KICK ASS!!! October 2018 spoooooky Halloween edition!
Why spooky? No reason. Although, yes, I am whipping this out on Halloween night. Sort of a shorter edition this month as the Eurorack world cools down after the one-two modular punch of Knobcon and SynthFest and the all-in-one that is the AES show. Time to settle in and await the next big explosion of reveals for Winter NAMM in January. But for now...
1) Tiptop Audio MIX7. OK, now this doesn't look all that exciting. But it's got a few tricks to it, and at 3 hp it makes a fantastic choice for filling out one of those odd-number extra spaces. Technically, yes, it's a mixer. But given its basic summing capabilities, it can also act as a logical OR for gates, a trigger integrator, and do arithmetical summing of CVs...and that last one is super-useful for transpositions and the like. Got a sequencer? Sure, they have their own transposers...but let's say you want a couple of transposition operations. Or...let's say you want to easily combine triggers to sum several trigger sequence channels' outputs into a single complex pattern. See? You need one of these! It's one of those not-really-sexy utility devices that you might not be thinking about, but you really need to think about it! $99.
2) Intech/Otto's DIY Protoboard-480. This one's for the DIY hardcore set! Otto's DIY not only has this $3, 8 hp model, but they also do 6 and 12 hp PulpLogic format tiles for $2 and a 16 hp panel for $4. And what exactly is this? Well, it's a prototyping board that's ALSO a Eurorack panel. Breadboard layouts, double-sided plated connection points, preprinted solder pads...pretty smart! The convenience of having precut Eurorack-specific prototyping boards like this is pretty major, as it eliminates trying to fit larger protoboard pieces to the format, plus it gives you some restrictive guidelines to follow to make sure your project fits the form factor. Definitely check the website for more: https://www.intech.studio/shop/protoboard-480
3) 2hp Cat. How many times has this happened to you? You're plugging away at a patch, and you suddenly realize how much better it would sound with CATS! Yes, the fluffy kind. 2hp has you covered! Their new cat synthesis-based VCO gives you voltage control over the primary sonic factors of the average housecat. No, I am not making this up. Seriously, it's there in the frickin' module listings! So, if you don't have the scratch (scratch! ahaha! I kill me!) to pony up $4 grand for Hexinverter's voltage-controlled rubber chicken synthesis module, this may well be the next best thing! Seriously, though, 2hp's video actually shows some damned interesting uses for this with a touch of extra processing and a bit of CV 'misuse'...have a look via the listing. $99.
4) CaviSynth Subway. Those of you who know and love the Roland suboctave VCO architecture are going to want to climb all over this. Inspired by the iconic SH-101 VCO, CaviSynth presents this rather nifty and intelligent rethink of that classic. One and two octave down settings are available, of course...but this VCO takes it down another FIVE. And you're not limited to square/pulse waveforms in your suboctaves, either. Nor are you locked into a matched suboctave, as the module also allows you to detune the sub. Mixing is internal via a CVable crossfader, also allowing you to modulate octave dives/splits. The design on this is seriously right...it has everything those of us remember about the SH-101's VCO's coolness, and tosses in a lot of new and useful control variables on top of that, and doesn't break the bank, either. 8 hp, $135.
Now, if you thought we were done...nope! Let's take a bit of a detour to dip into the TILE selections from the past couple of months. There's some neat developments there...
5) PulpLogic tiles: Split, Clamp, X-Fade. Yep, there's some new PulpLogic stuff out recently. The Split is a 12 hp tile that works as a 1->3 attenuator, and also as a three-way CV source if the input is unpatched. The Clamp is a 6 hp tile that offers hardclip level control over either CVs (range restriction) or audio (waveform clipping/distortion). And the X-Fade is a CV controlled crossfader that can also function as a DC-coupled linear VCA or inverter. This 12 hp tile is based around the reissued version of the venerable CEM3360 VCA chip. $45, $30, and $60 respectively.
6) And one last one: Intellijel Steppy 1U. In just 28 hp across a 1U row, Intellijel has managed to jam in four tracks of up to 64 steps each, with eight internal memories, loads of on-the-fly parameter controls, all designed with live performance control in mind. This is actually a rather complex little device, with more going on than I can get into in one of these little blurbs, so you owe it to yourself to pop over to the 1U tile listings and have a look. It's very much one of those modules that might make you rethink your attitude on tiles. $199.
So...that's it. Like I said, sort of a short haul this month. Probably next month as well, but December into January of next year should see the ramp-up to NAMM and thus a pile of new goodies for me to root through and point out here on ModularGrid for you Eurorack users.