The Tokyo Festival of Modular has been in full swing over the weekend and one of the most interesting products to emerge is the C Quencer DLX. It’s a dual oscillator and sequencer module with a very interesting interface and fabulous recording mode. And it needs a round of applause for finding a clever name.
C Quencer DLX
Created by Centrevillage.net and currently in pre-production, there’s not a lot of information out there. There is a manual, which is only in Japanese and is giving Google Translate a bit of a headache. But it’s still helpful. Other information about the C Quencer DLX I’ve pulled from various bits of coverage from the festival and there’s a great video below from Cuckoomusic.
In a nutshell the C Quencer DLX is a sequencer and rhythm pattern generator with an internal wavetable oscillator.
For the rhythm generator there are 16 preset patterns, selectable by a dedicated knob. The default setting is a Euclidean rhythm. On the sequencing side, they call it a Quantizer Based Sequencer which means that it’s actually more like a very adaptable arpeggiator. You quantize it in terms of scale, pitch range and timing, manipulating the knobs to pull out the sort of notes you were after. So (i think) it’s generating patterns rather than allowing you to manually enter steps.
With the oscillator they are aiming for a 1980’s 12-bit wavetable vibe. There are two oscillators which can mix waveforms and outputs. They can also be offset in pitch which takes us into some chordal territory.
The layout and main interface is very interesting. This radial array of LEDs on what appear to be touch plates, which can both show sequence position and also lots of other data. A centre control seems to activate various modes. You can see all the available waveforms pictured around the circle and are selectable for each oscillator. It all appears to work really easily.
The other stand out feature is the record mode. Hitting Rec allows you to record all parameter movements and changes into the pattern on-the-fly. This has a lot of potential for live performance and adding improvised control.
There’s a trigger input for clock and a modulation input that can be assigned to whatever parameter you wish to mess with. There’s a CV and Gate output so you can presumably control a separate oscillator. There doesn’t appear to be any volt/octave input for allowing you to use the oscillators separately.
In the video, the man says that it’s still being “prepared”. Online it lists it as being in a prototype phase but Modular Grid says it’s available for just over €300. I imagine the response from the show will help boost this module into some international availability. It looks like it could be a lot of fun although I’m not fully convinced about the built-in oscillator. Although… what do you think?