… CV processing?

Using and working with control voltage (CV) in your modular synthesizer is essential, but often people tend to focus more on audio signals and audio effects. However there is a lot that can be done with CV signals to widen the potential of your modular synthesizer. Here, we are talking about some utility modules for processing CV signals. Some are offering more basic functions, but with a nice twist, like the Livestock Electronics Felix and Doepfer Precision Adder. Others are feature packed CV-super-tools or bring new ways of mangling CV in eurorack to the table.

Doepfer A-185-2 Precision Adder / Bus Access

Having more than one voice playing in your system you might want to transpose them together, or you want to combine two or more sequences. This is where the Doepfer A-185-2 Precision Adder comes in handy. with its four in- and outputs it can be used as a tool to tie your different sequencers together or work as a simple octave switch for your oscillators. A simple but effective module with a wide range of functionality, especially when handling pitch CV.

Livestock Electronics – Felix

Felix can be used as buffered multiple and/or signal distributor. At the price of other simple buffered multiples it covers way more ground than these. Each output features an attenuator / attenuverter, emitting signals in the range of either 0 V to +5 V or -5 V to +5 V. The level of signals can be adjusted via potentiometers. As long as you don’t plug-in a cable at the left input, the outputs generate voltages in the range of 0 V to +5 V (attenuator mode) respectively -5 V to +5 V (attenuverter mode).

Rabid Elephant – Knobs

The Knobs by Rabid Elephant is one of those CV-super-tools. It is built with only the best parts available and rock solid, but what makes it really special is its playability.  This ultra-precise dual CV processor (with attenuversion, offset and slew) and voltage controllable crossfader is a perfect tool for playing control voltages like a DJ – a thing you might have never thought of yourself. It is a quality module, it is lots of fun to play with and opens new perspectives. The crossfader is a nice addition to a CV processor that can change to way you look at things. A “boring” CV can become an exciting thing to play with.

4ms Shifting Inverting Signal Mingler (SISM)

The SISM is one of three modules with that “4-channel-layout” by 4ms. In fact it features a header for connecting a Quad Clock Divider, Quad Pingable LFO or the VCA Matrix by 4ms. But what does it do in the first place? The SISM is a CV processor with four channels of attenuation, attenuverting and offsetting incoming CV. For this purpose it is equipped with four in- and outputs. Additionally there are outputs for the mix of all positive or all negative voltages, a mix of channels where no cable is inserted into the output socket and a mix that represents the direct sum of all four channels. So you get three additional CV sources that are related to your inputs – very useful.

Doepfer A-152 Voltage addressed S&H / Switch

The A-152 is a bi-directional switch with either eight inputs and one output or vice versa. This way you can send up to eight different signals from different sources to one destination or one signal to up to eight destinations, eihter by switching via gate, one stage after the other, or address the different stages via CV. While doing this the A-152 derives additional information from what you are processing, e.g. it gives out a gate at the stage that is active at the moment and it holds the last value a stage had as long as it was active. See?  –  This module lets you work very creatively with your CV’s and it even derives additional Gates and voltage sources from what you are feeding the module.

 

All in all there a way more modules and options out there to process CV in eurorack. This is just a brief overview of some of the creative concepts module designers have come up with in the last years.

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.

 

What about… low-pass gates?

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The low-pass-gate is a traditional Buchla design that has some mysterious qualities to it. For decades it has mostly been seen in Buchla synthesizers and luckily is now available in various forms, formats and styles. But what is a low-pass-gate? It is an electrical circuit that combines elements of amplifiers and low-pass filters. Therefor it will be used to determine the amplitude of a sound and its sonic complexity.

Due to its technical structure it is possible to just send trigger to the CV inputs of low-pass gates and still get envelope-shaped results. This is because low-pass gates usually use vactrols –  photoresistive opto-isolators, or or opto-couplers. What is that? Basically vactrols are light-emitting diodes (LED) or another light-emitting component and a semiconductor-based photoresistor. With these two components you have a source of light and a detector of light, both sitting in a closed housing, electrically isolated from each other. When you send a voltage into a vactrol – the light-emitting part – will emit light and the detector will receive this light = this opens the gate. And because this special construction is some kind of slow, it has a special natural sound to it. And as the light received by the detector is opening the VCA and controlling the filter cutoff at the same time sounds   at low amplitude will sound duller. And this is where the magic happens, this behavior in combination with the “natural” respond of vactrols make low-pass gates sound so nice.

LPG_what about banner

Make Noise – Optomix (Rev.2)

All time classic: The Optomix is might be THE module people think of first when talking about low-pass gates in eurorack. It has been around for years and has built a large fan base. The Optomix by Make Noise actually features two low-pass-gates utilizing 4 vactrols to provide simultaneous voltage control over amplitude and frequency content of a signal. In Rev. 2 the damp circuit was updated to accept audio as well as CV for patching side-chain compression. Additionally Optomix offers a summing stage complete with an AUXiliary IN allowing for the chaining of multiple units to create larger mixes.

Rabid Elephant – Natural Gate

The Natural Gate might be the most advanced low-pass gate when it comes to engineering complexity. Due to this it has some unique features exceptional sound design capabilities. For example, it is possible to choose between three “material characteristics”, each of them responding differently to excitation signals. As the trigger frequency increases, the low-pass gates open up more and more. Additionally the decay varies depending on the pitch of incoming audio material. Thanks to this behavior Natural Gate has a very pleasant sound and a very natural sound. Its two channels also featuring ducking compressor, wave shaper or envelope functionality.

Doepfer A-101-2 Vactrol Lowpass Gate

The Doepfer A-101-2 Vactrol Lowpass Gate is a single low-pass gate with the ability to also be used as VCA or low-pass filter – and it features resonance control that not many low-pass gates provide. It has a rather aggressive sound, especially with lots of resonance. What also sets the Doepfer apart from others is that you can set the mode of operation not only manually but also via gates, which is the reason for two gate inputs; this is very interesting in combination with clock dividers or trigger sequencers.

  • Gate 1 high & gate 2 low = low pass mode
  • Gate 1 low & gate 2 high = VCA mode
  • both Gate 1 & 2 high = combo mode

Metasonix RK5 Dual Low Pass Gate

The Metasonix RK5 Dual Low Pass Gate is a very special module. It takes the concept of a low-pass gate, invented in the 1970s and uses technical solutions from the 1950s – vacuum tube audio circuits. The module offers a very special warm and gently distorted sound with a rather long decay. It is the perfect module for those who want to explore “new” low-pass gate timbres and want to create unique, somewhat dirty Buchla Bongos and other percussive sounds.

Verbos Electronics – Amplitude & Tone Controller

The Verbos Amplitude & Tone Conroller consist of a entirely discrete VCA combined with a vactrol controlled low-pass filter. The input stage lets you dial in a very pleasant distortion if you want it to. The sound is gorgeous somewhere between wood and acid. As all Verbos modules this is a very high quality module with a classy vintage sound. And you don’t only get the sound but also the look – how beautiful it is!

Make Noise – DynaMix

The DynaMix is the second Make Noise module in this overview, as Make Noise is constantly developing new modules featuring vactrols and keep exploring what low-pass gates can be. It is also as a two-channel low-pass gate with integrated mixer. Instead of vactrols, transistor circuits are used to control the integrated filters and VCAs. This results in a harsher and faster responds than with an integrated vactrol. Its sound is comparatively hard, but nonetheless very musical and the circuit is capable to gently distort the sound when you want it.

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.

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Sequencing in eurorack – CV, trigger and gates //part 2

In part 1 of this series we had a look at more classic ways to do your note sequencing in eurorack. We found out that there are some very interesting new approaches, which use long-known methods of sequencing and add some exciting new aspects. Here we are focussing on even more advanced ways to tell your instrument when to play which note. Again we are focussing on sequencers that feature CV and trigger/gate outputs at the same time. These sequencers are typically used for note sequencing.

 


Sequencer_part2


non-linar sequencing

Kilpatrick Audio – K4815 Pattern Generator

The K4815 is no ordinary step-sequencer. It creates sequences by combining a scale, a visual pattern (as shown on the display) and a sequence playback motion to determine the rhythms and notes that are actually played. And there are many other parameters that can be edited for even more variation, for example the note and sequence length, as well as the transposition, direction of playback, and so on. With its visual interface, it is fun to play and most of all it provides new and surprising results.

Make Noise – René

René is the world’s first and only Cartesian Sequencer for eurorack. It was named after the French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes, as it uses his cartesian coordinate system to unlock the analog step sequencer from the shackles of linearity. With the knobs you can set 16 different voltages. The several clock and CV inputs now determine in what order these 16 voltages are read out. Sounds simple? It is in fact very versatile and the touch plates make this sequencer especially exciting! Therefor it is a sequencer that lives from interacting with it.

 

Intellijel Designs – Metropolis

The Intellijel Metropolis is based on a classic design called the RYK-185 sequencer. It provides a very intuitive way of sequencing and brings a lot of functionality to its 8-steps. It shines with different trigger modes, glide, rest and skip per step, it has swing, a quantizer and a clock generator. But the most interesting function is that each step can be repeated before proceeding to the next one – up to eight times. The metropolis is already a modern classic and often referred to as the instant techno generator.

 

multiple tracks at the same time

Winter Modular – Eloquencer

The Eloquencer – a long awaited and feature-packed sequencer with a total of eight-channels (!) for CV and gate sequencing. It basically is 8-track 16-step sequencer BUT: Comprehensive random, variation and modulation options plus several playback modes allow users to create very complex melodies and beats, it is possible to do polyrhythmic patterns, ratcheting, fill and shuffle, there is a build in quantizer and sequences can be combined to form songs and modulated by CV. AND you can store it all on a SD card! Sounds complicated? – it isn’t!

XOR Electronics – Nerdseq

It follows a concept that has already been used in very early digital music sequencer software. This software ran on hardware like the Fairlight CMI, Amiga and C64, newer adaptions would be the Renoise or Jeskola Buzz. Now XOR has adapted the Tracker concept for eurorack, with 8 tracks, a nice display and all necessary buttons to navigate through the software. And the best thing – with the expander it is not only possible to add MIDI in- and outputs to the NerdSeq, but also to connect a Sega Gamepad!

And of course there are way more options than these! Find them here.

This is by no means a complete overview of available modules nor a full review of the discussed modules. The what about… text 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.

Classic sequencing – CV, trigger and gates //part 1

Looking back a few years ago, it was difficult to find more than two or three dedicated sequencers that could be built into your rack. And they were basically all 8-step sequencers. Nowadays there are a lot more options available and lots of creative ideas have been implemented to make it more interesting to look into this topic. Here we are looking at concepts that take from 3hp up to 50hp of your rackspace, this huge difference in size should gives you an idea of how different sequencer concepts can be. Here we are focssing on sequencers that feature CV and trigger/gate outputs at the same time. These sequencers are typically used for note sequencing.


SeqPost breit_klein


mini Sequencer

Erica Synths – Pico SEQ

The Pico SEQ is the smallest module in this series. It offers easy programming of CVs and gates, a max sequence length of 16 steps, variable gate length, quantization, various playback modes, even slide and 16 pattern memory! Despite its size it is powerful, but might not be the easiest to program on the fly. It packs unbelievebly much functionality into 3hp and might be exactly what you need in a small, maybe portable setup.

XAOC Devices – Tirana 2

The Tirana 2 is also a compact step sequencer, but with a different approach. It features four steps that can be repeted or muted. The module provides a transposition input and sequence direction control. It is a very versatile and hands-on module that should not be underestimated as a note sequencer, modulation source, or for transposing other sequencers.

classc 8-Step with refreshing twists

Fonitronik ADC Sequencer

At first sight the mh11 ADC Pattern Sequencer is a traditional eight-step sequencer for CV, trigger and gate signals. But it is capable of creating very complex variations of your initial sequence. ADC section: Each step has a three-position switch which determines if the step is played or muted. In third position a value from the ADC (analog-digital converter) determines if the step is on or off. The ADC input is converted into binary 8-Bit patterns. Each Bit is equivalent to a step of the sequencer and can be either on or off. The according step set to “ADC” will then read out either a “1” or “0”, and thus will be either played or muted. And all this with CV control, very nice!

Doepfer A-155 Analog/Trigger Sequencer

The Doepfer is an analog sequencer for CVs and trigger/gates. Basically it gives you two CV rows, each with selectable voltage range, glide and sample & hold options, three trigger rows and a one gate row. It is even possible to insert external signals per step instead, overriding the CV generated by the 2nd row’s potentiometer. A lot of options and everything with it’s own control right at your fingertips. And if the functionality is not enough for your needs, there is an expander module that gives you lots of CV inputs, new functions and the possibility to connect a second A-155!

303 style sequencing with 16 and more steps

Transistor Sound Labs – Stepper Acid

A sequencer concept with its roots in the legendary Roland TB 303. The Stepper Acid provides you with a very hands-on interface and intuitive controls that are perfect for performing live music. Lots of space to get your hands to all control elements. You can save and load sequences edit them while they play and really enjoy interacting with the module. Its feauture set brings you 1 to 16 steps, glide, accent and the “Detached” mode decouples the curent playing pattern from the panel controls which makes possible to grab a new pattern, to edit, modify or transpose it before playing.

Copper Traces – Seek

Seek is also based on the concepts of classic bassline sequencers like the TB-303, but offers a much more advanced feature set. It features up to 64 steps and quick pattern variations can be done using Seek’s random algorithms. The interface is also designed to be played live, with its keyboard and recording capabilities. Seek is a very full featured sequencer in a compact package.

 

And of course there are way more options than these! Find them here. Or check out part 2 of this series on sequencers for eurorack.

This is by no means a complete overview of available modules nor a full review of the discussed modules. The what about… text 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.

ABOUT STROMKULT


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.