Make Noise Morphagene at NAMM 2017

The Morphagene is the latest collaboration module between soundhack / Tom Erbe and Make Noise and is “microsound and tape music module that’s designed to capture, regenerate and process sounds from both inside and outside your modular system”. It’s a stereo in/out module and works on the idea of tape reels. Each audio file is called a reel and multiple reels can store on SD cards. Each reel can be up to 87 seconds long, splices can be up to 87 long and it can have up to 99 slices per reel. Additionally you have genes (like the Phonogene) that can be used for small grains for granular processing.

Tony from Make Noise has been introducing the module with Time Lag Accumulator. Time Lag Accumulator literally means Time Delay Memory. This was first used by an unknown engineer on Terry Riley’s 1963 recordings for Music for Poison in Paris. It’s based on using two tape recorders for delay and feedback. Here’s a great quote about it from an interview with Terry Riley

“The accumulation technique had not been done yet. I was working in Mescaline Mix. I wanted this kind of long, repeated loop and I said, ‘can you create something like that?’ He got it by stringing the tape between two tape recorders and feeding the signal from the second machine back to the first to recycle along with the new incoming signals. By varying the intensity of the feedback you were able to form the sound into a single image without any delay. I enjoy the interplay between the two extremes. This is the first time I have been able to do this. It took me a while before I could afford to buy two good tape recorders to run this process in my own studio. “

Enough about the Time Lag Accumulator (go check that out more yourselves) and onto the Morphagene again. It looks like there’s CV over every parameter, it’s coming around March and is in manufacturing now. There’s more details from Walker Farrell (who works with Make Noise, you’ll recognise his voice from their own videos) in the second video posted below. Both videos are from Analogue Zone, who were awesome when I saw them in Budapest over summer.

birdkids new modules at NAMM 2017

birdkids continue to impress with their new module announcements at NAMM. There’s a wide range 6HP analogue VCO which is screaming to be used with the awesome Bateleur modules I covered a while ago (video below). I can just about make out some information from the VCO as neither of the videos I’ve seen so far go into detail but there’s a shape input and a PWM input. It’s always intriguing to see some additional shape control on an analogue oscillator that just takes it that bit further than the obvious sine, triangle, square / pulse and saw wave.

There’s also a studio quality (I’m guessing that means lo noise, high headroom) input and output. The star of the show is a 4 channel sequencer with button keyboard that will see more of ready for Superbooth in April (not many details yet). There’s also a 3hp mixer, quad VCA and more of the birdsnest system with a PCB installed inside the case for moving signals around (again not much information on this at the minute). Check out the videos from Synth Anatomy and Analogue Zone below for a run with Mike from birdkids.

Qu-Bit new modules at NAMM 2017

On all accounts it looks like Qu-Bit Electronix have absolutely smashed it for NAMM. 4 new modules covering envelopes, mixing, random and filtering. I’ll be posting updates about NAMM (I’m not there) with my personal spin on what we’re seeing. So strap in for blog posts a plenty! Click images to zoom in. 

Lets start with Chance the new random module. It has 9 outputs including white and digital noise (no sign of that rate controlled by anything), random gate, random ‘in time’ rhythms, clock out (also takes clock in) and 4 random voltage outputs. Smooth (ramps between values), discrete (stepped), wavetables (random shifts between in time sine, ramp and triangle waves) and the blend out (can shift and random mix the the first 3 cv outs). It’s looking great, and if it’s anything like a big brother to the already awesome nano rand then this will be fantastic! It’s 14hp and also has a freeze knob to control freeze and hold its current state.

Next up we’ve got Tone … now NOT that holy pilgrimage guitarist trek through hundreds of pedals, stringS, cabling and amps combos to find … it’s a new quad filter! This looks very “Mutable” to me in design, not judging just popped out that way, clean, symmetrical, those knobs etc. Anyway, it’s four 24dB per octave low pass and band pass filters with input for audio (duh liiiiiiike obviously!) and frequency CV with attenuator with knobs for CV depth, cut off and resonance and a LP and BP output per channel. It’s a cascade OTA design providing a “warm, buttery character” that looks like it would be great next to samplers / mixers and drums to me. Multiple filters for left and right stereo imagining or mono sub mixes of drums before hitting a final mixer would be a breeze. It’s 18hp for those shaping up space case to squeeze one in.

Third up is Contour which is a quad attack / decay generator with a few tricks up its sleeve. There’s a trigger in and cv inputs for both attack and decay. The output has an attenuverter for inversion and scaling of the output which is a nice addition as plenty of modules don’t have CV input controls. The envelopes can loop and change between linear and exponential as well as link channels. The channel linking is the unique part as you hold the loop control for 3 seconds then click the next channel (these flash and you can pick any, in any order) which will trigger the linked channel at the end of cycle from the first. Pretty cool! It comes in at 20hp and is due to ship at the end of this month. Others ship in coming months.

Finally we’ve got Mixology. We saw this last year with the old design Qu-Bit were using with slightly different features, so it’s good to see its new look and features. It’s a four channel “output/performance” style mixer with panning and a single send as well as solo, mute, output meter and CV over level, pan and send. It certainly fleshes out the new look Qu-Bit range well and is slightly larger than before at 28hp, offering a more ergonomic layout.

The Analogue Zone videos (as with other event coverage) are great so far and here’s one with Andrew from Qu-Bit going through the modules.

 

Erica Synths NAMM 2017 announcements

 

If you like Erica Synths and haven’t seen, click HERE to check out an interview with them. Also click images for details.

Erica must work non stop working up their ranges of systems, re working and re designing classics and constantly keepings things flying forward. There’s often multiple releases together (PICO was 13 modules at once I think … crazy!). So it’s no surprise they’re releasing and announcing a slew of modules and updates at NAMM 2017.

First up is the re designed Polivoks DIY line up. With many innovations and improvements on the original soviet Polivoks designs.

There’s also the previously announced Fusion system which uses tubes/valves/glowing glass things (call them what you will!) in the signal path. While I haven’t played on the full system the previous version one Fusion modules and the new Vintage Delay Ensemble is killer.

There’s also a new filter core with a new chip designed and manfactured for Erica Synths by RPAR Alfa. It’s a 12 octave, exponential tracking, resonance modulating, multimode VCF which is similar to a CEM3320 with improved characteristics. Nice to see them pushing technologies, looking at the specs on the image I’m starting to picture one hell of a filter on the cards when they get the module sorted.

There’s also the new Black Octasource (with new video below), version 2 stereo mixer and PFL Expander (my video below), MIDI to clock (or clock to MIDI) and a new XFADE module.

 

(via Audio News Room and Matrix Synth)

Doepfer Press Release for NAMM 2017

 Hold up … just wanted to start by saying I’ve just seen these images over on Matrix Synth and I wanted to share them here too with my own babble.

Doepfer have released their press release for the 2017 NAMM show and it’s full of goodies into a new programmable octal programmable switch, new small low cost case (single row or 48HP), CV input module and quad envelope follower to go with the performance mixer, more black “vintage” series A-100 modules and a new Trapezoid oscillator. I’m looking forward to seeing some coverage of these from NAMM in the next few days.

What are some of your favourite Doepfer modules? Get in touch and let me know, A-189-1 Bit Modifier is high on my list.

Click the images for details! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuclear Powered Random CV!

David Cramer over on Nervous Squirrel has created a nuclear powered module … nice, dangerous, exciting or scary … it’s certainly sure to pique people’s interest. The module works by looking at the “ticks” coming from a Geiger Counter holding the uranium and uses Ken Stone’s joystick schematic which is adapted to work these voltages into a random CV signal. You can adjust the range, offset and glide of the signal and you also get a trigger every time the Geiger Counter is activated.

Check out the site for more information.http://www.nervoussquirrel.com/modular

You may remember I covered the Nervous Squirrel Ring Modulator (based on the classic BBC 1963 ‘Dalek’ design) a good couple of years back.

(FYI I saw this on FACTMag and Synthtopia)