Casper Electronics’ Dark Matter Feedback Observatory Eurorack module was one of the more interesting things to appear at Superbooth back last May. Developer Peter Edwards spent the show breaking waveforms and overdriving signals with it. Built in collaboration with Bastl Instruments the Dark Matter is now available.
Dark Matter takes the natural behaviour of amplifier circuits and pushes them into apocalyptic feedback. It’s mostly a signal processor, it wants to break your audio, but it will also generate its own noise when feedbacking its own feedback.
The audio signal comes through the amplifier and is then fed back in and re-amplified again and again to the edge of destruction. Dark Matter is designed to hold the signal at breaking point making it messy, broken but still controllable and manipulable. You can then combine that (or crush that together) with the sound of the circuit itself feeding back with its own resonant frequency. It’s a battle between signal, drive, feedback and distortion and you’re never quite sure what is going to win out – and maybe that’s the point.
The main controls are the four vertical faders in the middle. One controls Drive, the middle two control Bass and Treble EQ and the last one handles the Feedback level. At the bottom a cross-fader mixes between input and feedback levels. There’s an input tracking envelope follower and an external feedback section for fine tuning loops through other modules. Everything is CV controllable making it a very lively module.
This is one of the most brilliant descriptions of a module I’ve ever read:
This is why I like to think of audio feedback as sort of the negative space around a sound, like a sonic shadow. A dark counterpart. Or like the roots of a tree even, a sort of complex dirty reflection of its other half. I also talk about it like its a wild animal a lot. A little crazy and untamed. And like a cosmic banshee emerging from the dead blackness of ancient space. The analogies get thrown around fast and free here but the point is that feedback has a magic zazz to it that defies easy explanation. It’s evocative and deep and kind of awful and totally beautiful and I think it should be enjoyed.
Getting your hands on some of that epically nasty “magic zazz” will cost you €265 from the Noise Kitchen shop.
- Dark Matter webpage.