ALAK is a 4-track polygonal pattern sequencer with rotating shapes
That’s an immediately intriguing headline, or at least it is for people who find the possibility of a rotating polygonal pattern sequencer interesting. And let’s face it, who doesn’t? ALAK offers 4 tracks of shape-based gate sequencing which makes it a doddle to dial up interesting rhythmic changes and occurrences on-the-fly.
Not sure it stands for anything, not sure it’s important. What is important is the ease with which ALAK can generate rhythms. The shapes and patterns centre around the ring of 16 LEDs. Press a button to step through the 16 different shapes. It starts with a dot on LED 1, then a line on 1 and 9, a square on 1, 5, 9 and 13 which creates your regular 4/4 patterns. But then you can have triangles and pentagons and so on introducing less obvious triggers. The shape can be rotated in the circle by a knob so that it doesn’t have to start on LED 1, you can move it wherever.
It’s a simple, efficient and effective idea of generating the patterns you want and also the ones you weren’t expecting. The best thing is that you get to do this 4 times as you have 4 tracks, all happening at once to 4 different sound sources or modulators.
They say the resolution can go up to 128 steps although I’m not sure how they get represented in the 16 LEDs. Hopefully, more videos will reveal these details. There’s also a “Copy” output which routes the clock going into the Trigger input right back out again so you can chain to the next device needing a clock. It’s such a useful feature it should be standard on every Eurorack module.
It’s no more complicated than that. Dial up a pattern, dial up a few more and you are into all sorts of interesting rhythmic possibilities. It would perhaps be nice to able to get some CV control over pattern selecting or rotation, but for €179 it’s a good-looking, simple and capable pattern generating module.
- Gibbon Digital website