KICK ASS!!! May 2018 edition...
Well, with Superbooth out of the way, the deluge of mindwrenchingly-amazing modules has abated a bit, but Eurorack being what it is nowadays, that by no means says that the interesting stuff's not still popping up. And this past month, there's also been some relative bargains showing up. So, let's dig through the last month in Eurorack and see what looks particularly tasty, shall we?
1) Bastl Instruments TIMBER. OK...now this is interesting. Combine an overdrive/distorter with a wavefolder, add a crossfading VCA between 'em, and you get...THIS. Bastl definitely has some peculiar ideas, and this is one of them...in all the right ways. The TIMBER even incorporates a feedback circuit for added chaotic behavior, and does all of this in a convenient 7 hp package. Given that this sort of waveshaping morphing behavior would've previously required several modules and a good bit more panel space, this module is a killer timbral alteration device for smaller builds.
2) Instruo Cs-L. (Yeah, there's some different characters that's supposed to be there, but I'm a lazy bastard.) There's several companies offering their takes on the Buchla complex oscillator, and this is yet another one. But Instruo's iteration offers a compact size and some unique quirks that makes it skew more toward that Buchla-like complexity than some others. As you'd expect from that term 'complex'...yeah, what it's got is complex, to be sure, so my suggestion would be to get over to its listing and check it for yourselves. It'll be worth your time!
3) (and 4 and 5) Ladik U-041 Median, E-480 Contour Generator, and C-410 Clock Source. Holy crap...they must've gotten something in the water supply over at Ladik's place! In one month, here's THREE killer devices out of the same company. The 'Median' is a very interesting device, somewhat related to the more familiar minimum/maximum modules from a few firms. But in this case, Ladik added upper and lower constraining voltage adjustments that also give the module the ability to function as a very interesting clipping audio waveshaper, in addition to the more traditional CV selection processing/control. The Clock Source offers a stop/start/resume/reset arcade button control in addition to an onboard clock divider, plus there's a lot of jumper functions there that beg for an additional switch panel to play with for some outright strangeness. But the best is the Contour Generator...wow! Eight stages of up/hold/down voltage movement, timing-per-step clocking, integrators for voltage behavior, yet more jumpers that can configure this as one-shot (envelope gen style) or looping (think: really, really complex LFO). And this all in 8 hp and for a measly $83-ish US! This creature has massive use AND abuse potential and it's dirt cheap, to boot! Those looking for compact and cheap modulation sources need to look into this one.
6) Mordax GXN. Granular hardware is getting hotter and wilder as of late, and with the GXN, it also gets smaller. Here's all the usual functions you've come to expect from a granular synth, plus loads of CV modulation possibilities, all usable as either a live polyphonic sampler, live granulator, or for the usual 'let's mangle the sample!'-sort of granular purposes, but mashed down to a small-build-friendly 20 hp and, according to Mordax, an expected MSRP of no more than $600 when it launches in a couple of months or so. For those who can't leave sound intact but work in tight spaces, here's a potential solution to what you've been needing.
7) Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms Primary Oscillator. Yeah, you KNEW this had to be in here...how can you say 'no' to this level of timbral VCO control for a paltry $229? This might be the next 'you use this or else' VCO, really. And why not? For the price, in this size (12 hp), about the only other thing that approaches it in sonic 'holy crap'-ness is Mutable's Plaits, which this would make a great pairing with, to be honest. The sole flaw might be the current draws, but if you're running a more up to date rig with a suitably-hefty power supply, that might not be a major issue unless you go bug-nuts and want a whole row of these things. Which, frankly, would be damn interesting!
And that's it for May! Like I said, not a huge pile-up, but definitely some paradigm-shifters in there.